Bittersweet NUvember

I had hard time blending in to that leviathanic UP culture during my early freshman days. That whole rage started when I made up my mind to have a taste of that sweet mental elbi torture they were talking about. The moment I set foot at the campus grounds, everything's exceptionally unfamiliar, totally foreign to me. I was pulled out of my comfort zone. I had to walk away from my usual playground. I had to bid goodbye to some friends, few pets, my treasured bed, and the places I run to when I’m in trouble. I had to leave the radio. Yes. Radio.

My love for the radio is beyond reason, back in time. I had that attachment to it that surpasses any existing chemical bond I learned in Chemistry. It's simply my top priority. My weekends were religiously dedicated to listening and writing down radio charts. I used to memorize the sequence and specific time slots of most radio programs and the corresponding radio jocks. It has been a huge part of my day from sunrise until sign-off. Crazy as it may sound, the thought of leaving homeand the radiohugely bothered me. Music may be a trivial entertainment to some but to me, it determined a larger part of my life path than I will probably ever be able to realize.

Those longings I endured to have an ear to radio were quenched by some of my early discoveries–Home, Campus, Magic, etc.In which case, NU 107 stood out exceptional. I vividly remember the kilig during that first Stairway to Seven I was able to catch. That was May 5, 2007. Since then, I knew, home wasn’t really far away. I found radio itself. And I was happy about it. NU 107 saved was my hero.

Since then, life in the university was never that easy for me: waking up on time for a 7am class, getting a passing mark for several exams, becoming socially relevant, getting through a day alive, making ends meet. Long waits are part of it as well: waiting for six-hour lab experiments, waiting for the most-awaited stipends, waiting for the sweetest tres for the tagilid nasubjects. There were countless starvations too: starvation for passing scores, starvation for food (true story), starvation to graduate, and starvation to live by the Iskolar Para sa Bayan tradition. At the end of the day, when I finally go to bed, all these things in my head, NU 107 was with me. NU 107 has always been.

NU 107 was once my life. There were times when I had to eat and breathe it with it on the background. It was my company during my victorious, pretentiously victorious, and not-really-victorious end-of-sems, plain and lazy afternoon weekends, including those Organic Chemistry sleepless nights from which stemmed the dark ages of my Chemistry career. 

Likewise, NU 107 was also a witness of how I struggled and won battles. And how I wished it’s still there when the day comes when I have to reap the fruits of all these things.But as the adage goes, nothing’s permanent. Everything has a season, there's a rightful time in a rightful place under the heavens: a time to plant, a time for it to grow, and a time to uproot that which is planted. Things end, people go, everyone will leave soon, and we just have to accept it. After 23 years (3 years, in my case) of shaping the lives of thousands of Filipinos, NU 107 has laid to rest. And yes, I have to accept it, even if I really can’t right now.

After roughly three years of spending days and nights on the Home of NU Rock, I, among other thousands of fans from different walks of life and frames of time, wept for its end. And I have my own story to tell about that night. November 7. From a group meeting (I escaped from) for a GE course, I frantically rushed to dorm at around 10 pm to catch its final on air run. I even haven't had my dinner because I knew time was running out. 

The night was solemn at its best. Heaviness filled the air. And during the last few minutes, right then, ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’, assuming a requiem, was played on NU 107 for the last time. The whole farewell thing was beyond sadness. The whole night, I hardly had a good asleep, even after the amps, the cheers, began to all fade. 

The thing is, I’ve been troublesome in handling farewells, not too good of goodbyes either. I am a bad student when it comes to learning the art and science of letting things I’m hugely attached to to go or pass. I’ve always been cryptic about someone or something’s existence and impartially unopen about the possibilities of its end. It’s hard for me to embrace something good then blindly kiss it goodbye. And NU 107's case is a perfect example. 

Few weeks after the looming closure, it’s only now that I had the courage to open the radio at 107.5 MHz..false-hoping for some miracle. As expected, it was an infinite radio noise on that frequency. Desperation filled my senses once again. Nostalgia hit me one more time. 

Everything’s buried under wreckage.

1 comment: