University of the Philippines, Diliman - Palma Hall

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Palma Hall
Palma hall.jpg
Address Roxas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Palma Hall, popularly known as AS (Arts and Sciences), or LA (Liberal Arts) for some in the past, refers to a building in the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus along Roxas Avenue. It is the home of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy since 1983. Its name is derived from then-Senator Rafael Palma, the fourth (and first Filipino) president of the University of the Philippines from 1925 to 1933.<ref name="senate"/>

Most General Education courses are held here, thus registering the highest student traffic among all buildings in UP Diliman. Because of its strategic location, miting de avances, rallies and exhibits of different organizations are situated in the building. Palma Hall continues to beat with the pulse of students from different units of UP Diliman. It is the place to see other students and to be seen. In more ways than one, Palma Hall or AS is the heart of the UP Diliman.<ref name="proposal"/>



Palma Hall during UP Diliman's early years. (photo from the UP Department of History and the writers)

The site of the Palma Hall was once an open field filled with trees, as Diliman, Quezon City was still undeveloped. When the University of the Philippines administration decided to acquire a larger site to move its flagship campus from Manila to Diliman, construction started in 1939, and one of the first six buildings was Palma Hall, which was completed in 1951.

The Hall first housed the College of Liberal Arts (LA). After the College's reorganization, the University College, College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences were located here, thus the term "AS" (Arts and Sciences) was coined. It was only in 1983 that the building was officially the home of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP), when the College of Arts and Sciences was split into three colleges - CSSP, College of Science (CS) and College of Arts and Letters (CAL).<ref name="history"/>

At present, classes offered by the CSSP and some by the CAL are done in the Hall, while some classes by the CS are done in the Pavilions. It also houses the Population Institute and the Third World Studies Center. The Palma Hall Restoration and Modernization Project is currently ongoing: modernization of a wing in one floor, conversion of a classroom to a smart classroom, construction of research hall or lecture laboratories, restoration of artworks and the lobbies, and pooling of resources for the modernization of classrooms.<ref name="support"/> Projects already accomplished were: changing its roof, repainting the building, and renovating all the comfort rooms. These improvements all lead to the vision of CSSP to make the building at par with those of similar institutions in the country and the Asian region.<ref name="proposal"/>


Palma Hall under construction. (photo from the UP Department of History and the writers)
The newly constructed AS Walk and Pavilions (L-R: Biology, Physics and Chemistry). Note the canal where the Third World Studies Center now stands. (photo from the UP Department of History and the writers)
The Palma Hall Annex, home of the Department of Psychology (photo from the writers)

The Palma Hall was designed by Cesar Homero Rosales Concio, the University Architect, who also designed the Melchor Hall (Palma Hall's twin building) and the Vinzons Hall<ref name="concio"/>, following the International Style mixed with Filipino design expression. It is located at Roxas Avenue in the UP Diliman campus.

The main building is an asymmetrical structure and is divided into two wings, where the east wing has four floors and the west wing with three, imposed by a central section. Each wing features a continuous open balcony in each floor. The main entry of the building is a rectangular three-story-high portal, where the balconies of the second and third floor overlook it. The overall idea of the design is to make the structure well-ventilated and to let natural lighting enter its halls.<ref name="valera"/>

The Hall also has pavilions where the institutes of the College of Science are located, namely: Pavilions 1 and 2 (the only pavilions with three floors) of the Institute of Chemistry, Llamas Science Hall or Pavilion 3 of the National Institute of Physics, and Pavilion 4 of the Insitute of Biology. In the future, the said Institutes will move out of the pavilions to the new National Science Complex, in order to give way for the other departments of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy to occupy them.

Due to the growing student population, the Palma Hall Annex was constructed in 1985 to house the Department of Psychology. Offices of the graduate faculty and of the administrative staff are located in the first floor. The building also includes the Psychological Assessment Laboratory and the Human Experimental Psychology Laboratory. Adjacent to the PHAn building is the newly renovated and expanded Physiological Psychology Laboratory which houses specimens and equipment for various forms of physiological research.<ref name="facilities"/>

About Rafael Palma

Rafael Palma, the fourth president of the University of the Philippines from 1925 to 1933. (photo from Wikimedia)

UP President

Rafael Palma is the fourth (and first Filipino) president<ref name="famous"/> of the University of the Philippines in 1923 and remained president until 1933 when Quezon's threatened to cut the University's appropriation due to Palma's championing of the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Law. Rather than endanger the existence of the University, he resigned from the presidency. He is known as the “father of academic freedom” after he pursued and fought for the autonomy of the university.<ref name="rafael"/>

