UP Law Days – Part 8 – KULE’, OSR, PLJ and the “DORMERS”


[Front page of a relatively recent issue of the University of the Philippines – Philippine Collegian which is now popularly known as KULE’]



I took a chance in School Year 1978-1979 to be the Philippine Collegian editor for which reason, I took the Philippine Collegian Editorial Exams during that term. I actually topped the editorial writing part of the examinations. But, I landed at the bottom-cellar in the scholastic record aspect as the computation of my average grade included grades that I got during my undergraduate stint at UP Diliman. And that was damaging, as the grades comprehended the years when I was trying to pass those mathematics subjects which I odiously hated.


I remember that the topic of my editorial-article  was about A STUDENT-LESS BOARD OF REGENTS, as talks then was growing hotter particularly about the proposal to revive the post of a student regent  as a voting member of the UP Board of Regents.


Looking back, it was the late Fernando “Jerry” Barican (UP Law 75) who became the first student regent in 1969. At that time,  UP President Salvador Lopez issued an edict which designated the UP Student Council Chairman as student-regent but with a mere observer status, thus with no voting power.



The practice of designating the UP Student Council Chairman as student regent however ceased after the declaration of martial law in September 1972. But, 2 years into martial law, the clamor to revive the student-regent post became a hot issue until in 1987, the Office of the Student Regent was formally established. Thus, Francis Pancratius N.  Pangilinan (UP Law 93) got appointed and served as the first Student Regent with full voting power.


Going back to the Philippine Collegian editorship, I remember that the one who eventually got appointed as Philippine Collegian Editor was a lady named Diwata Reyes, and her  editorial which was actually published in the maiden issue of the Philippine Collegian then was written in the Filipino vernacular, in Tagalog. It was good however that I was designated as CONTRIBUTING EDITOR of the Philippine Collegian then. Lately, I got so amused as the Philippine Collegian is now better known and as titled as such (adorning in fact the top-left portion of the paper) as KULE’, with accent in the last  syllable.



I also took the Philippine Law Journal Examination (“PLJ Exam”) which is a prerequisite into becoming a member of the STUDENT EDITORIAL BOARD. It was Prof. Haydee Yorac who was in charge with the task of picking who eventually will become members of the STUDENT EDITORIAL BOARD. What was required of us (those who took the PLJ Exam)  by Prof. Yorac was to write an essay on the topic: LAW AND NATIONHOOD. The privilege of becoming a member of the PLJ Student Editorial Board is that your name gets printed on the masthead of each of the journals that would be issued/released during the term. But, the more useful honor is that a member of the Student Editorial Board  is allowed the use of one of the carrels in the UP Law library. A carrel is actually a small enclosure in the library which is located at the fringes of the library hall. Thus, one would have the privilege of studying in private, inside a seemingly cloistered nook.




Though we reside in Cubao, which is about 5 kilometers from the UP campus, I have been aspiring to savor and taste DORMITORY LIFE, actually, to be a “DORMER”, the corrupted term used for dormitory dwellers. I actually envy those who are staying in the dormitories as I felt that one could have more time to study by staying late in the library. During our time, the Law library was at the second floor of the UP Law Center Building and it was open even on Sundays.



I could vicariously feel, based on stories from the “DORMERS” that dormitory life in UP was fun. Waking up in the morning, one could jog and savor the unpolluted air and quaff a clean burst of oxygen along the UP Oval which is the oval-shaped network of streets located in the center of UP Diliman, eat at the UP Shopping Center particularly at RODIC’S; and say a little prayer at the UP Chapel, all of which are within a half-a-kilometer radius from Ipil Dorm. And the best thing of all, is that one can stay and study inside the UP Law library until closing time.




There were mischievous things which have happened too in the dormitories, based on personal accounts of my UP Law classmates who are “DORMERS”.


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Babes Navarro (UP Law 79) would always narrate with hilarity how she together with her dorm-mates notably Alpha Dayot Haider, Heidi Galos and Babsy Migallos, all of UP Law 79; conspired to covertly bring in a mini-refrigerator into their room at the Ipil Coed Dorm. They packaged the mini-ref inside a large carton box and pretended that it contained law books that they need to peruse and review. But the reason, why they had to “smuggle” in  the mini-ref was actually for a lofty and noble cause.


It has become a flagrant practice then, perpetrated by the more mischievous “dormers” to steal the food of other less mischievous “dormers” from the ONLY large refrigerator located at the dorm’s lobby. And the mischievous “dormers” would even appear too sly and clever, as even if the packed food deposited inside the large ref would carry a warning sign, such as this: “Warning: Laboratory specimen, hazardous to one’s health”, it would still be purloined by the ravenously hungry “dormers”.




The male “dormers” have their share of sad tales too. Not being fortunate as the lady “dormers”, the male “dormers” do not have an accessible refrigerator anywhere inside their part of the dorm. As narrated to me by my classmate Procs Sarmen, that just as to scrimp on their funds, they would ask their laundress to also do the cooking of their food for them, as via such arrangement, it would be less costly for them.



To make for a convenient arrangement for the food-delivery, Procs and the others of his coterie of Cagayan De Oro kababayans notably Rufus Rodriguez, the late Mario Hisuler, Edwin Catacutan and Jesus Casila, all of UP Law 80, fabricated some kind of container (actually a large shoe box proved handy) which they placed via some kind of a crude attachment atop the door jamb. And the laundress not wanting to wake them up too early in the morning would, by using a chair as some kind of a platform, be able to “shoot” into the box the plastic bags containing the food-meals.


Still however, they would upon waking up, joking but grouse every time that the box would turn empty already: “MUKHANG NAUNAHAN NA NAMAN TAYO NG MGA PUSANG NAGSASAYANG LAMUNIN ANG TSIBOG NATIN, AH! [English translation: It would seem that the cats had their fun-filled morning WOLFING down our food!”]. Indeed, it would evidently seem that a clowder of two-legged feline has beaten them again into it……..a group of MEOW… (i.e. Mornings, Eagerly Obsessed at Wolfing)

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