One Note of Hope

University of the Philippines Carillon Tower by Camille Diola

First time I heard the U.P. Carillon Tower bells yesterday. Too good for a sneaking bad mood. It hardly sounded like multiple bells, just one solemn flat note: ding ding ding ding ding ding. Six times at 12 noon. I guess I should be thankful its restoration was finished in my time. Though we spent more than two and a half years of stay in the university without the "ringing echo of the University's glorious past," still we're lucky. Last time it was heard in its splendor was in the year I was born, 19 years ago, 1988.

I never really cared there was a big project on the Tower for the past years. Told myself, what a fuss. The Alumni Association should have devoted its resources to other concerns of the University -- better comfort rooms, more LCD projectors, more Internet availability, a renovated gym. But now I understand. There's something about the tower bells that makes someone feel like the world is much better than it seems. They soothe, they comfort, they assure. It was the one sound everyone in campus could hear at the same time. Like a Platonic form of unity and universality amidst the much-loved pluralism and boastful diversity.

I think I was the only one in my college who heard it yesterday. I asked the others, they didn't. I'm hoping the volume could be increased next time. That's the point of having a bell tower anyway, right? And I'm looking forward to hearing Beatles songs played, or maybe this time some Black Eyed Peas or Norah Jones. Hah!

Yesterday looked bleak, but thanks to the Carillon I remembered the virtue of hope. Spe salvi facti sumus.

~photo by author taken 10/15/07