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Lost in translation, far from home

Two Ateneans recount their experiences in adjusting to college, in light of growing up and belonging to different linguistic groups.

By Lyka Janelle Pacleb

Dormers and non-dormers alike attend Ateneo Resident Students Association’s 2018 TALAB talk entitled Bisayanihan, which taught them the basics of speaking Bisaya. According to the residents of Ateneo de Manila University’s University Dorm (UD), the lingua franca of the UD dormers is not Tagalog or English, but Bisaya. (Photo from Ateneo Resident Students Association)

Culture shock in going to university isn’t just a breeze. Adjusting from high school to college is one thing; moving into a new language community is another. It can get hard when the opportunity to adapt more easily is diminished, especially if one’s own linguistic group is but a minority against the more dominant Filipino and English. 

There has been different testaments of young probinsyanos moving to the big city, or of young Filipinos overseas moving to the motherland, but only so little has talked specifically about adjusting to language. With 121 foreigners and at least 585 hailing from different provinces, Ateneo de Manila University’s (ADMU) student population can be considered a very diverse one. Among such a dense population are narratives of Ateneans finding their place in the big blue sea — their navigation and journey continuing in the years ahead.

Leaving home ain’t easy

Emerson Mananquil, a sophomore BS Management Engineering student, has spent all his life in the comforts of San Fernando, Pampanga. Even though his native tongue is Kapampangan, he began learning how to speak Tagalog and English at an early age, mainly in school.

Mananquil’s familiarity with Metro Manila only extends to the field trips and family vacations he had before going to college. When he moved in to ADMU’s University Dorm (UD) last year, he admits he initially had a hard time. “I encountered several challenges in adjusting the way I communicate my thoughts,” he says. “There are times when I unconsciously use Kapampangan words in talking to my classmates.” 

Not being able to talk in his native tongue also felt quite restrictive for him. “I feel more like [myself] when I use the language we use in the province,” Mananquil admits. “I also feel more comfortable and at ease, compared to using Filipino or English.”

On the other hand, Jochebed Burias, a senior AB Psychology student, grew up outside the country but with a purely Filipino family. She’s also spent most of her years living in Chiangmai, Thailand, and considers Thai as her first language.

However, her parents taught her Tagalog along with Thai. “As I grew up, my parents made sure that I spoke Tagalog even if we were in another country,” Burias shares. “This is to [to] ensure that I won’t be lost when I go to the Philippines.”

Like Mananquil, Burias also became familiar with the Philippines, specifically Metro Manila, through the trips her family had. “I [used to come] visit here once in a while, but [I have] not actually lived here,” she says. “I knew about the traffic and the ‘commute’ life, [as well as other traditions like] karaoke and Christmas parties becoming family reunions.”

Jochebed Burias (second from left) discusses with fellow Third Culture Kids (TCKs) studying in the Ateneo during Ateneo Student Exchange Council’s TCK Cafe. (Photo from Ateneo Student Exchange Council)

In her freshman year, she found it difficult to adjust, especially with how she perceived the use of spoken English among students. “What was difficult in the Atenean setting in terms of language is that speaking [in] English is a status symbol,” she says. “But, for me, I don’t care about that [now], because [I believe] we [lose] the essence of being a Filipino if we talk in English.” 

In spite of this, Burias’ ability to speak Tagalog became her edge. “In Ateneo, [nalaman kong] baluktot din naman yung Tagalog [ng mga estudyante], lalo na yung [mga] burgis,” she shares. “In Ateneo, I found myself [as] more Filipino, because mas Tagalog talaga yung accent ko.” (“In Ateneo, I found out that the way other students speak Tagalog was also imperfect, especially the rich ones. In Ateneo, I found myself as more Filipino, because my accent sounds more Tagalog.”)

Finding the way

It took a while for Mananquil to find his footing in the Ateneo. Primarily, he had to get more used to speaking in the two other languages he knows. “I tried to blend in with my friends in college,” he says. “Eventually, I got used to speaking Filipino or English.”

However, Burias confesses she is still going through the adjustment period. Although language plays a big part in the said adjustment, she deems the loss of an immediate community as a heavier burden. “What bothers me most is finding a community,” she shares. 

“[I lived for] 16 years in Thailand and I have my community there, [tapos] bigla nalang nawala; walang naka-replace in the last four years na nandito ako,” she adds. (“I lived for 16 years in Thailand and I have my community there, then I suddenly lost it; nothing has replaced it in the last four years that I’ve stayed here.”)

