About 20 years ago, who would have guessed that the sleepy and isolated university in Bago Oshiro would eventually become an unexpected source of comfort for me. Through all those years that my life partner worked there, two of her cousins, our son and now, my niece’s daughter, have studied their way through its halls. More important, I have made friends, partied, and even played tennis with many of its occupants. Through all these, the kinship that developed between us had made me feel at home among them, despite not being a real member of that esteemed academic family.
It was no surprise therefore that during last month’s 24th founding anniversary, I gladly celebrated with the rest of them, and last weekend, the month-long fete culminated with a classical music concert organized by its alumni from all UP campuses.
The concert featured April Merced-Misa, UP Diliman Piano Assistant Professor, classical guitarist Gonzalo Noel Misa, April’s husband and Music Faculty of the Philippine High School for the Arts, and UP Diliman Voice Major Gabrielle Yvette Parcon. This formidable trio from the northern campuses was made even more complete with the special numbers rendered by UP Mindanao’s official choral ensemble, Koro Kantahanay. As an aside, and unknown to many, April is the eldest daughter of proud father Brix, UP Mindanao’s librarian, so in a sense, it was a little secret homecoming and reunion.
The rare occasion of having these musical talents from the UP system together on one stage likewise proved to be symbolic in a way. For one, the night of music was the perfect send-off for UP-Min’s beloved outgoing Chancellor Sylvia B. Concepcion. At the same time, the concert doubled as a warm gesture of welcome by the whole community to the incoming chancellor, Dr. Larry N. Digal.
As the strain of the last note ended, marking the turnover of the mantle of leadership as finally completed, new blank pages, later to be written with challenges and accomplishments, await my adopted comfort place.
More important, the whole affair, akin to a snow-globe, highlights significant fragments and pieces of real life itself: like coming home, moving on and forward, and lastly, the inner child in everyone keenly anticipating and celebrating whatever lies ahead.