UPLBisms in Well Played: The Org (aka The Soc)

Today is the 37th anniversary of the UPLB Com Arts Society, my org when I was in college and The Org stand-in in Well Played. The book is dedicated to them!

I have a glossary at the end of the book with all the terms that are UPLB-specific (so far all book feedback I’ve gotten are from UP and UPLB people, so I don’t know how it’s translated for non-Isko and Iska — I’m hoping it doesn’t come off as clique-y and weird!) but I think the concept that’s totally UPLB is that of the orgs.

Helping out during preps for The Soc’s 23rd anniversary, way back in 1999!

I know most colleges and universities have organizations, but the UPLB organization culture is something else. Picture this: 9,000 students, aged 16 to early 20s, without parental supervision, majority of whom come from far away, descending on a college town. Lots of them will be looking for some sort of support system. Many of them are only discovering who they are. That’s where orgs come into play.

Far more than just providing an outlet for kids to express their interests and gain alumni networks for employment, orgs are quite literally students’ family away from home. Everything revolves around the org, and the relationship can get quite intense. Many are looking for an active commitment, and not surprisingly, a few balk at that requirement (and they become inactive members, lost to the world).

The UPLB Com Arts Society body AY ’99-00. I’m in white, second from left, second row.

I joined the UPLB Com Arts Society in November 1998, my second semester of freshman year. I heard they don’t allow that anymore, that you have to be a sophomore to join any org. It’s because some young’uns  tend to focus all their energies on the org instead of academics, and end up dropping classes. Be ye not so delinquent!

I lucked out on joining an organization with my kind of people – artistic, well-read, sometimes snotty but definitely fun kids. We mounted plays, held exhibits, did quiz contests, rummage sales and all sorts of crazy things, usually to raise funds for one thing or another. My time with the Soc taught me how to manage time, balance academics with extracurriculars, get along with all sorts of people, and even the basics of marketing and event organization — skills I use to this day.

At the famous Humanities steps, my last semester of college circa 2002

 And yes, like The Org, which I modeled on The Soc, we did have a campus nickname. There could have been 20 other “societies” at UPLB, but when you said “Soc” people kind of automatically knew you meant the Com Arts Society. It may have had something to do with us being loud and obnoxious in class, IDK, but our rep preceded us.

Writing Well Played took me back to those days, when every other word that came out of my mouth had “soc” in it. It was such a fun time and a wonderful way to look back!

About Author: Katrina Ramos Atienza

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