UP is Finally Getting Its Faculty Center Back, With a Hilarious Surprise

See our tax money hard at work.
IMAGE Rawl Maliwat

Good news for UP Diliman students: Renovations for a new Faculty Center are underway, three years after a fire broke out and devastated the building. 

Last January 25, the DPWH, along with deans of colleges, chancellor Michael Tan, and president Danilo Concepcion, presided over the ceremonial groundbreaking to commemorate the rise of a new and better Faculty Center. The 675-million-peso project, which is expected to finish by November 2020, is a boon for students and faculty members of the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), who were moved to the Palma Hall Pavilion 1 after the fire. 

The Palma Hall Pavilion 1, by the way, used to house laboratories for the Institute of Chemistry, which ironically, also burned down years ago. Renovations were fast-tracked to make room for the CAL faculty and admin staff.

Though planning for the new Faculty Center took years, it’s good to know that taxpayers’ money is providing service to our nation’s educational institutions and the DPWH is committed to projects beyond the building of bridges and widening of roads. 

The story of the Faculty Center’s restoration, however, doesn’t end here. 

In the architect’s mock-up of the center, like the one shown near the AS-CAL walkway, is a detail (found on the side of the jeepney) that tells an even better tale. See below.

IMAGE: Rawl Maliwat

Meet Mr. Jakulino Magdasal, 68 years old, a proud jeepney driver and integral member of the UP community.

Mr. Magdasal (or Jacks, as his friends call him) wakes up early every morning to ply the route of Kahit Saan Pwede in his old jeepney, with plate number LOL 420. He is the first (and, so far, only) driver traversing this UP Iyot Route. Nice.

It’s simply heartwarming how the architect, who is being paid by the DPWH, immortalized the working-class hero, a veteran of the streets. After all, the triumph of the center is also a triumph for Mr. Magdasal, who lovingly shuttles students to and from UP so that they can get the education they deserve. It’s only right that Mr. Magdasal be given credit in the future center’s render.

And so, apart from thanking the government for giving care to our nation’s students, we must also highlight its wise use of our money—the money we pay through income taxes, VAT, excise taxes, and so on—to immortalize heroes like Mr. Jakulino Magdasal.

We look forward to riding Mang Jacks’ jeepney, with plate number LOL 420, on the Kahit Saan Pwede route, to the new Faculty Center soon.

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Justin Umali
Justin is left-handed, left-leaning, and best left in a cool, damp place. He listens to Vampire Weekend when he's down and Car Seat Headrest when he's not. He usually writes about Philippine history and politics, and believes that you cannot change the world without understanding it first.
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