Rizal's Collaborator

Palma advocated mental and volitional toughness, urging his Brethren to think for themselves and not to accept without discussion whatever had been taught, to contribute to the accumulated wisdom of the ages and therefore to the progress of mankind. Such a philosophy, he maintained in his writings, especially in his prize-winning biography of Jose Rizal, which has been considered to be the best, most compendious, and most faithful portrayal of the Filipino hero's life and character. In this biography, Palma was Rizal's "collaborator," as he himself put it. Translated later into English by Justice Roman Ozaeta with the title "The Pride of the Malay Race," the biography stirred the hornet's nest and was banned as a reading material. In a sense, Palma, analytically presenting Rizal's life and ideas, contributed a new thought, a new idea, and new mode of procedure.<ref name="rafael"/>

Inside Palma Hall

AS Steps (photo from Blogspot)

AS Steps

Serving as the main entrance for Palma Hall, AS Steps is famous for being the home and center of all academic and political gatherings in the university since 1948. Its wide and open space makes it convenient for students and professors to hold assemblies, rallies and concerts. It is the place most students commonly associate academic freedom and freedom of expression with. Since the establishment of Palma Hall, the Steps has been witness to all activities that have defined the history of UP.

In 1971, Salvador Lopez, then UP President, along with hundreds of students and professors gathered at AS Steps for the Diliman Commune in opposition to the militarization of the university. In 1972, it is where Senator Benigno Aquino delivered his last speech before he was assassinated. The UP Symphonic Band also took on the Steps for a performance against President Gloria Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017 (State of Emergency) in February 2006.

Jose Rizal bust (photo from the CSSP)

Found at the topmost step of the Steps is the Jose Rizal bust, a sculpture of national hero Jose Rizal made by Guillermo Tolentino.

Jose Rizal bust

According to the past Vice-President for Public Affairs of the UP System Jose Dalisay, Jr., UP President Rafael Palma commissioned Guillermo Tolentino to translate a line from Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios into a magnificent piece of sculpture. The line was “to serve our home and country’s need.” The said sculpture is the bust of our national hero Jose Rizal, located at the entrance of the Palma Hall. The bust is made of bronze, which measures 68.5 x 50.8 x 30.4 cm. It is a gift of the University Student Council 1955-1956.

AS Lobby (photo from the writers)

AS Lobby

AS Steps directly leads to the AS lobby primarily for students’ discussion groups and where most organizations’ exhibits are displayed. Miting de advances for the election of the University Student Council (USC) also used to be held here in the 1980s.

The Arts and Sciences mural (photo from the CSSP))

Located inside the lobby is the Arts and Sciences mural made by National Artist Vicente Manansala. Measuring 14 meters long and two meters wide, it is Manansala’s biggest mural in the university. In conformity to the then-College of Arts and Sciences (changed into College of Social Sciences and Philosophy in 1983), the mural depicts various symbols of arts and sciences in a surrealist style. Surrealism refers to the release of the “creative potential of the unconscious mind.”

Rafael Palma bas-relief plaque and the clock (photo from the writers)

The Arts and Sciences mural

The mural, made in 1960, is a masterpiece of the National Artist Vicente Manansala using the surrealist style. It is 14 meters long and 2 meters wide. Being the largest mural done by Manansala in UP Diliman, the work exhibits different symbols of arts and sciences, adopting its venue-the College of Arts and Sciences or AS.

AS Lobby floor (photo from Photobucket)

The masterpiece which measures 208.2 x 1412.2 cm and used oil on canvas is a gift of the CAS Faculty.

Rafael Palma bas-relief

Stories say that a bas-relief of Rafael Palma, to whom the AS building was named after, used to be displayed at the lobby. The bas-relief was stolen and a clock was placed by the college to replace it and to cover the marker of the stolen figure.

AS Lobby floor design

The ever-unique design of the lobby floor is of terrazzo granolithic design with abstract figures, featuring symbols of the arts and sciences.

AS Pond (photo from the CSSP)
Jose Rizal monument (photo from the CSSP)

AS Pond

Directly opposite AS 101 (Office of the College Secretary) is the AS Pond where the Jose Rizal monument, created by Domingo Celis, is located.

Jose Rizal monument

The Jose Rizal monument is created by Domingo A. Celis, a UP Fine Arts alumnus circa 1910-1914. His daughter, Mrs. Trinidad Celis-Tuazon, offered the monument to the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy on October 22, 1996.

Peace-marker at the AS Hill (photo from the writers)

AS Hill

AS Hill sits above the AS Pond and has been the gathering place of students for group studies and Bible studies offered by the Campus Crusade for Christ until it became the tambayan of organizations such as Alpha Sigma, Psychology Society, Pugad Psych, Kalilayan, Pi Sigma and Pi Sigma Delta.

