By Xyrose Glecery Valdehueza | October 9, 2023
“Hibalag. Hibalag. Hibalag.” I could feel the silent echoes through the halls of the campus, signaling the start of one of the most awaited events at Silliman University (SU).
Walking along the halls of Silliman, I could feel the lingering breeze that tinged my skin, the leaves falling to the ground, and raindrops hitting every surface. I see people looking forward to their first day of school. Others had deep-sunken eyes and were exhausted.
Honestly, Hibalag was just another day or event for me. I had no plans since I just wanted to rest before the storms of classes started.
However, life had another plan for me.
In our chemistry department, my classmates and I volunteered to help make a float and the torch for the Parade of Lights under the College of Arts and Sciences. It was a brief moment, but I met wonderful people. And as I watched the parade, I felt a sense of pride and fellowship.
I belong to this school, and these are my people.
During Hibalag, I saw a lot of people hanging out with their friends, having “bebe times,” spending time with their families, buying at the booths, and trying out games.
My best friend wanted to hang out together, so we made a plan. We had a best friend from another school, and we wanted to tour her during the Hibalag and show her the beauty of SU.
It had been so long since the three of us hung out with each other. We ate dinner at one of the booths, rented a tricycle to explore the Hibalag grounds, and visited the Silliman Church. We talked about life, took videos of each other, and had a wonderful time. Seeing her again evoked a nostalgic feeling between my best friend and me.
At that time, I wondered if other Sillimanians felt the same way—if they ever longed for the people they used to hang out with during Hibalag. Do they suddenly feel a sense of nostalgia washing over them, remembering those they hung out with or should have hung out with during Hibalag?
I also had a friend before, but we lost contact due to enigmatic happenstances—or maybe we just grew apart. We made plans before Hibalag. None of them happened. It’s haunting how a single event can evoke such strong emotions.
It made me realize that it’s all about appreciating everything happening in our lives. Hibalag had made me do that. I know that someday, I’ll look back on this and laugh because I did have a memorable one.
Hibalag became memorable because of my best friends and the people I met who became a part of my life. Whether concave or convex, the right people see right through you. Hibalag is like a heterogeneous mixture—composed of different emotions and experiences interwoven to create memories. We’ll feel happiness, confusion, disappointment, heartbreak, and melancholy in this mixture. Each Hibalag memory is a part of our university life.
Hibalag was once just an ordinary event for me, but everything changed.
It became something I will share with my children someday—a memory that lasts a lifetime.
Xyrose Glecery Ventura Valdehueza is a 20-year-old 3rd-year college student who is currently in her third year of pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a Certificate in Chemical Technology at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
She was born on October 20, 2002, currently residing in Dauin, Negros Oriental. Aside from doing her academics, she is a huge fan of Taylor Swift and enjoys listening to music during her free time. She is also a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and loves the world of superheroes and villains. She is a bookworm and enjoys reading books from classic literature to science fiction. Occasionally, she loves expressing herself through poetry during her spare time.
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