Because of his experience, Mananquil advises Kapampangan freshmen and fellows to immerse themselves in the new community they belong in. “[I think it’s best to learn] through proper observation and associating oneself to the present culture,” he says. “Acknowledge the difference, then try to learn the language.”

Meanwhile, Burias gives emphasis in finding a solid community within the university. “Find community; know you’re not alone,” she advises. “And I think the institution [itself] should also do something about it and be aware of the phenomenon.”


Black Scoop’s about to have three branches along Katip. Here’s why.

By Tatiana L. Maligro

Wintermelon Milk Tea
Black Scoop Cafe is one of the up-and-coming milk tea shops in the metro, and it’s become a hit among Katipunan students. Photo from booky.

Katipunan is no stranger to Cafes. With at least two big universities along the area—Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines-Diliman — Katipunan is home to at least 15 different cafes. Each cafe has its own personality, from homey vibes like Ella and the Blackbird to more rustic cafes like Butcher’s Cafe (formerly Equatorial).

There is, however, one cafe that seems to stand out. Although its ambiance does not exactly stand out to other cafes along Katipunan, its business is doing well enough to have two branches along the area (Esteban Abada and Regis Center), with a third one opening soon at UP Town Center.

Every student’s dream menu

One of the many reasons why Black Scoop is doing well in Katipunan is the menu.

Unlike other cafes along Katipunan, Black Scoop has a menu that goes beyond the typical cafe. With creative frappes such as Hershey’s Cream Cheese and unique flavors such as Brown Sugar Latte, a customer will never run out of options.

Aside from frappes, Black Scoop’s menu is also one that goes beyond coffee. 

The cafe has been popular for its menu that includes milk tea and ice cream, each with unique flavors of their own. One of the unique flavors includes milk tea with Grass Jelly (Php 95 for medium)  and Black Bison (Php 85 for medium) flavors. 

For students who are milk tea fanatics, they also serve their milk tea in liters.

Black Scoop’s milk tea gallon in comparison to two regular sizes of milk tea. Photo by @elizabethxluna on Twitter.

Black Scoop’s ice cream is also something to look forward to. Aside from the Mascarpone Soft Serve, the cafe is also notorious for its Milk Tea ice cream. Both are at Php 120.

Black Scoop’s Mascarpone Soft Serve. Photo from

Drinks aside, the cafe also has good cakes, pasta, and sandwiches ranging from Php 150-250.

With a colorful menu and cheap prices, it is no surprise that students flock to Black Scoop branches along Katipunan.

SEE ALSO: Milk-Tea Ice Cream Is Real and We Know Where to Find It


Aside from the wide variety of food and drink options for affordable prices, Black Scoop also meets the top requirements for students studying in cafes: WiFi and outlets.

With these menu, WiFi, and outlets in the mix, students like Mariana Gardoce (2 AB COM) cannot help but frequent Black Scoop.

“It has one of the cheapest drinks and [electric] outlets,” she explains.

Black Scoop has also proven to be a decent place to do group work when the usual spots on campus are full, especially with the outlets.

“It’s not the best [place to do group work],” Gardoce clarifies, “But yes to the outlets, no to the ambiance.”

Single-use plastics? Not in Quezon City

Last December 1, 2019, Mayor Joy Belmonte announced that the Quezon City Government has approved Ordinance No. 2876 last October. This ordinance would be effective starting in January 2020, where there will be a transition period for businesses that would be directly affected by this. According to QC District I Councilor Dorothy Delarmente, this ordinance prohibits the distribution and use of single-use plastics in all restaurants and hotels in the city.

A sea of plastic waste and trash. Photo by Michael Vargas for Philippine Star

Banning single-use plastics would not only be a step for sustainable development for the city but it will also reduce the amount of trash the city produces. The ordinance also considered single-use paper based materials. In order to impose stricter measures for this ordinance, there will be fines for each offense. Violators of this ordinance will be fined a thousand pesos for the first offense, three thousand pesos and revocation of the environmental clearance as well as an issuance of a cease and desist order for the second offense, and a hefty fine of five thousand pesos along with a closure order and a revocation of one’s business permit for the third offense.