AS Walk (photo from the CSSP)

AS Walk

The cemented pathway near AS Hill and AS Pond is the AS Walk where tiangges and book stores are situated. Famous within AS Walk during the 1970s was the Greenhouse canteen surrounded by tambayans of Scintilla Juris, Alpha Phi Omega and Kappa Epsilon. Straight ahead are the Third World Studies Center and the AS Bridge. The AS Walk is 302 meters long.

DZUP logo (photo from DZUP 1602)

Room 134

Room 134 of Palma Hall first housed DZUP (laboratory radio station in UP) before it was transferred to the Institute of Mass Communication (now College of Mass Communication) in 1987. The station was founded by Professor Consuelo Fonacier of the Department of Speech and Drama in 1959-1960. The station used the experimental transmitter from the College of Engineering, and it remained with the college when the laboratory was transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences. It aired programs at five to nine in the evening from Monday to Sunday at 1550 kHz. Some of the programs were Voice of the State University (news about the Administration including monthly talks with the President), From the Bookshelf (Book Reviews), Speech and Drama Workshop, Children’s Hour and UP News. During the Diliman Commune, the station operated under the hands of the activists. It played nationalist songs and aired poems by Amado Hernandez.


Basement (photo from the writers)

The canteen of the College of Arts and Letters was famous for being called “basement.” It served as a meeting place for devotees and followers of Arts and Sciences of the University of the Philippines. Intellectual talks and debates were also held there during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Steaming topics, over hot coffees and cigarettes, were Existentialism and Marxism. Activists, foreign students, and members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi are familiar faces found in the “basement.”

Mrs. Salome Flores or “Mommy” became a well known image of the canteen. This lady who is an employee of the UFS and the manager of the canteen is well loved by everybody because of her nurturing and caring character which she expressed not only to teachers but also to the students.

AS Second Floor Lobby (photo from Blogspot)

The canteen closed during the early part of the year 1990. At present, the Archeological Studies Program (ASP) and the Inisyatiba sa Pag-aaral ng mga Etnolinggwistikong Grupo ng Pilipinas (IPEG) are built at the very place where the canteen used to stand.

AS Second Floor Lobby

Isandaang Taong Bukang-Liwayway mural (photo from the writers)

For the last semesters of the 1970’s decade, the AS 2nd Floor Lobby was famously called “Second Floor Republic” by the student activists as the place served as a home for three activist fraternity/sorority (Pi Sigma/Pi Sigma Delta, Sigma Kapa Pi/Sigma Delta Pi, Alpha Sigma/Sigma Alpha Nu) and other organizations (Kalilayan, Asylum, Nmanama, Kutang Bato).

Isandaang Taong Bukang-Liwayway mural

The mural is a creation of the UP Artists’ Circle Fraternity in 1996. Great Filipinos who showed undeniable significant acts, especially during the Propaganda Movement (1882-1892), are being celebrated by the mural. Almost all of them are martyrs: Andres Bonifacio, Jose Rizal, Emilio Jacinto, Apolinario Mabini, Marcel H. Del Pilar, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, Gregorio Del Pilar, Antonio Luna, Melchora Aquino, Ninoy Aquino, Jose Diokno, Cory Aquino, Remberto de la Paz, etc. Also seen in the mural are remarkable student leaders such as Edgar Jopson, Lorena Barros, and Lean Alejandro.

Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero Theater (photo from the CAL)

Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero Theater

Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero is a playwright for over two generations and the director of the UP Dramatic club. He is the first Filipino to have a theater named after him within his lifetime. Located at the second floor of the Palma Hall, the theater stages a variety of plays.

Room 209

Room 209 of the Palma Hall served as the Office of the President of the University of the Philippines from 1951 to 1956. Formerly called as the College of Liberal Arts, Vidal A. Tan (9th President of UP) who allotted the college for “higher general education”.

Room 207

During the years 1974 to 1975, in Room 207, the members of the Consultative Committee on Student Affairs (CONCOMSA) gathered and prepared for the return of the UP Student Council (USC) which was prohibited by the Martial Law in 1972. The A.S. Student Council was first to be established and had its office at Room 207. Organizations, such as SINAG (official publication of the students) and the Freshmen Orientation Program Committee (FOPC), which gave inspiration and hope for other student organizations to be built also had their meetings in the room.

UP Anthropology Museum (photo from the writers)

UP Anthropology Museum

It was July 13, 1967 when the UP Anthropology Museum was officially opened with the leadership of Iluminada Panlilio, the University Secretary. Professor Otley Beyer’s archeological and ethnological collections were the first exhibits. These exhibits were first displayed at the Museum and Institute of Archeology and Ethnology, located at 1668 Aviles Street in Manila, which was destroyed during the World War II. Natividad Noriego, Beyer’s personal secretary, was the first curator of the UP Anthropology Museum. The Museum is divided into two sections: Prehistory and Archeology (Section A) and Ethnography (Section B).

