EVERY civilization that sprung in the world, was built beside rivers, along shores, and on islands. Remember that Mesopotamia is a civilization built between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and the Chinese civilization upon the Huang He and Yang Tze rivers. Even the great Greek civilization was founded on the shores and close islands within the Aegean Sea.

At one point of Great Britain’s history, when its sanitation was in peril, the country literally walked on poop. Nations in Africa are suffering from decades of famine due to lack of water. This shows that the rise and fall of a civilization or a society mainly depends on water.

The Beato Angelico Building was tested using this exact standard. For three consecutive weeks, Beato Angelico, the UST structure that houses the Colleges of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) and Architecture, experienced water interruptions. Everything happened without advice from either the administration or the student council.

Like a civilization, an academic society depends on specific important utilities such as water in its daily life. Most especially for CFAD students, who constantly deal with paints and other messy media, water is needed either as base or for washing. Both faculty and students experienced the yellowing color of the comfort rooms and the ammonia-scented corridors. A crisis was indeed happening.

One of my sources said that she almost got urinary tract infection because of the dysfunctional comfort rooms, which dysfunctional state can be attributed directly to the insufficient water supply. Classes that use water as paint base were interrupted not just once. People cannot pee, and the smell that lurks within the structures is far beyond what can be defined as tolerable.

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In a letter to the college administration and the student council, the Buildings and Grounds (B&G) Office apologized for the insufficient water supply because water comes all the way from Dapitan and that when it reaches Beato Angelico, almost nothing is left. The letter came after the water crisis was seen on the Internet. The administrators and the student council as well addressed the issue only after the world knew about it.

The issue of Beato Angelico’s troubled water supply is a relevant issue for everyone. We need water for most of our activities; from using the comfort rooms to cleansing our hands after its use; and to make our Beato Angelico existence more bearable. Without water, lives are disrupted, life is uncomfortable, and the capability of our leaders is tested. Precious money has been invested for everybody to experience the best water supply, and this concern made us question where our money for water is spent.

To make situations worse, no alternative was proposed by any of the offices concerned. They have not even thought of sending rations using the UST fire trucks, or to outsource water supply temporarily until the problem is solved. The waters tested our leaders’ capacity to provide viable alternatives and to provide temporary solutions.

At a certain point, those who have complained were even requested to keep quiet about the issue. This includes myself. Some were ordered to be silent and have even received threats.

Water tests the fortitude of those who address the truth, and those who attempt to suppress the truth with lousy politics and libelous replies — a lame way to address the water problem reeking from the Beato Angelico’s comfort rooms.


The water issue has good and bad effects on the college. On the adverse effects, it gave the students discomfort, and gave light to the grave incompetence of our student leaders. On the bright side, we all saw how we operate under the most meager situations — a testament of our flexibility and commitment to pursue our craft no matter what.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: The author is the current editor in chief of Hiraya, the official student publication of the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD).


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