Vendors and small businesses raised their concerns towards this ordinance as it greatly affects their business operations. There would also be an increase in costs in providing better and more sustainable materials for customers to use. Miguel Barnes, a burger shop owner, stated: “Customers heavily rely on single-use materials for both convenience and personal food hygiene and sanitation,”

Single-use utensils are no longer allowed. Photo from Rappler

Malacañang, as well as environmental groups, have been commended the government for taking action towards reducing waste and developing sustainability within the city. Earlier last month, President Duterte expressed his support for the ban of plastic. Panelo stated: “Wala pa sinasabi si Presidente but I suppose all local governments will follow since the President made a stand on that,”. Multiple environmental grou have agreed that by enacting these measures, the plastic waste will be reduced and that it would move the country’s consumption and production forward as there would be a promotion of sustainable practices.

As said by Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator, “This action from the ground should encourage the speedy approval of a robust national legislation phasing out single-use plastics and other disposables to advance the consumption and production agenda,”

[COLUMN] Youth Speaks

Students in shambles due to vaping ban

Source: Shutterstock

President Rodrigo Duterte had recently announced a vaping ban throughout the country to alleviate the growing users of vape and e-cigarettes.

Recently, the Philippine National Police arrested 243 people in public places to comply with the president’s issuance of the ban, taking 2,878 operations for these people to be apprehended.

The ban, pursuant to Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, followed Duterte’s executive law order to arrest individuals vaping in public following the first reported case of vaping illness in the Philippines. 

However, many believe that the issuance of this order was only made due to the government’s selfish reasons of having no profit nor gain from the e-cigarettes circling around the country, being that there is no tax implicated in the selling of these products.

While the Department of Health fully supports the ban, many are expressing their concerns that the vape ban is doing more harm than good, as most vapers use the product as an alternative to cigarettes. With the ban in progress, these vapers have no choice but to revert to actual cigarettes.

“As a student, managing a part time job, studying for my academics while consequently doing efforts for my organization is enough work in itself, I started vaping about four months ago when I decided to quit cigarettes.’ Ven, a fourth year management student from Ateneo says. ‘The vaping ban implemented by Duterte has caused me to relapse back to cigarettes, which has more negative effects than vape. As much as I want to stop all in all, it’s hard to balance everything without having an outlet to let out to.”

While others still less likely follows the ban, “I still vape, I think for me, it’s more of not getting caught when I vape.’ Fran, an Atenean junior studying humanities, says. ‘Not that I want to disobey the president, but I think for me, it’s such a pointless ban to implement. Because they [the government] gain no income from it.”

Various people have also raised their concerns regarding the issuance of the ban and everyone has voiced out their sides on the matter, especially students. As they are the ones most targeted by this ban, being that students have chosen to vape as an alternative in coping with stress, either academic or personal reasons. I personally side with the students in calling out the vape ban to be absurd being that there is no actual law that states vaping, in itself, to be not allowed in the country.

Furthermore, the order just shows how the governments redirection of focus shifts, while it does claim the main reason is due to unstudied chemicals that may harm the body, I believe it goes the same way for cigarettes and how both outlets still causes harm.

Whether or not one is vaping or smoking cigarettes, the risk and harm still stands. It is up to the own person’s discretion to make a choice for himself and while Duterte’s order still pushes through, I ask for transparency with its issuance.

[COLUMN] Dormer Diaries

Table for one, please

Denise Marcelo (1)written by Denise Marcelo

Let’s begin with why being vegan is easy, especially as a college student and a dormer. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s a relatively inexpensive lifestyle. On the weekends, I cook meals plentiful enough to last an entire school week, then bring them with me to my Katipunan residence. I get to save a lot of money by subsisting on my own food. Turning vegan erased the excesses of Food Panda surcharges and Regis trips from worry.

The convenience ends there.

“You’re vegan? How?” is the expression of disbelief that possesses most people when they learn about my diet. They either think it’s unfathomable, ridiculous, or extraordinarily admirable that I am vegan, forgetting that up until that moment of revelation I was quite simply, like everyone else. I want to think I am just like everyone else.

But there are social repercussions to negotiate with. I’ve gotten quite stealthy at navigating them. Feigning normalcy is easy when my arsenal of excuses respond promptly to raised eyebrows and the classic “why aren’t you coming?” questions. The art of deception lies in trotting out a fantasy where my character is implicit. It’s striking a believable balance between nonchalance and regret as I deliver all the plausible reasons as to why I can’t meet my friends in Jollibee, as if God himself had forbidden everything from disrupting the continuity of my studious nature.

I can usually tell when this part of me borders on being discovered. In occasions where food is presented to me directly or when I eat my packed, vegetable-dense lunch in plain view, I’m found out or forced to admit what I am. Most of the time, it’s the latter. I throw my hands in the air and sheepishly attest to being vegan, then entertain the barrage of curiosities that flow from this confession.

