Monday, May 24, 2010

Pope Pius XII Dormitory


My home away from home when I was in college. I was so at home at this place that I never wanted to leave. I stayed an extra year after college graduation because of that.

When I started teaching, I didn't have a choice but to check out of the place because my work place was way far from this 'home'. But everytime I would pass by the UN Avenue LRT station, I never failed to look down the road leading to this place.

I guess I was destined to live in this place. Two weeks into my college life, my father probably noticed that I wasn't happy renting a room in his friend's house. He went to look for a place for me to transfer and Pope Pius XII Catholic Center Ladies Dormitory became my home for the next 5 years after that.

The place is being run by nuns so we had to abide by some strict rules. We had curfews and mandatory rosary recitations every night at 7 PM. No one but us could go inside our rooms and 'neighboring' was not allowed. Of course we defied that rule and would sneak in friends' rooms to have midnight snacks [taboo as well]. Residents had some kind of structure to follow in order to stay and I wouldn't have it any other way. In the 5 years I lived there I think I had 12 different room mates, maybe more. I stayed in a 4-resident bedroom throughout my stay so if someone checked out, another one would come in her place.

Even if the place is being run by nuns, we also had some fun activities there like Secret Santa followed with Christmas party for the big reveal. What made it fun was it was a joint activity between the Ladies' and the Men's Dorms. There was a bowling tournament every year where everyone in the dorm can join. I never joined the tournaments but I was always present to watch friends play.

But if there was an event that most of us waited for, it had to be the Open House where all the dorms in the compound [Ladies, Men's & Professionals] participated in. It was a 2-day event when everyone could come up to our rooms for snacks and chit chats. We would spend hours decorating the halls for this event and we often bonded during the preps for this event.

I miss this place a lot. I'm not sure how everything is in that place at present but if the little one should go to college in the Philippines and in need of a dorm, I will definitely let her stay in this place. A home away from home...

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