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I.D. nyo po?
Paki suot yung I.D.

I’m not deaf but the first time I heard a guard ask me where my I.D. was, all I could do was just look at him in surprise. I was newly enrolled for my masters degree and was nonchalantly traipsing towards AS when a guard (a GUARD!) stopped me in my tracks and asked for my I.D.

I spent four years in UP Diliman as an undergraduate student at masscom; I was here since I first enrolled in 1997 until I graduated in 2001. Those four years were among the happiest and most unforgettable years of my life. I just loved the whole UP experience–the variety of people I’ve met, the academic freedom and what I surmised as a lack of conformity to the rest of the world. Students came in all shapes and sizes and in an assortment of porma. From people who looked like they literally just stepped out of bed to those crowding the AS steps in their designer jeans and singsong taglish. I had a classmate who always came to class in black, someone whose earlobes fell to his elbows (one of those tribal traditions, I assumed), and another who came to class with his skateboard. I also had several classmates who came from prominent, wealthy families; sons and daughters of politicians and businessmen.

There were no visible security guards in UP back then. My college friends and I used to joke about the empty guard houses around the campus. I personally never worried about campus security although there were rumors back then about students getting mugged and raped specially along the dimly lit street beside Vanguard (the one heading to Commonwealth). Our I.D.’s were exclusively used in libraries and during enrollment. I never wore it around my neck–not even once. We were basically free to wander from one building to another; a fact that I used to boast about to friends who studied in other universities where one is required to wear their I.D.’s at all times.

So imagine my surprise that three years after graduation, I am suddenly stopped by a guard asking for my I.D. The guards were a surprise by themselves. It seems that all the colleges have their own security guards now. Some not only check I.D.’s but check bags as well. One time, I forgot my I.D. at home and the guard at AS wouldn’t let me in. Charm didn’t work and I had to leave my office I.D. just to be granted entry.

Five years into my masters and I’m still not used to the idea. I still don’t wear my I.D. around my neck though–old habits die hard. There’s something inside me that rebels against the idea. It’s so NOT the U.P. I knew and loved.

Categories: personal, rants, UP Tags: , ,
  1. clare
    May 4, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    i remember back in college, we couldn’t get in naman without flashing our ids to the guards. we didn’t have to wear them all the time, but we did have to show it at the gates to get in, which is a whole lot better than how they do it now at our school — i heard you have to swipe it at the gate and if you have some unpaid tuition or other bills at school the machine would remind you (and everyone else would be able to hear it) … not sure if that’s true but that’s what i heard. lol!

  2. May 10, 2008 at 11:30 am

    @clare: ang weird lang kasi since UP is so big, nakakainis na tumawid ka lang from one bldg to another e sisitahin ka pa ng guard. E nakita ka naman na galing ka nga doon sa kabila! It really annoys me.
    I know the added security is for our own good (supposedly) but it really doesn’t work for me.
    High-tech yung school mo ha. But that system’s humiliating. Talk about announcing your debts to the entire school…

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