The UP Shopping Center Fire

While not the most glamorous of UP Diliman icons, the UP Shopping Center has an unquestionable place in the hearts of the community. It was always there to lessen the burden of students when it comes to photocopying readings or binding their thesis outputs. It was a one-stop shop for any imaginable need.

Today, many memories will come flooding as the establishment went down in flames. The fire started at around 7:15AM and it took two hours before the authorities declared fire out by 9:29 am. The investigators will still determine the cause of fire; initial details from firemen point to stall number one as the origin of the fire.

Stall number one.
Stall number one.

The fate of the vendors and micro-entrepreneurs who have made life more bearable for UP students is still undetermined at this point. Their livelihood grinded to a halt and it remains to be seen how they can cope.

In recent years, we’ve seen other UPD infrastructure icons burn to the ground: the Faculty Center, the CASAA Food Hall, the AS Pavillion II (Chem Pav) and even the UP Alumni Center. But similar to the destruction of Thor’s Asgard, it’s not the place that matters but the people and their memories.

When I was in college, I would hide in one of the computer shops and monitor my NBA Fantasy teams while listening to music. Time would quickly pass by since the hourly rate of the computer rental was not that expensive.

When I would get hungry, Rodic’s would be my default destination for its Tapsilog. Recently, I have been appreciating their Sinigang na Baboy serving too.

I would always buy the pistachio flavor from Fruits in Ice Cream too, at only 25 pesos per scoop. Or order a customized fruit shake.

I have also tried ordering glasses from Sarabia Optical which is really a low-key stall where indie artists sold their music. The souvenir shop is also reliable for trendy UPD gear.  What were your favorite UP Shopping Center memories?

Here’s a tribute to the renovated washroom, the photocopying machines, the barber shops, the money transfer stalls, the school supply stores and all the other nooks. All will be missed. And we hope you can rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan.
UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan.
GMA News Reporter Bernadette Reyes.
GMA News Reporter Bernadette Reyes.

One of the stall owners.
One of the stall owners.

[Entry 253, The SubSelfie Blog]

About the Author:

Subselfie - Bam
Bam Alegre is the founder of and writes from time to time as a guest contributor. He is a Senior News Correspondent for GMA News (2012) and part of the team that won GMA News the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for the news coverage of super typhoon Yolanda (2013). Previously, he worked behind the scenes as a Segment Producer for State of the Nation with Jessica Soho and 24 Oras (2009-2012). BA Broadcast Communication 2007, UP Diliman. Read more of his articles here.

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