|The chapel (standard:drama, 880 words)|
|Author: jopoguerrero||Added: May 22 2009||Views/Reads: 1740/858||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Death of pro-poor stance|
They called themselves TLU, short for The Lesser UPians. Rush and Aleister were both philosophy students of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Rush was an outspoken Ilocano while Aleister was a diffident Ilonggo. Despite their regional differences, they have many things in common – they both failed in varsity try-outs, choir auditions, editorial examinations, honor rolls, love quests and financial leeway. These failures set their frequent afternoon meetings at the UP Chapel – a calming circular structure with a hanging huge cross just above the middle altar. It was a drizzling afternoon when they first met. Aleister was silently talking to God, trying to force the Creator to give him some money for a class field trip. He really wanted to join the activity to resuscitate his dying grade, plus a chance to sit beside his crush during the trip. Aleister was about to harass God more when his prayer was interrupted by loud mumblings behind him. The disturbance came from a short, skinny and promdi-looking student. He was unmindfully gesticulating as he gazed at the hanging cross. “Uhm, excuse me,” Aleister signaled. “Not so loud, please.” The mumbling guy was taken aback. Embarrassed, he apologetically approached Aleister. “Oh, I'm very sorry,” the guy said coyly. “By the way, I'm Rush.” Amused by odd name and behavior of Rush, Aleister chuckled as he also introduced himself. That was the birth of TLU. Since then, Rush and Aleister were inseparable. They shared with each other their ideas, dreams, plans, pains, frustrations – they were particularly disappointed of the rapid shrinkage of the pro-poor stance of their school. They both agreed that UP is not a “University of the Poor” anymore. For them, it has become a “University of the Pigs.” In their meetings at the UP Chapel, Rush regularly gave fiery speeches: On how money defeated the real meaning of the right to education; how the UP enrollment slots were gobbled-up by those who can afford to go to private schools; how the rich kids stole the education budget for the poor; how the socialites and multi-millionaire students took over their campus; and how their tambayans were transformed into parking lots for classy cars. Aleister loved the discussions of Rush, not only due to the revelations, but also due to the confirmation of the truth of their agitation. The words of Rush lingered even after his death. It was a drizzling afternoon when Rush died in the arms of Aleister. Aleister was waiting for Rush at the UP Chapel when he heard a commotion at the UP Infirmary just across the street. It seemed that a patient was desperately protesting and bawling at the attending doctors and nurses. A few moments later, Joey, a philosophy senior, came rushing to him. “Aleister, you must go to the infirmary at once,” Joey shouted. “Rush is badly hurt and he doesn't want to be treated. He is looking for you!” “Why? What happened?” Aleister got up hurriedly. “He was drunk,” Joey explained as they scampered to the infirmary. “He Click here to read the rest of this story (58 more lines)
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