What is or was your favorite place to hang out in UP (whether your own campus or elsewhere) and why?
On your campus, what place would you recommend for your visitors to see or to experience, and why?
What kind of place, facility or service would you like to see (or see more of) in your campus?
The DL Umali Freedom Park, or simply Freedom Park, is my favorite place in UPLB. It is a vast green field in the heart of the campus that serves as an open recreational field for UPLB constituents, residents of nearby communities, and visitors. Many people say that it is UPLB’s version of the Sunken Garden in UP Diliman, although Freedom Park is narrower and longer.
When I was still a student, after a long day of classes and extracurricular activities, my classmates and I would lie down on the park’s clean grass during night time to rest and relax. The open field of the Freedom Park is a perfect venue for stargazing.
At day time, the park is an ideal place for sports and outdoor activities like football, ultimate, jogging, and zumba dancing. Families and friends also hold picnics at the park. The benches that have been installed around the park in recent years also serve as ideal spots for chatting with friends or reading a book.
Freedom Park, aside from its leisure value, also symbolizes two important events in a UPLB student’s life. It is because the park is the venue of the annual “February Fair” and the UPLB Commencement Exercises.
As the UPLB’s visitor program coordinator for three years now, I have seen how visiting students, and others have been fascinated with the Museum of Natural History (MNH). This 41-year old museum has a diverse collection of preserved animals, plants, and microorganisms. Its creative, colorful, and interactive exhibits also showcase our bio-diverse environment.
I encourage future UPLB visitors, regardless of their age, to also experience the educational science tour at the MNH. From the UPLB campus proper, they would have to drive to what we call the Upper Campus. It can be reached a few meters after the welcome arch of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources. The Museum is within the vicinity of Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, a magnificent ecotourism destination in UPLB. In fact, after the visitors have toured the Museum, they can roam nearby and enjoy the fresh cool air of the area while walking underneath the century-old trees around.
Everyone is excited with the opening of the one-stop shop facility of UPLB that is being built. This is the most requested service by the majority of our visitors. Most of the visitors so value their visit to UPLB, they want to bring home something like a souvenir or a product of UPLB.
Personally, I also would like to see a place where UPLB visitors can be welcomed and given a bird’s-eyeview tour of UPLB showing the remarkable places in and the University as an academic community. One of the highlights of the museum would be a light and sound museum showing the events leading up to the Los Baños Raid and the Los Baños Raid itself. Not many people know that UPLB was the site of the historical liberation of an internment camp set up in this very campus in World War II. It would be an opportunity to tell visitors about this little-known event in WW II, about our people’s heroism and courage, and about what has been said as “one of the most daring military rescues of all time.”