I guess what I hate about being vegan most is that it puts me squarely at the center of people’s attention. I start wishing that I could disappear beneath my skin. I know my friends mean well, but I’ve also grown tired of explaining that there are no intricacies to my veganism. I can literally eat anything not made of nor derived from animals. Pretty straightforward, right?

But there is a sense of nakedness that comes with being accidentally unmasked and with it, an indispensable shame. Shame over having to bring my own food when my friends eat in a place that can’t accommodate. Shame over suppressing my hunger pangs when I forget to bring my food, but join them anyway. They say that food brings people together, but that rings false for someone like me, who spends most nights quietly microwaving pre-cooked dinners or in the few places that recognize me or at the very least, vegetarianism.

Some JSEC stalls, like Wrap It Up! (and the fallen Blendabowls and Healthy Co., the health-conscious community misses you) offer veganizable selections, but it’s not enough to feel included in the research and deliberation that goes into crafting their menus.

Fortunately, there are spaces where people like me set the norm, not the exception.

Tucked behind Yellow Cab in the FDR Building is Roots Katipunan, a co-working space and retail store that has an in-house vegan eatery. Along Esteban Abada is Dahon-Dahan, a health restaurant that sells a number of vegan-friendly wraps, salads, and rice meals. A little farther in UP Diliman’s Area 2 is Good Clean Cart, a fully vegan enterprise that doles out fast-food and Filipino cuisine for cheap. These places are often what I mean when I say, “Sorry! I have an LT tomorrow. Can’t go to McDo with you guys.” 

At the heart of the secrecy I shroud my veganism in is that I don’t want to be treated any differently. When you are approached like a mystery and studied with exotic fascination, there comes a point where you don’t want to be seen. Going unnoticed is a blessing that permits me to share essential college experiences with my peers, where this part of me does not eclipse everything else that I am.

Because frankly, I don’t feel that different at all. And because I don’t feel different, neither do I think that my friends should care so much about my choices. But the reality is that I am still a rare statistical deviation in a population of omnivores, and it shows in the calculation veganism requires. The timing of my meals, the contingencies for events where I am hard-pressed to find something to eat. And this is something I’ve accepted.

It has dawned on me that the struggle of being vegan in an unfriendly environment ultimately mirrors an inner struggle for self-acceptance. I have readily adapted to the externalities of at all. Yes, it’s mighty difficult, especially in our samgyupsal-crazed society. But maybe I can make being vegan easier, if I finally overcome the mentality that it can only be done in isolation.

Bottom’s up, Katipunan!

By: Andrea Mikaela Llanes

Rarely is the college experience an alcohol-free one. With the various bars that come and go along Katipunan Avenue, one is sure to find their fix no matter what it may be. In this article, we look to some of the best bars to in Katipunan—and how to make the best of your time at them!


When you want to sing your heart out: Perfy’s Gastropub

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, table and indoor
Photo from Perfy’s Gastropub Facebook page

Perfy’s Gastropub’s opening wasn’t much in its first few months; initially, people couldn’t make out what it was meant to be with its rather costly entrees and even pricier cocktails and mixes. Their complete game-changer was when they installed a karaoke. Perfy’s has since become the go-to when there’s an itch that ought to be scratched. It’s not uncommon to see groups order a bucket of beer and pass around the mic, belting their frustrations out over Filipino favorite tunes and pulutan. With its well-lit interior and barkada-friendly options, Perfy’s is a good karaoke bar for even the most tone-deaf of bathroom singers.

2F, 318 Katipunan Ave, Quezon City, 1108 Metro Manila
3PM-2AM (Mon-Sun)

When you’re in the mood for “chill-numan”: The Rooftop

No photo description available.
Photo from The Rooftop Facebook page

There’s a cliche saying that good things take time—getting to The Rooftop is definitely one of those “good things.” Situated on the top floor of Center for Culinary Arts, one would have to brave several flights of stairs to get to Katipunan’s first rooftop bar; the payoff is often considered worth it, though, with the breathtaking view and the airy vibe you’re bound to get. The drinks—taste and price wise—are just right, and the music is never intrusive. If you’re looking for a place to drink that’s a little more intimate, Rooftop is definitely the place to be.

