IT WAS a cloudy day and an early afternoon rain shower appeared imminent, but stubbornness got the better of me, so I decided to forego bringing an umbrella on my way to a very late lunch in Dapitan.

Sure enough, the rain began to pour. What started out as slight drizzle turned into a torrential downpour.

Alas, I paid dearly for my stubbornness and as much as I would like to return to UST, I had no choice but to wait out the rain. The wait cost me a good 15 minutes and as expected, a considerable part of Dapitan was already submerged in ankle-deep water.

So what if Dapitan was flooded? Big deal.

However, what struck me most about this recent experience was the fact that the water that flooded Dapitan was tainted with cooking oil, making the pavement slippery.

Unless it was some kind of miracle, it was highly improbable that the oil could have come from the rain. So as my curiosity dictated, I looked for possible sources of this “’oil spill.”

I managed to trace the oil to a pair of drains located right in front of a couple of fast food establishments operating in the area.

The sight made me wonder just how environment-friendly these establishments were.

* * *

The recent UAAP Men’s Basketball finals between archrivals (even though both schools deny it) De La Salle and Ateneo gave fans and supporters (scalpers included) one heck of a show.

However, the television outfit’s effort to hype up the rivalry might have gone one step too far.

During the finals, before the start of each game, representatives for each school were asked to recite prayers (whether or not it was for the sole benefit of their teams) separately.

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Two sets of prayers? Just how many Gods are these people praying to?

It is quite obvious that the two-prayer set-up was an attempt to further fan the flames of a hotly contested war. Surely, these two respected and established institutions should have agreed to just having one prayer for both teams.

God should have been placed beyond the rivalry and commercialism.

* * *

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, The Varsitarian will be having Inkblots 2002, the 4th UST National Campus Journalism Fellowship, on October 24 and 25. The two-day event will be composed of a series of talks by well-established writers and journalists.

This year, the fellowship aims to address the state of campus press and how the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 has affected school publications in general. Hopefully, the gathering of campus writers would be able to come up with sustainable proposals and actions to guarantee campus press freedom.

* * *

Even columns deserve a break.

If there is anything I appreciate most after going through a punishing semester, it’s a nice, relaxing semestral break vacation.

Sembreak, as we usually call it, is a welcome time off for students to recollect and recharge for the academic onslaught that awaits them in the second half of the school year.

A word of advice to my fellow Thomasians, enjoy your sembreak because it is still a long way from summer. Peace.

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