First Family Weekend Getaway: UP Diliman

My idea of a perfect vacation
– the travel getting there is not tiring nor stressful
– a lot of things to do and see in one area. Meaning, we don’t have to go to another town just to see the next attraction
– cheap so we can bring our yaya
– child-friendly

University of the Philippines –  Diliman, one of my favorite places on earth, my home for 4 wonderful years, meets all four criteria. It was a perfect place to celebrate our anniversary and for our first ever family weekend getaway.


We stayed in the University Hotel. Good thing, I always bring my UP ID with me. The hotel offers discounts to UP students and alumni. We got a triple room. UP is not famous for being luxurious so I was not expecting much. For only 2K per day, I had no reason to demand and expect a lot. Our room was not bad at all. It has a water heater, flat screen TV with cable and aircon. What I liked is that our room was beside Mont Alvo, the in-house spa. I had a massage twice. Oh, and because my hubby is allergic to traffic, we arrived 4 hours before the 1PM check-in. The friendly staff of the University Hotel allowed us to check-in early for no additional cost. Suuuweeet!

From the hotel, this is the quiet path that lead us to the campus church. How I miss looking up and barely seeing the sky because there are so many trees. After we have settled, we went to Shopping Center, for brunch.

We ate in Rodic’s and had the best tapsilog ever. I wish Rodic’s delivers in Paranaque. Anyone  who knows a Rodic’s-style tapa recipe?

After eating, I went to the bookstore/school supplies store that I used to frequent. Even if I don’t have a use for it, I bought a blue book for old times sake. I was not able to ask though how much it costs nowadays. If I am not mistaken, bluebooks were sold for 2 pesos per piece some ten years ago. Maybe, they cost 5 pesos now. Then, Franco discovered a second hand bookstore, Soft Pages. Soft Pages, located at the second floor of the stall that sells Zagu, is the oldest tenant of Shopping Center. I wonder why I never noticed it before. The place is a gem waiting to be discovered. There are so many hard-to-find books there. Look at the top 100 books that I wanted to buy. As I was working on a tight budget, I had to say goodbye to Where the Wild Things Are and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Our current favorite book is the Giving Tree. It is a sad tale that has a moral lesson for both giver and receiver.

We then went back to the hotel to for a mid-day nap.

While my boys were sleeping, I went to this bakery in Dagohoy. I bought freshly baked spanish bread, cheese bread and ensaymada from my old “suki”. I passed by this very nice flowers in Balai Kalinaw. Can someone please tell me the name of this plant?

The rain finally stopped. We were ready to explore UP!

Sight seeing: My dorm for 3 years, The Church of the Risen Lord (tama nga ba?) , Vandalism, and of course, Kwek Kwek! I miss eating fishballs and kwekwek. I only eat them in UP where the sauces are in condiment dispensers. That way, customers can’t double dip. We could not find the isaw vendors. I was told that they transferred already.

Next stop: Kalayaan Dorm, the happiest place in UP. Call me OA but I was holding back the tears when I stepped inside Kalayaan for the first time in more than 10 years. There are three songs that never fail to make me smile when I hear them. Ligaya by Eraserheads because that was the song of our wedding on-site video. Nobody Nobody but You because that was the hit song when Aki was born. And Mambo Number 5, because my dorm mate Alex used to sing that all the time. That is how big of a role being a dormer played in my young life.  Am i making sense? There are has been some changes in Kalay although not major ones. The tarsier-call cards-operated payphones are gone. There is a mural of the UP campus in the lobby. The TV is much smaller now. The food I heard is still provided by Somos Catering. Let’s just say dorm food is part of the experience so good luck dormers! I was surprised to see a lot of bikes parked in the entrance. During my time, only Edmon, a quiet guy from Nueva Vizcaya, if i remember correctly, had a bike.

Next destination: Vargas Museum. I was really excited because of the 4 years that I lived inside the campus, I was not able to set foot inside this museum. From Kalay, we took an Ikot jeep.  I have forgotten how long Ikot rides are and where the unloading areas are. Unfortunately for us, Vargas Museum which is open until 5Pm, closed at 4:30PM because of brownout. Oh well. We just took pictures outside the museum.

Up next: UP Oblation. I will have a separate post for this. Oble is so photogenic even the photos that Aki took were nice. One of my frustrations is that I did not take pictures of myself with Oble when I was still studying.  I also wish I had pictures with the sunflowers in the University Avenue. Anyhoo, we have done a lot of walking so we stayed in the grounds behind the Admin building to rest.

