Revisiting My Alma Mater

It almost got called Malayan. I’m glad it’s still called Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), and still standing mighty and proud in Intramuros, Manila!

Retracing my roots one fine day – all because I needed certified true copies of my Transcript of Records (TOR) and Diploma.

My original copies were terribly damaged by the Ondoy flood way back 2009, and now was the only “vacant” or available time I got to take care of some long-delayed errands.

Join me as I reminisce and walk you “through” and “true” to my Alma Mater!

I finally got to visit my alma mater, Mapua Institute of Technology in Intramuros, Manila, after almost 20 long years…

Mapúa Institute of Technology established itself as the leading technological school in the country. It has successfully achieved its global status with an international accreditation for its academic programs.

MIT is a non-sectarian institute for higher learning pioneering in technical education. Initially located on Carriedo Street in Quiapo, Manila, it started out as a night school, with 80 students enrolled in civil engineering and architecture.

Today, MIT is the biggest engineering school in the Philippines, with at least 15,000 students. MIT was established by Don Tomas Mapúa, the country’s first registered architect, on January 25, 1925.

This is where I proudly got my Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering (BSECE) degree.

The first major landmark that you would see that would tell you that you’re almost there. The Manila City Hall!

From the Manila City Hall, you will have to pass through the underpass to reach the other side.

This underpass now has several stalls occupying half of the path. and while there is a sign that says ” Mag-ingat po kayo sa mga mandurukot, salisi at holdaper”, the underpass is just way too crowded with people passing from both directions, and from the middle entrance and exit, that anyone of them could suddenly just grab your bag or run off with your wallet. Very pitiful.

Paging the Mayor of Manila, why did you allow this to happen to the underpass?

Then walk (or take a pedicab) from the underpass towards Intramuros…

Do you see the sign?…You’re almost there!

Check out one of the guards in “katipunero” uniform at the outpost…
His buddy or partner had a neon orange colored vest which, for me,  ruined everything.

…and what’s this? Where’s Mapua? Why is there a “hotel” here? The Bayleaf?

At the back of the Bayleaf Intramuros, I finally found Mapua….for a minute I thought it was no longer there. It seems the hotel just covered the used to be vacant lot fronting the once Mapua entrance.

I finally saw the building that was very familiar to me…..J. Mapua Memorial Hall

But before I went in, I decided to check if the many “karinderias” were still occupying the “holes in the walls” of Intramuros. Yup! they were still there, but they now serve typical viands, and not the same as before where most of them served fastfood like “tapsilog”, “tosilog”, “porksilog”, “chicksilog”, and many other variations of “silog” dishes – a fried meat dish partnered with “sinangag” (fried rice) and “itlog” (fried egg) plus the quickserves like hotdog, hamburgers, fries, etc.

After a not-so-good lunch, I finally went in to my college…

This was located right beside the front gate entrance…

Hhmmm…payphones, but nobody seems to be using them.

It was the week of Rizal Day so there were still exhibits on Rizal…but of course before I admired the displays, I had to go and address my primary objective first at the Administration building….and that’s

Same place during our time….not much has changed.
I later found out, after paying for the TOR and Diploma copies, that I would have to wait a month before they would be available for release.  Bummer!….and you have to call a certain number if you want to follow-up on your request.

So after the bad news, I then proceeded to touring my Alma Mater….somehow, because of all the memories that keep coming in as I roam around the campus, I seemed to have stopped being irritable and enjoyed every minute of my tour. It was delightful to remember my struggles during my college days. There were hardships, especially that I was a working student back then, but managing to survive and graduate was an accomplishment I am proud of.

My “barkadas” from way back high school who also enrolled at Mapua were not  able to shift into the real course that they want so one had to transfer to another school, while another had to continue with the course he didn’t like.

Back then, all of us wanted to have a Computer Engineering (COE) course but they told me that the entrance exams for the EE-ECE-COE courses were too difficult and have a high passing mark, so they persuaded me to take Civil Engieering (CE) instead with the plan to shift later.
But I was already the stubborn one back then (or was I the more confident one), and added an E infront of the CE (just because I couldn’t  add an O in the middle of CE) which made it into ECE (Electronics and Communications Engineering – close enough!

The Don Tomas Mapua bust located at the Mapua grounds

The Mapua logo seal

The chapel was still there…

Hhmmm…this is new. They have a school bus now.

The bookstore was no longer near the chapel but is now near the front entrance…

The gym was still there…I watched my first concert there, and the concert artists were the “Apo Hiking Society”..

