Monday, October 6, 2008

Tranquil Silliman

university campus
I first heard of Silliman when I was a little girl in Negros Occidental. A local girl who also went to my elementary school got a scholarship at Silliman. One summer break when she was home, I overheard neighbors whispering about her midriff top. Apparently, the sight of her belly button was shocking to the manangs at that time. I admired her midriff top, by the way, and the way she drove a motorbike around town, belly button bared, crazy hair flying, making people stop and stare. She was once a shy girl, the manangs lamented...Silliman was the reason for her transformation, they concluded with an eyebrow raised.

It was my first impression of Silliman---a bastion of liberal thinking, individualism, with some remnants of the hippie generation.:D I wanted to go to college there! Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want.

Rizal Centennial marker and university seal laid in 1960
Silliman University is located at the heart of Dumaguete, overlooking the sea. The 61-hectare campus was founded in 1901 by Protestant missionaries of the American Presbyterian Church through a gift from an American philanthropist named Dr. Horace Silliman. It is the first Protestant school in the Philippines and the oldest American university in Asia.

Silliman Hall, the oldest building on campus was constructed in 1903




the University Church, completed in 1949
Alumni Hall, built in 1950
The rooms on its second floor where we stayed are designated for alumni and guests, while the ground floor is occupied by the office of the Alumni Affairs.

Splendid Bell

Located in front of the Alumni Hall and mounted in 1918, this bell was a gift from children in America given through the New York Women's Foreign Mission Board.

Silliman University gives Dumaguete a vibrant and dynamic character despite the city’s laid back lifestyle. My lasting impressions of Silliman are the peaceful moments under the acacia trees, cool morning sea breezes at the beautiful Silliman Hall, warm smiles, and a memory of that fearless young lady on a motorbike---breaking free.

15 comments:

Webradio said...

Hello Miranda !
Very beautiful photos...

Silliman is the name of university, but why this name ?

See You later !

nutart said...

I had the wonderful chance to be invited in Siliman twice and stayed at the Alumni Hall. During the second time I got there, I was on an outreach program with the arts highschool studentry and we had performances in the auditorium. I was just so impressed. It was even better than that of UP Diliman. Then we got to attend the Sunday service---was it Methodist or Anglican (I forget). The pastor or minister kept introducing the parishioners one by one. I wondered if that was the service in itself. Like you I had great memories of Siliman U.! Thanks, Luna!

Panaderos said...

Beautiful and well-preserved. Kudos to the administrators of this university for doing such a great job honoring the philantrophy and memory of a generous and kindhearted man.

Mr. Silliman (1825-1910) was said to have been a devout Presbyterian and once he had built his fortune in his hometown of Cohoes, NY (160 miles north of New York City), used his wealth to fund the establishment and improvement of churches, colleges, and hospitals. No doubt, that his decision to fund the establishment of Silliman University was one of the efforts to push for the propagation of education and the Protestant faith in our part of the world.

bertN said...

Silliman University is memorable to me because when I was a senior in high school, I had a penpal who was a freshman in college at Silliman U. I never saw her till my budget for stamps ran out and neither have I seen Silliman U to this day. Maganda pala ang Silliman, siguro siya rin LOL.

luna miranda said...

now you'd wonder, bertn!:D sayang, you never met her. you can always check out the Silliman alumni website...baka nandon sya.:D

luna miranda said...

Mr. Silliman probably thought that after more than 300 years of Padre Damaso, the young Filipinos needed something less oppressive, without the papal infallibility and the threat of being consigned to hell when you disagreed with the doctrine.:D

His generosity is still being enjoyed by today’s generation. Thanks for visiting, Panaderos.

luna miranda said...

Hi, Bernadette! It’s Presbyterian, I believe. My travel companions went to Silliman church on Sunday morning to hear mass---they thought it’s a Catholic church and later wondered why the rituals were different than the one they’re used to.:D

So you were also introduced to the flock? Hehe

luna miranda said...

hello, webradio! the school was named after Mr. Silliman who donated money to build the original school. thanks for droppin' by.

bugsybee said...

Tranquil is a very appropriate description of Silliman ... and Dumaguete City, for that matter.

What beautiful pictures of Silliman you have!

You wouldn't believe this, Luna ... though I heard of Silliman back when I was in grade 4 when some girls from that school transferred to our school, the first time I went to Dumaguete and saw Silliman (woooow!) was in 2004! And to think that it's just a few hours' ride away. I have a friend who teaches there and she took us around the campus and I was awed!

luna miranda said...

hi, bugsybee! it's usually the case...my family was not into long drives and pleasure travel when i was young so i also didn't get around negros island until about 12 years ago. with a couple of high school friends, we drove around negros---from bacolod to mabinay to dumaguete, then via canla-on city on our way back. it was a fun trip.

glad you like the photos. thanks for stopping by.

the donG said...

when i first entered this campus i was also amazed at the big structures. my best friend studied there.

luna miranda said...

what i like about the campus, dong, is the ancient acacia trees, and the quiet ambiance that is different from other universities. and of course, its close proximity to the sea is invigorating. good for your bestfriend.:D

JayAshKal said...

Wow, thanks for the wonderful pictures. Last time I was there was on the 13th Rizal Youth Leadership Training Institute (RYLTI) in the mid-70's. This post brough back a lot of wonderful memories. Definitely in my list of place to go on my next visit.

Thanks for the post and the pictures.

luna miranda said...

hi, jayashkal! you would surely enjoy your next visit to dumaguete, silliman and the rest of negros oriental. the province offers a lot of interesting places and activities. it's my pleasure to share these photos. thank you for droppin' by.

caryn said...

wow, thanks for sharing this. ang ganda pala ng siliman u! i loved the pics of your campus. it looks so turn-of-the-century! ;-)