The Ateneo de Manila University is well-known as the school which, out of all the schools Jose Rizal studied in, he remembered fondly during his last moments. Also, the University has a beautiful campus, full of places for you to enjoy. Ateneo also has many traditions which students enjoy participating in. Here are some of these places and traditions, viewed from the eyes of Ateneo students, so you can learn more about Ateneo and its wonderful campus.
1.The Batibot Tree
There is a prominent tree between Science Education Complex and the Covered Courts called the Batibot tree. The tree is called such because it was used in the filming of the famous kiddie show, Batibot. Since it is famous among Ateneans, it can be used a landmark or way-point. Also, you can sit on the nearby benches while waiting for a friend or your special someone.
2. The LST Cafeteria
If you have some time and want to have a lunch with a view on campus, there is a cafeteria that sells cheap food at the School of Theology. It’s not near the part of campus where undergraduate classes are held, so you would have to either take a tricycle or the E-jeep, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to sit at one of the tables that overlook the Marikina Valley. The view, the breeze, and the cheap food make it worth the time.
3.The Battle of Bel/Cervini Field
Every year, some Western History (HI 18) classes have to put on a “Battle of Bel Field”. It is called this because it is held at Bellarmine Field, the biggest field on campus. However, it is also known as the “Battle of Cervini Field” because it has been held in Cervini Field, near the Church of the Gesu, on at least one occasion.
The Battle of Bel Field is an event where students can pick whether they are Athenians, Spartans, or other great armies of the past. Heck, one batch even decided to have a Game of Thrones-based battle. Students have to make their own armor, chant and flags, as well as plan how to be the best team. They are given roughly a month to prepare for the battle. Also, it is not a recreation of a certain historical battle, so it’s fair game to anyone. As a result, kooky crossovers can happen, like the Athenians of Themistocles fighting the Roman Imperial Legions. Due to this, it can be said that the Battle of Bel/Cervini Field can really make history interesting.
Every year, in order to welcome freshmen, Ateneo organises an Orientation Seminar or OrSem. During this two-day “seminar”, freshmen are introduced to the Ateneo campus and culture. There is a tour around the school, there are briefings about the different schools, the grade requirements, and other important things like that.
Another way this introduction happens is through the OFilm. The OFilm is created every year especially for OrSem, and is often a spoof of another movie. It aims to show parts of Atenean life while still being creative and often hilarious. Ever since Father Jett Villarin, SJ. became the University President, he has been making a cameo appearance in each OFilm. As a result, you’ll never know what the OFilm can offer you.
5. Filipiniana Section
Ateneo’s own Rizal Library has a collection of many rare books, along with other works useful for your research. However, the crown jewel of the Rizal Library, other than the American Historical Collection, is the Filipiniana Section, for it contains a wide collection of works on the Philippines, including old books that cannot be found anywhere else. Due to the age of some of the works, remember, dear students, that you are not allowed to take them home. Instead, you can photocopy the pages you need at the nearby photocopying station. This is also true for the newer works, since the library wants to ensure at least one copy is available for everyone. As a result, if you are looking for a rare book on the Philippines, or if all the copies of a work you need are checked out, then the Filipiniana section is the place to go!
Before graduation, graduating students are given an opportunity to attend an event called Blue Roast. It is like a sendoff for them, and they are able to enjoy performances from different organisations in the university like the Company of Ateneo Dancers. Graduating seniors are also able to nominate, vote for (and win!) awards like Meme Lord, and Perpetually Sawi (heartbroken), among others.
During Blue Roast, graduating students are also given a blue rose which they can they give to someone who is special to them. However, it doesn’t have to be given to someone you like romantically. You can give it to anyone who has changed your college experience for the better.
The Ateneo Campus is Yours to Explore
Even though these are some of the most famous places and traditions inside Ateneo, there is more to see inside the campus. Just keep exploring the campus, and only Divine Providence knows what you will find! Who knows, you may discover a new eating spot or hangout, which future Ateneans can use to their liking!
Edited and Revised by Daniel Francisco P. Del Rosario