287 Katipunan Ave, Quezon City, 1800 Metro Manila
4PM-2AM (Tues-Thurs), 4PM-3AM (Fri-Sat)

When you’re craving good booze and better deals: Taco Joe’s Food Shack and Walrus Katipunan

Taco Joe’s Food Shack and Walrus have become staples to the Katipunan drinking scene, and rightfully so. Situated next to each other, the two bars have their distinct little eccentricities that have spared them from the alleged Katipunan curse of bars constantly shutting down.

Taco Joe’s claims the throne of the neighborhood’s taqueria joint with its menu of Mexican staples, but it claims its bar-goers hearts with its quirky murals and good music. The ates and kuyas behind the bar table are always generous with their alcohol and are bound to dance along as the night goes on; it just goes to show that despite the dimly lit interior, there is rarely a dull, quiet moment in Taco Joe’s, no matter how small of a space it confines its charm in.

No photo description available.
Photo from Taco Joe’s Food Shack Facebook page

3rd Floor, 318 Katipunan Ave, Quezon City, 1108 Metro Manila
3PM-2AM (Mon-Sat)

Right next door is Walrus, named after The Beatle’s hit song “I Am the Walrus.” Almost reminiscent of a bar you’d find on a beachside, Walrus is warm and cozy with its welcoming ambiance and fresh cocktails. There’s never an absence of people to meet—a good night can bring in people from beyond Quezon City!—only proving that there’s no better backdrop to getting to know someone than Walrus’ blaring music and good food.

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling
Photo from Walrus Katipunan Facebook page

3rd Floor, 318 Katipunan Ave, Quezon City, 1108 Metro Manila
3PM-2AM (Mon-Sat)

Both Taco Joe’s and Walrus have daily deals that you can look out for on their social media accounts; whether it’s discounted liquor bottles or Buy One Take One wengwengs, it’s always worth checking out to make sure you get a bang for your back!

When alcohol is looking a lot like a solution to your problems: VSpot Restobar

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and indoor
Photo from VSpot Restobar Facebook page

Fairly certain that you just bombed your last long test? VSpot Restobar is the place to go. VSpot is relatively more spacious than other Katipunan bars, having room for a mini-arcade, a television, and a beer pong table. The drinks are affordable but not to be underestimated; more often than not, one can easily get drunk with the blaring party music and the multi-color strobe lights. When in doubt, you can also easily grab one of their cheap meal options to sober up! The worst of days are bound to be solved—or forgotten—after a night at VSpot.

299 Katipunan Ave, Quezon City, 1108 Metro Manila
2PM-2AM (Mon-Sun)

When you’re not quite sure what you want just yet: The Pop Up

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd, outdoor and indoor
Photo from The Pop Up Facebook page

When unsure ventures around Katipunan prompt barkadas to insist “Ikaw bahala” (It’s up to you), The Pop-Up is where everyone can be happy. With its open-air, mobile, container van set-up, Pop-Up houses not only options for alcohol but anything and everything you could want to eat—from rice meals to shawarma to unli-Samgyupsalamat! The different establishments sell various kinds of drinks, depending on what you’re the mood for. Even the most uncertain are bound to find something to enjoy in Pop-Up. It’s also worth looking out for performances or concerts held at the venue; there’s always a celebration of Pop-Up, and it beckons for you to come and join.

273 Katipunan Ave, corner Xavierville Ave
11AM-2AM (Mon-Sun)


Once you know how you want your night to go, your alcoholic escapade is bound to be worth the hangover in the next morning. Remember to drink responsibly—but make the best of your college memories along the way!

Kaibigans of Katipunan

Source: Instagram | @MarielLopez

Nestled in a cozy book at the corner of a cafe is 20-year-old Filipina exchange student Mariel Lopez. Studying Communication for a semester in Ateneo de Manila University, Mariel is originally from Aurora, Canada, who has often found her herself visiting the country she has since left and loved since she was five years old. 

Mariel was born in Mandaluyong Medical Center and spent the first five years of her life raised in a small townhouse in Quezon City. Following her father’s desire to be independent from the family business, their family, along with three children moved to Canada, where her two other siblings were born.

Currently, Mariel has fully immersed herself back to her home country, as she connects with the locals as well as students on exchange program. Jumping back from Canada and the Philippines was something Mariel has always struggled to balance as she constantly tries to balance the cultures of both countries.

“Exchange was such a fun, uplifting, and memorable experience. Meeting and becoming friends with Filipinos as well as other exchange students was so the highlight of my time here.’ Mariel says, ‘Also, spending time with my family was really rooting experience.” 