All the walking that we did got us feeling tired and hungry. We really wanted to take a jeep to our next destination but walking was the fastest way to get to Bahay ng Alumni. We passed by the Carillon Tower. I thought it was playing an off-key version of UP Naming Mahal. Franco corrected me and said it was actually playing Maalaala Mo Kaya. In the lower right picture, Aki is crawling towards the Bahay ng Alumni. After several steps, he would transform into a crawling cat. At first, his meow meows were cute but soon it got irritating because he would not stand up and listen to us. No begging nor threatening could convince Aki that he was not a cat so we just let him crawl until he got tired. We just wiped his hands clean when we arrived at Chocolate Kiss. Can I just say that their chocolate cake and sour cream  cheesecake are heaven on earth?

We then walked home. I was hoping to watch a French film at the UP Film Center and have a mid night snack in Teacher’s Village but seeing how tired hubby was, I knew that hubby will be snoring as soon as we get to the hotel. Thank God, our room was beside Mont Alvo. I had a relaxing massage just before I went to zzzzz-land.

That’s it for our very tiring first day. Thank you for reading!
I will post about the Oble and the acad oval next.

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29 thoughts on “First Family Weekend Getaway: UP Diliman

  1. Maqui! Would it be weird if do the same getaway that you did when we are just living in here in Pasig? 🙂 hahaha. I’d really love to try that though – take my mag-ama to a campus tour. I’d want to do the same things that you did and more! 🙂 More posts! more posts!

  2. MJ says:

    Hi Maqui!

    I’ve been a student of UP for 8 years (Bachelor’s and Law degrees). Just graduated last March. Let me answer a few things you asked:

    1) Yep, the blue books are sold P2 per piece still although the blue books law students use are different – way thicker and costs P10 each.
    2) The Catholic church is called Parish of the Holy Sacrifice. The one you mentioned (Church of the Risen Lord) is the protestant church at the other side of the road.
    3) The isaw vendors (Mang Larry’s and the one located beside Ilang-Ilang dorm before) are now located at the empty lot across UP Law Center. It’s almost right across the International Center.

    I hope you discovered “The Street” when you went to UP. That’s what I call the street where Lutong Bahay is located. It’s now filled with other food stalls that offer cheap and yummy food.:)

    • Hi MJ! Let me reply to your comment again. I was half asleep when I replied to comments last night.

      Thank you for the informative comment!
      Now I know where to go for isaws.
      How can I forget about lutong bahay! Is Lutong Kapitbahay still around? Will definitely check out that street when we go to UP again.
      Thanks again!

  3. Hi Maqui! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while. I was transformed as a fan of your financial management skills. I appreciate your posts about financial planning, shopping and how to save money. Ang galing! 🙂 How I wish na maging smart at disciplined din ako tulad mo regarding money matters 😀

    I’m not sure with the exact name of the flower you saw in Balai Kalinaw. But from the looks, I believe it came from the hibiscus (gumamela) family. Medyo madami kasi silang variants, pero from your shots, mukhang relatives sila.

    Have a great day and I’m looking forward reading more of your posts.

    • Hahaha! Pwede rin. Bring an id with your maiden name siguro. I can’t remember kung kailangan talaga ID or any proof na UP grad pwede na. Baka lumang classcards tanggapin nila.
      Faye, i will let you know pag makakabalik kami sa UP. Plan namin ni hubby bumalik pero minus Aki para ma-career ko ang jogging lessons. Baka gusto niyo sumama.

      • di ko na sinilip student number at baka madyahe ako. gradweyt na ata ako ng elementary magge grade 1 ka pa lang. waha. Vinzons hall lang ata ako nag-make memories sa UP Diliman coz that’s the place I’m most frequent at nung nasa UP pa ko. But gusto ko talaga dalhin si Maia sa sunken garden at lagoon para lang gumulong gulong doon. anyways, sige sige game sa jogging session minus the kiddos! just let us know. at ituloy na natin ang Fun Farm trip! 🙂

  4. ang nice!!! i suuuuuuuper miss UP too!!! mukhang masaya nga ang ganitong field trip… you know what naloka ako nakita ko student number mo! hahaha mas matanda pa pala ako sayo??? 😀 well by 1yr lang naman, mine’s 98-66001… 😀 forever memorized haha!

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