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Fire at Palma Hall.

The Chemistry Pavillion of UP Diliman's Palma Hall was in flames early this morning after an electrical device was left plugged inside one of the rooms, igniting the fire. What's worse, the chemicals inside the building worsened the fire which made it more difficult for the firemen to extinguish it. Classes in Palma Hall and all the four pavilions were suspended for the day.

I have no connections whatsoever to the Chem Pav because (duh) I'm an English major. Sure, I go there every now and then to visit friends while they wait for their profs or to accompany them when submitting papers but other than that I have no affiliation to the dreaded C word. I never really liked Chemistry in the first place (and it never liked me), so the fact that I don't have academic reasons to visit the place is actually a relief.

But there is a reason why that Chem Pav is particularly special to me. Why? Because it was where I took the UPCAT. How was I supposed to forget that momentous day filled with jitters, fear, and a tremendous amount of brain damage? That building will (unfortunately) always be associated with nausea and anxiety, but it's nervousness well-cherished, because that is precisely the venue that decided my fate. Vivid images of the hallways, the staircase, the rooms flash before my eyes and suddenly I'm back to August 5, 2007. I can still remember standing outside, looking nervously at my permit (and my ugly-ass picture), silently observing fellow UPCAT takers, wondering about my future. The amount of pressure that weighed on my shoulders on that day was huge because the next four years of my life would depend on it.

Andee and I passed by Chem Pav a while ago to make "usyoso." It wasn't completely destroyed, but you could see how bad the damage was. The windows panes were lined with heavy black traces and the smell of burned chemicals lingered. It looked sad and deserted. It also looked like it would take a while to be restored. It was kind of depressing. That was the place where I took the UPCAT! It's got a place in my personal history! And now it's -- well, not gone, but -- really, badly ruined. But because I am completely unassociated with it, I can't help but also feel, well, a little indifferent. After all, I'm not the one who's going to suffer Chem17 makeup classes.

Being the over-thinker that I am, I can't help but wonder: Is there a metaphorical analogy behind this? Is it a premonition for something? Do I need to read between the lines? Does this mean that my UP dreams would go down in flames as well? Oh God! *exaggeration caused by too much fiction* What does this mean?

Well, I'm not sure about the whole symbolism thing. I have yet to come up with an elaborate story on that. But one thing I'm sure of right now is that classes in Palma Hall (AS) today and tomorrow are suspended. And that meant only one thing to me right now: NO ITALIAN CLASSES!

So is it so wrong to feel so relieved?