photo by Rainiel Angelyn Figueroa/THE FLAME

SHE FIRMLY stood with her two columns. 

Her Baroque features depicted how she prevailed over the test of time. A saint in stone perched above her, which will soon watch us stride below. 

She and the saint awaited us amid the rhythm of drums and cheers.

It was the first time I had been this close to her. I only saw her up close from the screens of my laptop before. Sometimes, I caught glimpses of her from a car window passing España boulevard. 

Who would have thought she was about to be the gateway of my second home?

I closed my eyes and grasped everything. The sea of students draped in navy blue surrounded me. I felt their rapture through my ears—the uproar of hidden hope and dreams waiting to be claimed. 

The August murky heavens knew how quite oblivious I was to what lay behind the gateway. 

Nonetheless, I knew I would always accept whatever she may bestow upon me.

The pounding of drums began to get louder. They turned into tremors— ultimately resonating my heartbeat. I opened my eyes and smiled as the long queue of blue steered me nearer to her. 

Stride after stride, the time suddenly slowed. Once I was in close proximity, she loomed above. She was about to embrace me and my dreams with her two columns.

She beckoned, and I followed. F

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