For the longest time I thought the egg in Pancit Batilpatung was raw (I swear I ate one with raw egg on top years ago) only to find out and be semi-disappointed that it was actually half-cooked. Anyway, you’ll see places serving the famous pancit in every corner of Tuguegarao City but I ate in Budyok’s because it was the one nearest St. Paul University Philippines.
Jumbo size, good for two people. Forgot to tell the waitress not to put veggies so it took me a long time to finish the plate. Served with broth, Calamansi and chopped onions. The topping is actually made of Carabao meat so it’s a bit hard.
My agenda in Tuguegaro is to attend the graduation of a good friend, Ramm. Since the city is only an hour or two away from my hometown, I decided to use the opportunity to explore the capital city of Cagayan Valley.
St. Paul University Philippines is the lead school in the St. Paul University System (composed of 42 institutions owned, managed and operated by Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres). I wish I knew more about my school but I only became a Paulinian in college (not even during my “formative” years) and the Paultenics subject was removed during our first year (only to be offered again to subsequent freshmen). Boo.
Back to SPUP. It is huge compared to my alma mater but it’s a given because it caters to students from primary to tertiary level. Just like in the latter, the security guards are super strict in letting anyone enter the premises. Even though I showed my Alumni card, kebs pa rin sila Manong. I ended up waiting at the lobby for Ramm who has the “entry pass”.
A building that caught my fancy is Our Lady of Chartres Chapel.
Grey reminds me of the color of our uniform. Same pattern and colors but different designs across the different schools. Bias aside, I think St. Paul Manila has the best-looking one with the used-to-be pencil cut skirt (then it became H-cut and is currently A-cut thanks to all the students who violate the proper attire).
Definitely one of the best churches I’ve been in. The only word I can think of is maaliwalas and I don’t know the English translation so let’s leave it at that. I can only imagine how romantic it would be to get married in a place that looks so pure. The walls and ceilings were painted white and it was spotless clean (another trait of St. Paul schools: cleanliness especially the bathrooms). Even though Tuguegarao is notorious for being the place where the highest temperatures are recorded in the country, it doesn’t feel like 35 degrees Celsius inside.
I assume all buildings in all Paulinian schools are named after persons and places related to the congregation like Father Louis Chauvet, Mere Marie de Tilly and Levesville. Pictured below is the Levesville training center.
Hell, graduations can be really boring especially if there are a thousand students marching (but we gotta respect everyone who comes up on stage to receive their diploma *clap clap*). Good thing that night’s Guest Speaker, Rev. Fr. Xavier C. Alpasa, SJ was just the perfect cherry on top of a special celebration. His speech was one of the best and most-heartfelt I’ve heard I’m gonna remember it long after I forget the one spoken during my own graduation (I actually already forgot haha). First off he shared how hard it was growing up in a poor family. He used to make his classmates’ projects in exchange for money so he can buy food and more than once he thought he will be out of school for good because of lack of funds. Obviously the story had a happy ending. He promised he will conquer a corporation because they didn’t even give his father a desk and he succeeded. He was able to provide for his parents etc. We’ve already heard countless rags to riches stories. It’s what he shared afterwards that was inspiring.
After achieving all his goals, he found himself asking the question, “What now? What’s next?”?
And then he shared about something St. Ignatius wrote.
In each of us is a deep desire and emotion. Actually, it is much more than that but for lack of better term, “feelings” was used. This one we should watch over, feel for and never forget because it will dictate where we are supposed to go. The problem of the world is that everyone, in one way or another, have become apathetic. For example, when was the last time you were disturbed by poverty? Maybe at first yes but when you are consistently exposed, it becomes the norm and you forget how you first felt about it. Di na pinapansin, di na nararamdaman. According to Fr. Xavier, we should always come into terms with our feelings and it should be where we hinge our hopes on. God put it in us for a reason.
He ended his talk by saying that faith in Filipino is “Pananampalataya” and the root word is “taya” meaning “to gamble”. Yes, faith is a gamble. The question is where you will place your bet. He encouraged us to place ours on Jesus because he already won over death. Doesn’t seem much when read but I swear I had goosebumps when he told it in Filipino. What an awesome speech.
Congratulations Class of 2014!