Monday, July 15, 2024

Life Through the Portal

by Ivan Anthony A. Adaro | October 17, 2021

There is this boy walking around a school rich in beautiful sceneries of acacia trees, lush bushes, and fresh flowers complemented by the refreshing afternoon sunshine and the sounds of mellow chirps from birds fluttering along with the gentle breeze. 

The boy is walking with his friends on the clean pavement on their way to the green benches with crisp brown leaves sprawling on the ground, giving out a satisfying crunch each time their footsteps meet the leaves. On the freshly painted benches, he and his friends are exchanging pep talks and having study sessions as they wait for the day to end. Next to them, the sounds of religious choral voices fill their ears as the church looms before their eyes, its huge brown doors open, revealing an ethereal sight. 

Around him, his eyes drown at the sight of diverse outfits, smiles, and personalities as he sees different students from different countries expressing their colorful cultures and backgrounds. As the minutes stretch into hours, they finally finish their study session, a feeling of new excitement rushing over them as they eagerly get onto their feet, thinking about which “hangout spot” they will go to next. 

It could be the library where students work on school projects in its air-conditioned rooms perfumed by the scents of freshly printed books and historical archives. Or, maybe it could be the iconic food kiosks in which lines of students wait for pimped up delicious food to be served. Nearby is also the gymnasium where he catches sights of people engaging in sports activities as the sounds of cheers and festivities fill the entire sports complex. 

However, he decides to go with his friends to their favorite hangout spot on campus: the Luce Auditorium, the school’s pride and joy, where notable and memorable events are held. Here, he sees other students spending their after-school hours at the auditorium’s huge entrance. Some are practicing a dance number, and others are utilizing its space for making props and decorations, while the rest are simply vibing and sharing “chikas” like he and his friends are at the precious moment.

Once again, they are submerged in the same beautiful sceneries of acacia trees, lush bushes, and fresh flowers, but this time, complemented with orange, crimson light as the sun slowly sets on the mountains, making their faces blush in color. As stars begin to twinkle, the thought of food after a long day at school immediately makes their stomachs grumble and even more as the scent of fried eggs from the kiosk wafts through the air with a delicious aroma. Together, they laugh and race to the kiosk, as the purplish-pink lights of the Luce Auditorium illuminate the white facade of the building. 

That ends the story, and spoiler alert: the boy in the story was I, a high schooler, on the campus of Silliman University—a school where fun and education meet through learning experiences. A university that does not only define education through academics alone, but as opportunities as well for learners to enjoy life, make interactions, and create life-long memories with friends and fellow acquaintances, as reflected in my life as a Sillimanian in the story I narrated above.

At present, the Silliman campus remains beautiful amidst the circumstances brought by unexpected events. However, if there is any change, it is the fact that we, people, are not on its premises. Instead of making new adventures on its campus, we’re confined in the comfort of our homes, our faces reflecting in the screens of our computers, reminiscing about the wonderful memories we have created on that foundation and wondering when we’ll be able to walk through those gates with friends again. As leaves pile up on its roads and green benches, all you can do is hang in there and prepare for the best comeback outfit and story you can whip up for when Silliman’s face-to-face activities are brought back to life again. 

Even if the world turns upside down, the campus will always be there, ready to welcome you with its astonishing landmarks, iconic hangout spots, breathtaking sceneries, and nostalgic hallways. Who knows? Before you know it, you might find yourselves immersed again on the premises of Silliman University with your friends, exchanging hugs and pep talks in one of your favorite hangout spots. Or, if you haven’t been there yet, be prepared to be mesmerized by its marvelous sights once you set foot and take a step through its portals.


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