Fire hits ADZU PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 July 2016 13:23

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Ateneo De Zamboanga University (ADZU) popularly called decades ago as Ateneo, a Jesuit-run institution, is still burning as of this writing. Most of my friends are Ateneans. In fact, all my children and now my grandson, still in Grade 9, started their early education in Ateneo, from nursery until they graduate from college. A little bit expensive but good education has a price. Now, some of the original Ateneo school buildings are burning, and memories got burned with it and went to ashes. Before the new high school campus was opened in Barangay Tumaga, the partially burned original Ateneo De Zamboanga University (ADZU) main campus in La Purisima street that is now burning but almost dying out, housed all the school classes, from the elementary grade, high school to college. All school activities are held at the Ateneo Gym, the only gym with wooden playing court area, most gyms in the city have concrete flooring. So bad, allegedly the fire started at the gym and the conflagration has razed it totally. Only the many college memories in that ADEZ gym remain alive.

* * * * * *

Table Talk can still vividly remember during our college days when basket ball was played between Ateneo and my school the Zamboanga A.E. Colleges (ZAEC). All students were required to attend. One bleacher of the gym was fully occupied by Ateneans and the other by ZAEC. Each school has a cheering squad and school music bands joined the frenzy. The whole game the gym was noisier than a market place and when a school team wins, it is like holiday mood the following day in school. The rivalry between Ateneo and ZAEC wasso intense, except for few students most display “diehard” loyalty to their school, not only in games but in all school activities, academic, sports and other extra-curricular activities. The two school institutions had an unwritten agreement to compete in almost all activities but not one student rumble ever happened and on record between Ateneo and ZAEC during those times. It purely was school activity, no fraternity, no ethnic animosity and no controversy in religion. Ateneans can court and have girlfriends from ZAEC and vice-versa, absolutely no jealousy and hatred between the two schools.

* * * * *

After my classes in ZAEC, usually early in the evening, I paid a visit to my Atenean “barkada”. the JKR (Judo Karate Run) gang, a friendly group, not a fraternity. Old Atenean friends like, Jimmy Viray, Erico Hacut, Tony Hizon, Boy Solis, Manolo Berenguer and Romulo dela Paz, to name some.  Except for Jimmy, Erico and Boy, I am wondering where the rest of the gang are right now. Also, I remember the late Tony Soriano and Rolly San Juan’s group of DM (Don’t Mind) gang. We used to be together in some “discotheque” parties in some Atenean private homes. These are but some of the old memories of the old Ateneo De Zamboanga and now it got burned especially the gym, where outside were benches that are usually filled to the brim every afternoon with coeds, but, old memories die hard. The school canteen besides the gym was the favorite place of  beautiful Ateneans. Right Blue Eagles Roy Ramos and Bob Jaldon, Lope Iringan, Ed Buendia and Erbie Fabian? (What more can I say — Editor)

* * * * * *

Every old Zamboangueno feels sad of old Ateneo’s burning because it has played a big part in Zamboanga City’s history. Almost all Zamboanguenos have taken their education from the Jesuits, who were well educated American and Spanish priests and some few Filipino Jesuits from Luzon. Most Atenean graduates are still deeply religious Catholics and peaceful citizens, a trait instilled by the Jesuits, Pro Deo et Patria.

* * * * * *

Scoop: The recent accidental burning in the main campus of ADZU will pave the way for the transfer of the elementary grades to Tumaga Ateneo High School Campus. Prepare for the crowding and worsening traffic on the narrow barangay roads of Tumaga. Agree or disagree.