Sunday, January 29, 2006

Asian Institute of Tourism

Also lying on the outskirts of Diliman (can we say a Diliman suburb?) is the Asian Institute of Tourism. A lot of Tourism majors wail because of their isolation, or is their wailing remnant of the charred endings of some parts of their buildings?

I'm obsessed with top floors even if it means going into creepy, cold staircases that lead to the real upperfloors. When I got to the 2nd Floor of the AIT building, I know I wasn't on the top floor because I saw another level (see, that set of windows) above me. Aside from that, the unused elevator clearly indicated that there was a 3rd Floor.

And there it was. A real rooftop. I can't access the floor itself, all entrances were barred, but I could see beds and the curtains were still hanging. Of course, there's the collection of old furniture. And fantastic views. You can see the Iglesia ni Cristo in the most intimate level as compared to the other buildings that spot it in campus. Commonwealth Avenue seems to look different at this height (and also at this height).

The AIT Complex is the first Tourism Institute in all of Asia (inagurated by Tita Meldy in 1978). The floor I've been to was part of the AIT Hotel, leased by Brentwood Corporation back in 1989. According to some helpful student tambays in the Tourism Management Society, it burned down in 1994 (ergo, it's listed in their official timeline as "closing down"). They also asked me if I did see anyone up there.

What's on top of all this?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Non-Building Post: Peyups LJ Community

I fulfilled quota (tee-hee: 35 posts, 33 of which are valid) but I still have tons of pending buildings to post, and some key buildings to check out. But that's beside the point of this entry. If you're from the UP System or in the entire Filipino university Online following, might be on your bookmark, even if you're not part of the forums (they stopped signing in people for some time). Anyway, an LJ community was patterned after the Peyups phenomena. And if you like this site (or my lightly-edited pictures -- yes, I actually have good composition skills when it comes to my digital ... why-oh-why with manual I can't do it, I don't really know), better check out the new layout of the community created by userinfoqueen_of_paine

What's on top of all this?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Technology Business Incubator

TBIMost of us undergraduates really have no use whatsoever to the UP Ayala Technopark. They don't hold "regular" classes there for us younger ones. But being Topnotcher, I just had to see the heights of this area for myself.

The Technology Business Incubator (TBI) was the first building opened in the UP Ayala Technopark, an actualization of a vision that started in 1986 to boost the Science and Technology programme of the University. The TBI was established in 1993 and inagurated in 1997, as funded by the DOST.

As I climbed up the beautiful grand-ish staircase that ended on the 2nd floor, a bunch of poinsettias where there. Hanging on to the Christmas season, hm? On this floor is the Conference Training Center and SHARED Asia Pacific (A Project of the Center for Economic Policy Research). Towards the end of the hall was one of those access-points to the "real" upperfloor.

Ta-da! Technology is supposed to procure higher output (to adjust to the diminishing marginal productivity of both capital and labour), and in the long run, alleviate this:

A squatters area in Katipunan and Elizabeth Hall - a Girl's Dormitory in the background.

The other building in the Technopark, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute, was everything I disliked about government units. It's actually a pretty good common trend. They tire you out with bureaucratic measures, and you leave the place not accomplishing anything ... because of what? Undecisive second-in-commands and unimaginative minds. "This isn't a school, this is a research institute" my ass.

What's on top of all this?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Chemical Engineering Laboratory

I did want to be a scientist once, when I realised that being a doctor was such a generic kid dream. I then realised that I just appreciate scientific concepts, I don't have a knack for researching about them. Plus, the schools I end up in are hubs to the worst-funded labs in the country (yes, even my private Catholic all-girls high school had bad labs). Major turn-off? Luckily, the UP Chemical Engineering Laboratory didn't turn me off. Getting additional funding? Maybe. Or most probably, private corporate sponsors - in this country, they work more efficient than the government anyway.

The site was still under construction but of course, I had to go up. I know the building was labelled as lab, but there's a Computer Room and a Conference Room in it. There are five other labs as well: Process, Thermal Systems, Kinetics, Materials and the Environmental Engineering Laboratory. Don't ask me to differentiate, I just know they're there, paved along those narrow catwalks that have scary railing that "protect" you from those heavy equipment downstairs.

This one is the Distillation Unit. If Chemical X isn't there, you might still want to try to be a Powerpuff Girl.

View of the trees and the dorm across the Lab Building.

What's on top of all this?

National Center for Transportation Studies

Let me just remind my dear readers that yes, this is still On Top of UP Diliman, and not a cross-post of say, Usapang Kalye. I know what you're thinking... where in Diliman is the National Center for Transportation Studies? Well, it exists, and it's there right behind DILC.