Mariel’s parents as well as her three younger siblings moved back to the country last 2017 when her grandfather passed away and her father continued to help in their family business of concrete. 

Before coming back to the Philippines to study, it was always just her and her brother, Augusto, studying in Canada. 

“I think I experience cultural exchange different from the other foreigners because I look at it from an entirely different perspective. I’m reconnecting to my own culture and experiencing everything first hand, it’s like making up for the years I was in Canada.” She says, recalling the semester that has recapped.

“The most beautiful part of all this for me is seeing what my life could have been if my family never moved. I think I would be a completely different person.’Mariel says in thought, ‘But the good thing is that even if I am this eclectic mix of two cultures is that I have people to help me navigate my way around the lifestyle of being Filipino-Canadian.” 

After Mariel’s semester in Ateneo, she hopes to stay here for a few more months until going back to her university in Canada, although she hopes to settle down in the Philippines after she graduates.  “I will always love this country, and this is a place that I consider my home.”

[COLUMN] Footnote

Battle of Katipunan

Image may contain: Andrea Mikaela Llanes, smiling, standing, sky, mountain, outdoor and nature
By: Andrea Mikaela Llanes

Back in high school, I prayed to every possible higher power that I would get to live in Katipunan for college—but not for the university I’m currently in. 

For as long as I can remember, my high school self wanted nothing more than to go to University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD). Although I took the college entrance tests of the “Big Four”—University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines, and Ateneo de Manila University—so much of my heart was set to become an iskolar ng bayan. It didn’t hurt that UPD had my dream course: BA Journalism. 

Needless to say, I didn’t make the cut for Diliman. Despite passing three out of the four, there was no other choice in my parents’ head: I was going to go to Ateneo. It was only ever supposed to be either Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) or UPD, anyway. 

However, I would be lying if I said I had no apprehensions about AdMU; if anything, I was ready to beg my parents to let me file for reconsideration in University of the Philippines Los Baños—my mother’s alma mater—for as long as I got to be in the University of the Philippines (UP) system. 

I didn’t want to go to AdMU. I subscribed to the misconception that AdMU was for spoiled snobs who were more often than not disconnected from society; to my high school self, AdMU was nothing but a breeding ground for nepotism and corruption. These were the people that my friends and I had laughingly dubbed ‘burgis’ (bourgeoisie). I was convinced that I didn’t belong among them. 

UPD was a different story. I felt that I could be a little more of myself if I were to go to a UP school; jologs, if it had to be anything in particular. In UPD, it wouldn’t matter as much if I came from the province. And I could only imagine how much more affordable the canteen food might be in UPD, compared to AdMU’s pricey lunch options. 

Amid these judgemental misconceptions and preconceived notions, however, is one big reason that had me yearning for UP and hesitant about AdMU: politics. 

I had grown up in a household that did its best to stay unconcerned with Philippine politics. A little later into high school, I ended up educating myself about the state of our society—the corruption, the injustices, the history that has been revised and neglected. I was appalled that all these things were happening, but there’s a sense that little can be done if you’re from a small city in the outskirts of God-knows-where.

Katipunan was not that city. Katipunan, in my eyes, was where things could afford to happen. From my social media accounts, I followed the rallies and the movements, swearing that I would one day extend my help beyond online activism. 

Most of the championing I remember seeing was from UPD. The act of protesting had long since been attached to UP schools and, despite my parents’ silent distaste, I had always itched to be part of that scene. As Lin-Manuel Miranda so poignantly put it, I have always been “young, scrappy, and hungry.” I wanted to be part of the revolution! I wanted to put this passion to use! 

AdMU didn’t seem like the place for that. People would snidely say there was nothing to be found on the other side of Katipunan but an apathetic Ateneo; students who could not be bothered to take a stand, who didn’t see the point in rallying. Why would they? These were people of privilege, a population of the Philippines who could probably live their whole lives in ignorant bliss. It was such a terrible thing to think of anyone, but it was the truth that I was fed. It was the genuine fear that I had as I enrolled in AdMU, readying myself to put on hold my fight for the good fight lest I offend some government official’s child with my opinions. 

In my two years insofar of being in AdMU, I have learned two very important things. 

The first would be that I was wrong. I have never been more glad to admit that I was wrong. 

Indifference is not the norm in AdMU. Although there are minor instances—the constant, infamous low voter turn-out during Sanggunian elections—it would be a mistake to judge AdMU by its select few who choose to remain uninvolved. I have met so many people like me, so many students who support causes that matter and answer every call to arms. 

