At the front of Vinzons Hall is Ramon Lazaro Martinez’ 1911 sculpture, entitle “Monumento sa mga Bayani ng 1896” (Monument to the Heroes of 1896), which is a likeness of Andrés Bonifacio y de Castro (1863-1897), the founder of the revolutionary Katipunan (Samahang Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan) against the Spanish colonizers in 1896. The statue was originally located in the Balintawak of Quezon City, where it was believed that Andres Bonifacio first led the Katipuneros to declare their independence from Spain, by tearing apart their residential certificates (cedula), as a symbol that they are not under Spanish rule. It was moved to the front of Vinzons Hall in 1968, as it stood in the path of the construction of the Luzon North Expressway.
Still on east curve road and beside Vinzons Hall is the U.P. College of Business Administration (BA) building, named the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business. Built between 1978-1980, the building was named after Cesar Emilio Aguinaldo Virata (born 1930), a former dean of the BA and was the Finance Minister and Prime Minister in the 1980s, during the latter point of the regime of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos regime (1965-1986). In front of the BA building is the 1978-80 sculpture by the National Artist for Sculpture, Napoleón Isabelo Veloso Abueva (born 1930), entitled “The Spirit of Business”.
At the lobby of the BA building is the 1978 mural “The Barter of Panay” by the former U.P. College of Fine Arts (U.P. CFA) dean and National Artist for Painting,José Tanig Joya Jr. (1931-1995). This is an abstract painting that speaks of the tale of the arrival of the ten Bornean datu (chieftains) and their families in the island of Panay, as they escaped the wars of their homeland. They met with the native Ati people and their chief Markudo, and negotiated to barter a large part of the islands for the new settlers. According to the story, once the Ati agreed to the trade of goods, they moved to the uplands, while the Borneans took over the coastal areas and populate the Visayas region for generations to come. The ten datu are known as Puti, Sumakwel, Dumangsil, Lubay, Balkasua,Bangkaya, Paiburong, Dumangsul, Dumalugdog and Paduhinog. This event is commemorated and colorfully celebrated in the Ati-atihan and Dinagyangfestivals in Aklan and Iloilo.
Moving back westward on the counterclockwise route is the Pres. Sergio S. Osmeña Avenue (named after the 4th Philippine president). At the start of Osmeña Avenue, there stands the UP College of Law’s Malcolm Hall, which was designed and completed by Juan Marcos Arellano y de Guzmán (1888-1960) in 1948. The building was named after the Philippine Supreme Court Associate Judge George A. Malcolm, who became the 1st permanent dean of the College of Law in 1911.
After the Malcom Hall is the U.P. College of Engineering and former U.P. College of Architecture’s home, the Melchor Hall. Designed as the mirror image of the Palma Hall, across the Academic Oval, Arch. Cesar Homero Concio completed between 1949-1951.The building was named afterAlejandro Melchor (1900-1947), who served as the College Secretary from 1926-1940, and he was a Cabinet Secretary under Pres. Sergio Osmeña. Now the engineering students have Melchor Hall all to themselves, as the College of Architecture has moved to its new and permanent home along Reyes Street, in 2005.
In the side road of Apacible Street, beside the Melchor Hall, there is a gigantic structure called the “Slide and Rule Sundial”, which was erected by UP Alumni Engineers (UPAE) between 1968-1972. However, this sundial has gone into disrepair and in has been partially swallowed by the thick grasses.
In front of the Melchor Hall, there is a recent “replacement” to the “Slide and Rule Sundial”, it is the 2010 “Tau Alpha Century Sundial” by Eng. Mario Montejo.
At the corner of Osmeña Avenue and Roces Street are the U.P. Tennis Courts, which is mainly used for the Physical Education classes (PE) and the UP Tennis Club.
After the Tennis Courts, one can spot amidst the thick greens is the rear entrance of the 1976 U.P. Film Center, which is now known as the Cine Adarna. The theater is the home of the U.P. Film Institute, and the renamed the building after the 1941 LVN film classic “Ibong Adarna”, directed byVicente Salumbides.
The park and the many trees beside the Cine Adarna is the Washington SyCip Garden of Native Trees, which was inaugurated in 2012. The area was named after the businessman, Washington Z. SyCip (born 1921), who is noted as the founder of the Asian Institute of Management and the accounting firm SGV & Company. In the middle of the garden is the U.P. Carillon Tower, which is also known as U.P. Memorial Campanille and the Bajo las Campañas. Originally conceived in the 1940s, it was only completed in 1952, as designed by theNational Artist for Architecture, Juan Felipe Nakpil. The Carillon is 39.6 meters, and it used to have 46 tuned copper bells by the Van Bergen Bell, Chimes and Carillon Foundry Company. As it fell into disrepair over the decades, the U.P. administration decided to restore the Carillon in time for the centennial celebrations of the UP (1908-2008). Hence restoration started in 2005, with 36 new bells installed by the Royal Bell Foundry Petit & Fritsen B.V. Holland. Now the Carillon chimes for every hour, and plays a series of songs every 5 pm, which the music of the carillon tower floating throughout the campus has become a permanent part of the UP experience.
The old bells of the Carillon Tower can now be viewed at the lobby of the 1960 U.P. Theater, or now known as the Villamor Hall. Named after the 2ndUP President, Ignacio B. Villamor, the theater has be host to many local and national events, including beauty pageants such as the Mutya ng Pilipinas. Inside the theater is the Aldaba Recital Hall; which was named after the singer and founder of the Opera Guild of the Philippines, Dalisay J. Aldaba(1912-2006).
After the U.P. Theater is the home of U.P. Conservatory of Music, theAbelardo Hall, built in 1963. The complex was named after Nicanor Sta. Ana Abelardo (1893-1921), the Kundiman (traditional Filipino romantic music) composer who is most noted for penning the school hymn “U.P. Beloved” or “U.P. Naming Mahal”.
The westbound route on the U.P. Academic Oval ends at the U.P. College of Mass Communication’s 1969 Plaridel Hall, before returning to the Quezon Hall administrative building. The Plaridel Hall was named after Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaitán (1850-1896), the writer and journalist; who was an integral part of the Reform Movement against the Spanish Colonization (1521-1898), and his pen name was Plaridel.
The 2.2 kilometer tour of the UP Academic Oval ends with administrative building, the Quezon Hall. Although there are other edifices that I have skipped in these articles, they were deliberately omitted to focus on the more historically and culturally significant locations. The next series of articles will focus on the individual sites buildings along the Academic Oval, and the great collection of art in these places.
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