The concept behind the word “forevermore” had been circulating online, and even in casual conversations, after a TV drama of the same title topped the primetime charts. Suddenly, everybody was asking, “may forever ba? (Does ‘forever’ exist?)”
A recent visit to my beloved alma mater, the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (CMC) made me exclaim, “Walang forever. (There is no forever).”
I left the college in 2010. And the five long years that passed created stunning changes to our beloved Maskom.
Surely, the alumni would be surprised upon seeing the new facade.
The old facade was a blue wall, complete with all the traces of the past years.
These marks were gone now, and were covered with new stone tiles, bearing the logo of the college.
During my time, this part of the building was closed. And this veranda was used as a hangout place of a student organization.
Now, the entrance in the facade area is fully operational.
Inside the main building, the U.P. Gawad Plaridel Gallery is still at the lobby, bearing the portraits of the recipients of the award. The Gawad Plaridel is granted to people who showed exemplary public service in the fields of film, radio, television, and print.
The Administration Office nearby was basically the same except for some accents. A water station was also set up at the opposite side.
The opposite corridor going to the photocopy area, complete with the gate, continued to be a favorite subject among black and white photography students.
Artworks now lined the walls. The AV Library and the TV Room swapped places. The lockers and the benches were also out of the place. But the photocopy area was still there.
Going upstairs, the Broadcast and Journalism departments were still on their rightful places. The latter was even given a Certificate of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education.
The corridor on the other side of the second floor was also lined by artworks now.
A photograph of Gilda Coronel was also prominent beside the Ladies’ Room.
Going further, the skywalk, which is the connecting pathway between the Main building and the Annex building, now had tables and chairs.
At the second floor of the Annex building, the Communication Research Department had also adapted some glass doors.
Opposite Comm Res was the new look of the library.
Downstairs, the alumni would be welcomed by more portraits of the more recent Gawad Plaridel awardees. Computers also lined up the old “Film” lobby.
And going left from the stairs would not lead anyone to the Film department anymore. The area was now an extension of the library.
Opposite this was still the Graduate Studies Department, with the new steel name on the wall.
Outside, the alumni could not help but be awestruck by the new landscape.
The old parking lot was now lined with grass and a lot of plants.
At the far end of the area was the new canteen called the M Cafe.
There was still the ramp going to the basement. The dirty bluish green paint was now an artistic representation of the College’s battlecry, “Midyang Malaya at Mapagpalaya (A free and liberating Media)”.
The basement itself was also a whole new entity now. Artworks also lined the walls on this part of the college. The end part now had tables and chairs where students could hold their meetings. The door at this side was also operational now.
At the far end of the CMC compound was the Media Center, the newest building of the college. It finished its construction just before my graduation in 2010. And that was also the time when the Film Department started transferring to its new home.
The new building was equipped with more facilities, like the new Dark Room, since then. The Film Institute’s name was placed at the facade. Tables and chairs were provided for student use. Water stations were also everywhere now.
But of all these changes, what surprised me the most were the parking lots. The one in Media Center and the one in front of the Main Building were all filled with cars, even on a Saturday. And these were not just cars, these were expensive cars.
And this was not evident only in Maskom but in other colleges in U.P. as well.
During my time, the main parking lot hardly had this much vehicles.
Even the curriculums, especially in Film, changed.
With all these transformations, the college was a living example that change, truly, was the only constant thing in this world. And this statement alone already negated the concept of forever.
But I still wanted to believe that forever would exist in two aspects of Maskom, and the whole of U.P. as well.
First was the oath to excellence. All these transformations could take place as long as quality education remains, forever.
Second, I wish that U.P. could forever be a State University for the masses. But it seemed like this statement alone had already been negated by reality.
So tell me, does forever really exist?
The College of Mass Communication sure was now ready for its Golden Jubilee Homecoming happening on the 19th of June. The event entitled “CMC @ Fifty Shades of Great” will celebrate it’s 50 excellent years at F1 Hotel Manila, 32nd street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For more information visit the official event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/540942259372759/ .
2010 photos were taken during my graduation day. Photos were by Sheen Irerick Seeckts, Jerson Guiwa, Nessa Gabrillo and Jay Jomar Quintos.