Storm (and Statue) Chasin’

We attended the second of Prof. Ambeth Ocampo’s “History Comes Alive” lectures at the Ayala Museum last week. The topic was Apolinario Mabini, and I definitely learned a lot from the lecture. I seem to have slept through my old history classes, unfortunately, because there were a lot of things that were new to me, like this one:

and this

Anyway, a book always comes with our ticket to the lectures, and this time, we got Prof. Ocampo’s newest volume of the “Looking Back” series of essay collections.

Storm Chasers signed

Aside from a very informative essay on actual historical Pinoy storm chasers and the origins of institutions like the Manila Observatory and PAGASA, the piece that I gravitated to the most was “Tolentino’s Oblation”. Being a graduate of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, this really sparked my interest because, sadly, I know so little about the icon of my alma mater.

Apparently, the model of the statue was not Fernando Poe Sr. and it used to be completely naked until the President of the University back then asked Tolentino to cover its family jewels. I was also surprised to learn that the Oblation standing in front of the admin building is just a replica, and that the original used to be kept in one of the rooms in the upper floors of the Main Library! I spent a lot of time in the reading rooms of the Main Library because I found it more relaxing than the Engineering Library, where everyone always seemed to be frantically studying and studying and studying. Not that I didn’t study in the library, but there seemed to be a lot more nervous energy in Melchor Hall. Plus the Main Lib was where the fiction books were. (Now you know my priorities.) XD

It’s just a bit disappointing that I didn’t even know this when I was still a student. Although, come to think of it, even if I knew about this back then, I would have had to convince some friends to come with me because the sight of the stairs going up beyond the reading room floors used to give me the chills.

I hope to get a chance to see the original Oblation some time.

Next up in the “History Comes Alive” series — Juan Luna: Face-to-Face on August 30.


Add “Storm Chasers” to your Goodreads shelf:

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Snapshots: Love before first sight

I finished reading Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl last week. It’s the Book of the Month of The Mysterious Reading Society, a private Goodreads reading group that I’m in with a few real-life friends.

We agreed not to post (spoiler-y) comments before we meet for our book discussion, but since it’s my Book Hamster who had something to say about a particular passage, maybe this doesn’t count? *adopts innocent look*

Did the Dazed Hamster say “cue Savage Garden”?

(Live performance from the Donny and Marie Osmond show)

*casts Shield spells*   *Protego!*

I’ve added 2 more books to my Book Collection gallery here on the blog:

"Makamisa" signed by Ambeth Ocampo

We met the legendary Ambeth Ocampo during his signing session at the 2011 Manila International Book Fair. I’m excited to finally get a copy of this book after seeing the actual manuscript of Makamisa at the José Rizal memorabilia exhibit at the National Museum during the “Rizal at 150” celebration a few months ago.

"Moondogs" signed by Alexander Yates

Alexander Yates was here in the Philippines during the 2011 Manila International Book Fair as well. I didn’t have the moolah to purchase a copy of his book back then, so I joined the giveaway at I won! 😉

p.s. Apologies for the quality of the photos; I only have a phone camera. 😀