Date a UP Dormer

Date an Iska. The reasons are obvious. Date an Iska who lives in a UP dormitory. Let me tell you why.

Date a girl who buys her meals inside UP. Date a girl who can live on less than a hundred pesos per day. Date her because she can still get excited over eating a 30-peso meal bought from the aristocart, whose owners may or may not be scrupulous inadhering to food safety standards. That is a moot point after a week or so of cart food breakfasts, anyway, because by then, her stomach has probably developed immunity against harmful bacteria. When she has tired of the cart’s unchanging menu, she has the contact numbers of all on-campus culinary establishments who boast of specializing in deliveries but somehow take morethan an hour to deliver orders to a dorm a mere fifteen minutes away from them. Still, she chooses to endure pangs of hunger and postpone meals because fastfoods, though decidedly more prompt in their deliveries, charge exorbitant delivery fees and give measly servings. On the few times she succumbs to herMcChicken and hot fudge sundae cravings, she rallies her friends to order along with her so they can split the 40-peso delivery fee. She can even live on cup noodles, oats, and instant coffee, especially during finals week. Her frugality is further seen in her jumbo-sized toothpaste and bath soap 3pid-packs, which cost far less than sachets in the long run. She won’t turn her nose up in anywhere you’ll choose to bring her to- of that you can be sure.

Date a girl who has spent the darker half of her college life in a residence hall. (The lighter half, the daytime hours, she has most probably spent in classrooms or tambayans.)Date her because she has long been practicing patience. Between the long check-in queues that compete for her time and energy against subject enlistment semester after semester to the towel-lined cubicle doors that greet her every morning, she has long since learned that patience is a virtue. Draining as UP enrolment is, she reserves enough time and energy to spend in dorm lines so shecould spend the night wearing herself out by covering her new closet and unpacking her things. There are times she exercises her wits instead ofpatience and hangs her towel in the cubicle door even before she sleeps so she can take a bath as soon as she wakes up. However, because the resident pilfering princess takes everything from laptops and celphones from dormrooms, to Toblerone bars and fresh milk  from the communal fridge, to freshly laundered underwear and sachets of fabric conditioner from the laundry room, to Pond’s facial cleanser and pails from the comfort room, a dormer runs the risk of becoming a robbery victim by hanging her towel before the morning rush. Threats of poison, biblical curses, and mambabarang are all no match for kleptomania so in the end, she prudently chooses to wakeup early to ensure her towel’s safety. If the simultaneous ringing of alarm clocks in her corridor don’t wake her up early enough, she waits patiently for her turn in the cubicle. If you still doubt her patience, try the dorm WiFi at night.

Date a girl who daily shares her bathroom with a hundred other girls. She knows how to dress quickly because much of her time is consumed with waiting and fervently wishing that those before her would skip conditioner today so they would take less time to rinse their hair. When the need arises, she can take five-minute showers and four-minute breakfasts and she can take less than thirty minutes total to transform herself from a groggy zombie in PJs to a beautifully-groomed lady ready to take on the world. On her more desperate moments, she had tried shampooing her hair in the sink so she needed only to wash her body inside the cubicle. She is as economical in the minutes of her morning as in her money.

Date a girl who has lived away from her parents for months at a time. She values her independence and considers resourcefulness as one of her assets. She has lugged large bags and boxes containing all her things to her room alone during check in. She has reassembled her electric fan in the middle of the night after she accidentally kicked it in her sleep. She has tried (probably unsuccessfully) to fix a loose bathroom faucet. She has broken a padlock after locking her key inside the closet. She has summoned herculean strength to pack a year’s worth of stuff before the 12noon deadline for checking out. She has learned to do the things she used to ask her father to do at home and  yes, she’s proud of her accomplishments.