I just remembered how difficult it was for me to play basketball. Actually I could play and shoot a ball, but my instructor keeps saying I lack the proper form – does it really matter if you could shoot three points from anywhere?

We used to climb these monkey bars and do pull-ups until our arms were in pain and our hands sore…

The canteen is now bigger…and with many choices. It now occupied even the once used to be a hallway which used to be the headquarters of some of the school organizations..

Of course I wouldn’t miss seeing my own course School of Electronics and Communications Engineering

My favorite subject was Physics during the first two years of college…I think they now have the best looking department here – all glass and aluminum walls.

I think the Chemistry labs  are the only rooms that are not air-conditioned…

Professor Lauro A. Limuaco

The Audio Visual Rooms were still located at the same area of the school.

One of the Audio Visual rooms…

This is at the inside of the Audio Visual Department fronting the AV Rooms.

It’s supposed to be the worst subject during my college days, but I joined a special group which allowed us to be trained in different expertise like tying different kinds of knots, first aid CPR, getting down from the top of a building using a rope – what was that called again? Ah, yes- rapelling! Thank you, Google! This allowed us to escape getting a sunstroke due to long-time exposure to the sun under its scorching heat, and sweating all over until you smell like “sukang paombong” (vinegar) afterwards.

At first I thought it was the Cardinals headquarters, I took a closer look and realized it was actually just the entrance to the ROTC office.

ROTC Bulletin Board – a big improvement from the once we had..

Can you see those fans…I do wonder if they even turn them on…

Mechanical Engineering area

The Administration building where the Registrars and the Cashiers are still located.

Fourth floor chem labs area

This is an art form …believe me!

Mission and Vision

IECEP was my school organization…I was part of the Academic Committee, but I also was a member of COMNET and SOLID. I was also encouraged to run for the Student Council as PRO (because they think I would be perfect for public relations), but had a change of heart quit at the last minute, and just settled to be part of the Election Committee…I really hated politics and just wanted to be part of  the entity that “regulates and implements policies to be followed by these politicians.”

IECEP greenboard – don’t they have students who could do better chalk art?

I had to endure these flight of stairs everyday…

This ASTEC-MAPUA Power Hub is new and I like what it says: “This laboratory is dedicated to the FILIPINO ENGINEER whose vision will power our FUTURE.”

The New Builder staff

We didn’t have these spiral stairwells as well during our time. I think I saw two of them from opposite sides of that building.

Mapua also has these distilled water dispensers located at different parts of the school. Very nice!

You could see the clock tower of Manila City Hall from inside the compound of Mapua…

I think those at the back now serve as the alternative hang-outs for the students…

Another “tambayan” place

Gone are the school orgs at the fire exits – but a few students still hang-out there to study or simply chat with their school buddies. I just realized it was a hazard being there. Good thing no fire ever broke out. However, the fire exit stairs were rusted. If you don’t die in the fire, you’ll die due to “tetanus”.

I owe a lot to Mapua, for its name was enough to impress many of my previous employers.  Many still discriminately prefers the La Salle, Ateneo, and UP graduates, but Mapua was known to produce the best Engineering graduates aside from the other colleges and universities. One of them is Dado Banatao.

Most striking lines: “Help yourself; do good; then help others.” As a child he went to school barefoot. Poverty did not stop him.

‎”“We had no notion of wealth, we didn’t even know there was such a thing as a wealthy person. We studied because our parents told us it was important.”

I liked this more: “the trick was keeping the system the same but throwing away all the useless things”.

We don’t realize it  but the computer we may be using right now may have Dado Banatao written all over it being its main parts largely designed by Banato himself. I am sure that there are still more individuals like Banatao that are not popularly well-known in mainstream media, but have contributed a great deal to society.

I just hope people would also judge us not just by the number and extent of our accomplishments, but by the manner of how we got it – or why we didn’t get it.

Everyone indeed have admirable stories to tell to the world, but many are just too humble to talk about it.

Godspeed, everyone!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 11:33:05

    Thanks for this post, nice to see mapua again! How much was it to request for certified true copies of diploma and transcript of records? And can it be done on Saturdays, are they open? Thanks!


  2. Jorrel
    Nov 26, 2012 @ 20:49:54

    Thanks! I was thinking of enrolling to this school and applying to exactly the same course as you did! Thanks for the directions and the tour blog was AWESOME!!!


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