A well-known quote slams Ateneo for servicing only the elite, but I like to think that times have changed. The AdMU I know of today took to the streets after the results of the senatorial elections. The AdMU I know of today organized a rally against sexual harassment within the very University. The AdMU I know of may not still be as aware and outspoken as I’ve hoped it to be, but it’s getting there. It’s getting there.

Which leads me to the second thing that I learned: AdMU does not matter. Neither does UPD. Neither does the two other schools on the other side of this capital.

When I found out I failed the UPCAT—UP’s college entrance test—I ended up crying on the ride home. In the middle of traffic, I opened up to the tricycle driver who was concerned about my breakdown. I told him I wanted to make a difference, and I felt like not passing UP was a sign that I wasn’t cut out for it. 

As I was fumbling with my wallet to pay him, I distinctly remember him shaking his head vehemently; he would not accept the fifty peso bill I was handing him no matter how much I insisted. “Ang bayad mo nalang ay yung pagbabago na gusto mo (Let your payment be the change you want to see,)” he’d told me. “’Di mo kailangan ang UP para simulan yan. Sana lang maalala mo ang mga tulad ko.” 

(You don’t need UP to start that. I just hope you don’t forget people like me.) 

I remember him in every tricycle ride, every immersion, every discussion about equality, every rally that I try my best to show up to. What Katipunan university I go to no longer matters to me as much as what I can do with the cards I’ve been dealt with; what I can do for the people and the country I want to serve.

I’ve been granted by my higher power to be in Katipunan, and I’m not wasting the chance I have to fight the good fight.

B.Wings : A Staple Katipunan Resto

B.Wings Entrance. Photo credits :

Frankie’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Buffalo’s. Only some of the widely known restaurants famous for their chicken wings. But hidden among the hustle and bustle of Katipunan is one of its hidden chicken wing gems.

In 2012, Marc Castro left the corporate world to pursue his love for food. Castro, along with his partners, who were also his co-workers in the office he was employed in, put up B.Wings in the same year. 7 Years later, B.Wings has established itself as a staple among Katipunan residents. Tucked just behind Regis center, this hole-in-the-wall resto offers chicken wings with a variety of flavors and other meals to choose from. It doesn’t hurt that their price point won’t put a dent in your wallet either.

Display o f customer’s pictures on the wall. Photo credit :

Over the years, B.Wings has become a go-to for students whether they are from UP, Miriam or Ateneo. The amount of people’s pictures displayed on the wall is enough proof of its patron’s sentiments for the store.

 Located near its neighboring universities, B.Wings is a viable food option because of its accessibility and good food. The store is located in Loyola Heights Condominium, Esteban Abada, Quezon City. It isn’t too far from universities and offices, so it easy to go to. One can take a jeep, a tricycle or even walk to and from the resto if they’re in for an exercise! (or to walk off all those chicken wings).

Of course, the star of the show is B.Wings’ chicken wings. Right off the bat, something customers will notice on the menu is the unique names for their chicken wings. Named after presidents, the food lives up to their name with its presidential flavors.

Different B-Wings flavors. Photo Credit :

Customers have 12 different flavors to choose from. PNoy is a simple yet unique flavor inspired by the Filipino dish, sinigang, with dayap (lime) undertones. For Barbeque lovers, BNay is the way to go. Its barbeque flavor is perfect for Filipino taste buds. If customers are feeling courageous, they can sample Barack o Pakpak, the hottest flavor on B.Wings’ menu. Their secret? Fresh herbs, spices and a touch of cilantro.

Other variants customers can try are the classis Garlic Cheddar wings, Caramelized wings, flavored with peanut butter, Morimoto wings, New York style with wasabi and leeks. They also serve Chicano wings, Spicy dHOTerte and their Original and Mild Buffalo Wings. To complete the B.Wings experience, try ordering their Best-seller, the Black Mamba wings. Now, its mix of Mexican flavors, spicy chillies and hints of sweet cocoa may sound odd, but customers’ taste buds are sure to be wowed with its explosive flavor.

Aside from its great variety of flavors, B. Wings’ food prices are affordable and won’t put a hole in the wallet. Customers can get ½ Pounder wings for Php 199. A full meal of chicken wings and rice is priced competitively at Php 175 plus it already comes with a dip! (choice of Bleu Cheese, Honey Mustard or Garlic Aioli)

Jack Cordero, a student from Ateneo De Manila University shared his review on B.Wings. Cordero has been enjoying the food ever since he learned about it in his last year of high school. When asked about why he thinks B.Wings is popular, he said: “I think people like B-Wings because of wings itself. Wings have become popular because of the sheer quantity of what you can get for a smaller price, especially with a student area like Katipunan.”