The guard thought I'd be going for class. But she let me up, since the highest was just the second floor. In it were a library (what's new?), Director's Office, a Transportation and Environmental Laboratory, ... and a non-NCTS unit, the Electronic Data Processing branch of the Office of the University Registrar.

Funny you have to manually transport yourself in this building. And here's your very traditional fire escape (I sense that this will be a topfloor favourite soon). But before you leave, check out the smile-your-face effect on the overlooking middle courtyard:

What's on top of all this?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Music Annex (ANX)

Like its "motherbuilding", you'd really hear a beautiful mesh of music from this building, one of my favooooooourite things.

Don't listen to me, I'm just a topnotcher. And luckily, these music people had *positive* externalities in my "note-taking".

View of the Annex Garden, behind that the main hall.

What's on top of all this?

College of Music: Abelardo Hall

I'd say there's more where that came from, because I saw the note late. Anyway, you're in the College of Music in the afternoon, everything is better heard than seen. :D

What's on top of all this?

Diliman Interactive Learning Center

Any first timer in the Diliman Republic would probably be surprised of this slab of Emerald City in the campus. It's not my first time here, because the top floor of this building is the HQs of the school's Computerized Registration System team. Meaning students, lions, t(h)in men and the like, seek their personal wizards in this pseudo-Oz.

Personally, I just wanted to drop the "business" in the major that the database dictated me to have (my major is Economics, but they put me in Business Economics). Nothing happened the first time, so I re-walked the yellow brick road. The gold standard isn't my standard anymore.

I was entertained by two student team members, Jack and Juris. Jack was a girl. Then I saw a spiral staircase and after those two became my personal "Good Witches" ... and they were nice enough to allow me to follow my instinct.

Real upperfloor? Computer stocks. Actually, they're just boxes. Boring. Someone get me back my ruby slippers.

What's on top of all this?

Monday, January 23, 2006

UP Computer Center

You might be surprised how some topfloors are just the 2nd Floors, but I guess the bigger surprise is how the UP Computer Center is an abberation to all tekkie-ness. Both the fa├žade and the interior is still 70's-ish old, as if it never had a single paint job since it was first built. Not that it's bad, but it seems more like an unmaintained government unit (which technically, it is) than a computer center.

The second floor really is more like a house than anything. There's the main office of the Computer Center which handles the administrative duties, yet it was really relatively empty. During pre-CRS season, this is where individuals scurry to get their UP Webmail Accounts. Of course, since it's midterm, no one worries about the next semester's registration so the floor was empty. The Webmail account should really be renamed because no one uses it for mail anyway, and if they do, they usually have it forwarded to their Gmail or (insert name of their default e-maill servers). The account is handy for two things: CRS and Wireless Internet access.

And with that, Ping-Pong tables joined the ranks of Libraries and School Furniture Tambakan in our Topfloor Favourites.

What's on top of all this?

National Engineering Centre: Juinio Hall

Hello, building deux on the Eng'g Complex. The National Engineering Centre (a.ka. Juinio Hall) was established in 1978 and is the college extention that carries out transactions that merge the academe to private firms. Ergo, if commercial/government ventures need some structural consultations with the academic pool the institution has to offer, they do project proposals here, and not in the College of Engineering Administration.

The staircases are made out of metal, very engineering-ish and the industrial era-like.

There are three access points to the top floor of the building, which is the 4th Floor. It's one of those buildings that has the typical rectangle shape and a huge rectangular courtyard right smack the center.

Well, way up here, you have several headquarters. There's the UP Miners Club, the Eng'g Web Team Lounge for Student Assitants, the Undergraduate Thesis Laboratory, Japan Official Development Assistance (JICA), and tons of offices for the University of the Philippines System - Controller Budget Office (UPS-CBO).

Well, there's the guard station over there. I decided to look for my not-so-long-lost godfather whom I last bump into in this building back when I was still in high school. He used to run the NEC, which was excellent, and the other excellent part was that he relocated on the topfloor!! He has several offices there, and holds some of his classes and research in that floor (under the Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering).

There were tons of potted plants on this floor. Guess that's postmodern industrialisation for you.

What's on top of all this?

College of Engineering: Melchor Hall

It's a well-known fact that the Academic Oval should be more-or less symmetrical. Thus, Palma Hall is *almost* the same building as Melchor. So I expected the 5th Floor to be on top of the Engineering/(ex)Architecture building. Classrooms, an AVR with a kitchen, a defunct elevator, paranormal mirrors, a rusty gate that leads to a tambakan, a view towards a "higher" floor, (Eng'g) students who don't know what the Architecture people used it for, and a janitor who has never been there.

