UP Fair

Satellite image of the 2007 UP Fair in UP Diliman, Quezon City

While I prefer blogging about mostly permanent structures here in Vista Pinas, I have, on rare occasions, featured ephemeral stuff especially if they’re interesting and lucky to have been caught on satellite camera and then subsequently selected by Google to be included in Google Earth and Google Maps. Two of these are the 2007 World Light Expo, and the visible effect of El Niño at the San Roque Dam.

Since I’m a UP Diliman alumnus, I’ll feature another one: the very popular UP Fair. This event, which happens every February during the Valentine’s Day week at U.P. Diliman, is organized by the University Student Council (USC). The organizing of the program for each particular day (almost always a rock concert) is auctioned off to various student organizations, of which the majority of the winners are fraternities. The fair usually runs for the whole seven nights of the week and the most popular nights are Friday, Saturday, and Valentine’s Day itself. As far as I can remember, the fair grounds has always been set up at the Sunken Garden inside the Academic Oval and contains a stage for the nightly concerts, numerous retail booths, and the occasional carnival ride.

Photo of an unknown vocalist at a concert during UP Fair 2008 Photo by Maxi Adrian San Agustin. (CC)

The UP Fair is probably the biggest student-organized event in UP Diliman. It is also probably the most notorious event with numerous incidents of violence marring the festivities. The combination of UP Diliman’s open nature (though the campus security has been tightened in recent years) and the nightly rock concerts have attracted plenty of youth from the lower classes of society. Thus, there have been numerous incidents of gang violence as many of these youth try to get inside the fair grounds or encounter rival gangs.

The satellite imagery (thumbnail above) was taken on February 13, 2007 and so we’re seeing the fair grounds as it was three years ago.

Anyway, I’ve only been to the UP Fair a few times during college and I’ve never been back there since I graduated. I can still remember getting on stage at the UP Fair one time as part of a campaign sortie when I was running as one of my department’s representatives for the College of Engineering Student Council. That night’s sponsor fraternity is affiliated with my party and they had us candidates go on stage to lay our platform. Thankfully, it was not as embarrassing as I feared.

How about you? Have you been to the UP Fair and have you got any interesting stories to tell?

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Posted on
October 11, 2010
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Cultural InstitutionsMetro Manila
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