Cordero also shared why he enjoyed B.Wings, attributing its quality and its accessibility. “It’s my favorite wings place not just in Katipunan. The sauces are good and tastefully done, like I feel like many of the other wing places along Katipunan submerge their wings in sauce and it’s way too much. Also, because it’s walking distance from school.”

With its excellent flavors, affordable price and accessible location, it’s no wonder B-wings has established itself among Katipunan residents. Whether it be to satisfy that chicken wings craving or to just find a good place to eat, B.Wings is one of the best restaurants to try in Katipunan.

[COLUMN] Footnote

The untranslatable language of Katipunan

Image may contain: Andrea Mikaela Llanes, smiling, standing, sky, mountain, outdoor and nature
By: Andrea Mikaela Llanes

When I was first warned against becoming conyo upon moving to Katipunan, I was confused as to why I might become a vagina in college. 

I was never fluent in Spanish. I only ever picked up bits and pieces of it growing up. What I was fluent in was English; I’d grown up in an English speaking household, making everything about the language—the grammar, the syntax—natural to me. Tagalog would come a little later into my childhood, and even that was something I was never fully confident in. 

Much of what I know about language came from the environment I grew up in, understandably so. I am from a small city in the province of Batangas called Lipa. The Batangueño ‘dialect’ is characterized not so much by words that are distinct to us but rather our way of speaking; my college friends still joke about how unbelievably loud and crass I was the first time we met.

Despite being rather used to code switching, I found myself jolted by the melting pot of culture that was Katipunan. There were the other province kids who struggled with Tagalog because some words had different meanings in, say, Cebuano. There were the Filipino-Chinese who slipped into Hokien when they wanted to insult someone. There were the foreign exchange students and the European Studies/Diplomacy majors, conversing and learning through one another.

Amid all these vernaculars was one that I have managed to both love and hate: the concept of the conyo.

I’ve unironically adapted terms like “G?” (Game?), “dehins” (Hindi, or no), and “Alat, gago!” (That’s salty!) to my vocabulary. Every now and then, I catch myself tacking ‘make’ on to a Tagalog verb—make pa-print, make kuha. The thing about code switching is that there is supposedly a point in which you switch fluidly and fluently from one speech to another; what Katipunan has made of my tongue is less alternation and more of a butchery.

A large part of this is my need to assimilate. While my friends from home were merciless in teasing my ‘like, parang‘s every few sentences, very few of my peers from Katipunan would be able to keep up if I were to tell them a story in rapid Tagalog. It’s hard to adjust primarily because there is no literal switch in code switching; I still catch myself using words that would only make sense in Ateneo back at Lipa and vice versa.

There are inevitable deeper connotations to the languages we speak and learn. My conyo-ness has warranted a handful of jeering “Nag-Maynila ka lang, ganyan ka na!” from relatives. They nitpick at my accent and decide among themselves that it’s a product of going to Areneyow, always adding that I probably felt like I was now on some alleged moral high ground just because I was studying away from home.

Katipunan, on the other hand, has a naive and ignorant fascination for provincial life, primarily because so many people know very little beyond the echo chambers of their metros. I once joked that I used to ride a carabao to school and almost everyone in the room believed me. Being a probinsyana has served as an excuse for so many of my weird quirks, and the fact that a lot of people are so easy to accept the misconceptions they have about cities outside of National Capital Region still unsettles me.

It has been my daily struggle to find an in-between, and conyo—as flawed and cringe-worthy as it may be most days—has served to me as precisely that.

While I haven’t completely gotten over the judgement from the homes I go back and forth from, I’ve found comfort in this hodgepodge lingo that doesn’t ask much of me. There is no foreign language class for conyo, no crash course to train you in it. Over time, the other province kids and I have seen the humor in the silly terms, and we’ve begun to play with it to our own liking. I’ve come to find less spite in my heart for the Manileños whose accidents are terrible when they speak Tagalog, and more compassion for them when they ask me to translate the readings they don’t quite understand.

To adore Katipunan and its hustle and bustle was easy; to say the same about its language, not so. Whether I look to this mishmash of characters and see the speech as a status symbol or a mere product of the environment no longer matters. At the end of the day, it’s still the words that I choose to say that holds more weight—regardless of what language I convey it in.