Date a girl who has a collection of dorm life anecdotes that rivals Ted Mosby’s New York City stories. She has participated in silly dating games she had no intention of winning and revealed her embarrassingly sharp memories of G-Mik, Esperanza, Doraemon and Asian Treasure in a jologs quiz while in her classy mini-dress and heels during dorm formal dinners. She has relived her childhood by representing her corridor in games like chinese garter and agawan base , or pulled on a towel in an improvised game of tug-of-war, and maybe, even took a ball full on the face from an athletically-challenged teammate on a dodgeball skirmish- all of these during Sportsfest week. She has narrowly lost the December Door Design contest by cutting out chichirya wrapper stars to hang in her doorjamb or by pasting Christmas figures on her door, including a sheep the myopic judges intelligently took for mounds of snow. She has belted outKampana ng Simbahan  or faked dancing talents to the tune of Tuloy na Tuloy pa rin ang Pasko or got nominated for the Annual Kalabasa Awards  whose categories included Payatas Award, Alpha Kapal Muks, Ms.Acadmode and Banyo Queen on the dorm Christmas party. She has abandoned a calculus problem or a position paper to go down to the lobby and listen to frat men serenade her and her dormmates on Valentine’s Day. She has shared her academic woes to a group of newly-met people during a bible study on the lawn. She has watched Disney movies, Hollywood action films, Star Cinema romantic comedies and Japanese horror in the TV area during dorm movie nights. She has borrowed Jane Austen classics, Sophie Kinsella chicklit and Dan Brown mysteries from the House Council Library and maybe, even had her name published in the “Overdue Books” list for a Precious Hearts Romance novel (Stallion Series: Jigger Samaniego) she had been so careful to return on time. She has even shown her solidarity in the fight for greater state subsidy by joining in candle-lighting ceremonies and dormers’ camp out. She has collected bloopers and enjoyed it. She has suffered public humiliation and lived to retell (and exaggerate) it. She has lived through the dorm’s constant bustle of activity so she’ll also appreciate a quiet evening with you. She understands the efforts involved in preparing for an activity so she’ll appreciate yours in planning for your date. She is able to find fun in practically any activity so you can take her out in any kind of date and she won’t complain.

Date a girl who has interacted with all kinds of people for an extended period of time. Friends come and friends go but a roommate is a roommate for at least a sem- that is a dormer’s motto. She has come to accept that not everyone is easy to live with and even the best roommates have bad days. Diversity has obtained a whole new meaning for her because of all the people she has met in the dorm. Just trying to get along with strangers have taught her responsibility, respect, and pakikisama. She has befriended the ultra-shy roommate who spends half her life in front of her laptop. She has successfully claimed tutoring sessions from the resident GC. She has charmed the dour janitress to say “hi” back to her. She has spent entire nights fantasizing about her future love life and discussing current events with her friends. She has sharpened her conversational abilities and can now carry out discussions on a wide range of topics because of all her dormfriends, which include the varsity player, the activist, the nerd, the Christian, the TV addict, the only child brat . She has played Florence Nightingale to a roommate sick with fever. She has obeyed orders and listened to lectures on cleanliness from an obsessive-compulsive friend. She has given orders and lectures on cleanliness to a pack-rat and slob friend. She has sung second voice to a concert diva in the shower so she won’t upstage anyone. She has discovered that enjoyment is the secret to endurance, and endurance to enjoyment. She has earned a place in her roommate’s thesis’ acknowledgment page. She will earn a place in your heart.

Date a girl who posts an FB status on homesickness every start of sem.  Date her for she values family time. Because she only gets to spend a small fraction of the year at home, she has long realized how precious family bonding time is. She misses her family often and she may even succumb to tears of homesickness at times, but that only goes to show what a loving daughter and sister she is. She knows that Facebook pokes and text messages are poor substitutes for a hug and a face-to-face conversation with the people she loves. She appreciates the simple comforts of home such as homemade meals and good TV relay. She tells “I love you” to her parents whenever they call her. She devotes a chunk of herallowance to prepaid cards so she could listen to her parents’ voice, hear her younger siblings’ “I miss you, ate” and check on her aging dog. She is sweet, caring and not stingy in her affections because she has realized that life is not always generous with time with the people she loves most.

Date a UP dormer- on second thought, don’t. At least, not now. She is having a wonderful time discovering herself, making a niche forherself in college, building relationships, learning independence and interdependence that she might think she’s not yet ready for a relationship right now. She is busy balancing academics and dorm life that she might think there’s not enough time for her to spend with a boyfriend. Date her, but wait. Pursue her because a more datable girl you’ll never meet. Sweep her off her feet and date her when she’s ready. Date any UP dormer, but watch out for the kleptomaniac.


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