What do you know? I took advantage of the Gateway. It wasn't difficult, but it was noisy, which was perfectly covered since the floor was getting crowded for an exam to be facilitated by P&G. My stealth points are increasing again.

I don't do ladders, but I'm surprised I managed the steepest staircase I've seen in my life. It was so scary.

There was a cat sitting on a chair that moved out. The entire floor was creepy even in broad daylight. Even with the cat, I somehow felt it's a mice's kingdom. I think the school's computer servers are here, generators, and some funky dome that contains a spiral staircase that ends on top of the dome.

These models became a total clue that this was an architecture tambakan.

The view from the top of Gonzales Hall (Main Library) was breath-taking (you can also view Iglesia ni Kristo on another side). Almost as breath-taking as the allergens that were present in that room. I can't believe I was THIS HIGH to go THIS HIGH.

What's on top of all this?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Vargas Museum

Of all buildings in UP Diliman, you'd be surprised that the Vargas Museum would be the only building with *no* pictures in this blog. Why? You'd have to go there and see for yourself.

So if you are, I suggest you go on a Wednesday, where entrance is free. Although even if you do visit on *payable* Museum Hours (Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 AM to 4 PM), prices range from PhP 15 - 20.

The highest floor on this building, the third floor, happens to be the most boring as well. The staff literally had to stop me from going up (being topnotcher, intuition dictates me to climb every staircase). What's there? Library (typical) and Archives. Offices for technical and artistic support. A sitting room.

When I went to the basement (counterintuition of the topnotcher), I chit-chatted with a personnel. She told me sometimes, they hold art exhibits on the third floor, and it was off season. The nice seasonal gallery was on the Edge (first floor), featuring the Art of Nelfa Querubin, a beautiful collection of patterned, inscribed, fired and glazed art that literally rocks. The collection will be here up until the 15th of February, so if you don't have a Valentine, just re-institute your love for art. (charot)

What's on top of all this?

NISMED: Science Teachers Training Center

NISMED main building was relatively harder to sneak into conquer. It was fun *trying* to gain access to it. Deputy-Director Dr. Marlene was afraid that I'd commit suicide (really?), and even had flattering remarks on how fabulous I looked. *cough -carrot- cough* so she cordially asked Mang BA to escort me.

The staff uses this rooftop for their parties, a likely choice especially if the forecast would present clear night skies. There were nifty objects that stood on the rooftop. It's also the aircondition unit repository.

There are rooms on this floor, as you can see, there's an Observatory Room. It's currently un-used because the ex-manager, Edmund Rosales, moved to work for a TV station. And on the floor, there is also a Studio. They "shoot" stuff there, but is void of equipment.

Well, since we all want to learn scientific and mathematical teaching methods in this building, I proved that there would be no free-falling human-beings to be facilitated while I clicked on my camera an infinite number of times. My blood won't be splattered on these beautiful landings, and guess what Dr. Marlene, maybe you just saved a life.

What's on top of all this?

Vidal Tan Hall

Vidal Tan Hall. One of those buildings that I absolutely have no clue what its for, although I had fond high school competitions in its Auditorium. Under the National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education Development, The top floor of the hall was the third floor.

I'm getting tired of all the fake topfloors that I have to cover but end up covering because I never think it goes a notch higher. Well, this one, I skipped for obvious reasons. I don't do ladders.

I never knew I had acrophobia until this project started. So forget skinny rusty ladders that lead to actual rooftops. I'll just walk in doors.

How apt. Someone WAS watching. The room I entered used to be leased by the UP Open University.

I guess it was okay that I was cordially escorted by the janitress out after that woman in the Chemistry lab saw me. Most of the rooms in the floor (around 10 of them) are for instructional development (there were rooms like High School Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, et al.). The janitress personally felt that their building was ugly. I had to disagree with her. Maybe you probably do too.

What's on top of all this?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mme Ventanilla's effe-ce-mod.

I was intending to look like an orange, but they insisted I was a carrot.
Carrot you say? I shall bring you to my vegetable patch. But first, I need to print my access letters.

"Oh, you can do it in Pop-I."
"Popeye? Don't they serve chicken there?"
"Not anymore, it's the Population Institute."

And then, there it was. A rooftop. A rooftop I should've been to, but haven't been to. I now knew where my vegetable patch was going to be.

Hmph. Them camwhores. Although they did find my lush, green "home".

Ah... overlooking the lairs of those homework slaves. I wasn't tall enough to capture the courtyard without falling off the ledge. Although I was LITERALLY ON THE ROOF.

Even if I intended to be oh-so-orange, you can't help but feel so blue. I miss Pong. I'm so glad I still have Ping.

What's on top of all this?