AS Rooftop at present (photo from the writers)

AS Rooftop

The fourth floor or the “rooftop” of the Palma hall was one of the meeting places of the students who participated in making a brigade around the campus on February 1-8, 1981- it was called the Diliman Commune. On the said floor of the building is where the main activities of the activists were done. On February 3, 1971, a red flag was raised and waved on the rooftop. Also, fireworks or rockets against the Military helicopters trying to surround the campus were also fired from the rooftop. For a time, the name “Bulwagang Palma (Palma Hall)” was changed to “Bulwagang Dante (Dante Hall)”, from the name “Kumander Dante (Commander Dante)”, nom de guerre of Bernabe Busayco, leader of the New People’s Army at that time.

Before the 1990’s, there was no wall or corridor ledge along the fourth floor, only metal railings were there. On these metal railings, students sat, hanging their feet outside the building, while watching the blanket-like red flowers from the Acacia and Fire trees, and appreciating the smell of the white flowers of Calachuci during summer time.

(Text translated from the plaques by the University of the Philippines Department of History, 2008)

Palma Hall - Straight from the Alumni

Here are some words by the UP alumni defining the Palma Hall:

  • "Entering Palma Hall is one of the most defining moments of our UP experience."
  • "Ascending the AS steps and entering the AS lobby stir-up mixed feelings in the UP student and memories for the UP alumni..."
  • "Nasa UP na nga ako."
  • "At Palma Hall, we felt UP was home."
  • "Palma Hall is the place that birthed and nurtured many of our lifelong friendships."
  • "It is where we developed not only as thinkers but as persons; where we learned not only ideas but insights, not only theories but ways of life."
  • "The sights and sounds of Palma Hall continue to flood our memories long after we have left the hallowed halls of the university."<ref name="support"/>

Other Structures of the Social Science Complex

The Benton Hall (photo from the writers)
The College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association (CASAA) Food Center (photo from the writers)
The artist's perspective of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) Faculty Center (photo from the CSSP)

The College of Social Sciences and Philosophy is the steward of the Social Science Complex of the University of the Philippines Diliman campus, consisting of the Palma Hall, its Pavilions, its Annex (PHAn), some parts of the Benton Hall, the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association Food Center, and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Faculty Center. The last three structures are discussed here.

Benton Hall

The Benton Hall is in between the Palma Hall and PHAn, also located in Roxas Avenue. The Center for International Studies (CIS), the Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment (OASH) and the UP Diliman Gender Office (UPDGO) are located here, as well as the tambayans of different organizations.

College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association (CASAA) Food Center

College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association Food Center, or CASAA for short, is a canteen located in between the Benton Hall and the Institute of Biology. It is usually packed during lunch hours. Establishments found inside are Gloria's Fastfood, Pasta House, Chinatown, Mongolian Grill, and Sizzler, among others.

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) Faculty Center

At present, most of the members of the CSSP faculty occupy rooms in the Bulwagang Rizal or Faculty Center (FC), specifically on the third floor, that it shares with the College of Arts and Letters. Over the years, the FC has become extremely congested, with four to five faculty members in the Department of Philosophy sharing the room meant for one individual. To address this problem, Chancellor Roman and President Nemenzo allocated funds to begin the construction of a Faculty Center behind the Palma Hall Annex, which is the location of the old Admission Office.<ref name="proposal"/>

Still under construction, the CSSP Faculty Center will have four floors with faculty rooms and other facilities for the benefit of both the teachers and the students. The first phase of construction is expected to be finished within a year’s time.<ref name="newsletter"/>

Beta Epsilon Way

The Beta Epsilon Way. (photo from Web Shots Travel)

The Beta Way (or Beta Epsilon Way) is a solid, concrete walkway that cuts through the Academic Oval of the University of the Philippines in Diliman to connect the College of Engineering building (Melchor Hall) to the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy building (Palma Hall). It measures 240 meters long and 1.58 meters wide. The Beta Way is one of many contributions of the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity, the oldest fraternity in the College of Engineering and one of only three organizations in the university to receive the Wenceslao Q. Vinzons Award, in this case specifically bestowed in appreciation for the creation of the Beta Epsilon Way.

The Beta Epsilon marked the original Beta Way in 1952, a simple unlit gravel footpath cutting across what was then the university golf course. Over the years, the Betans continually maintained and improved the walkway, including such major upgrades as the concreting in July 1961 and the rehabilitation in 2004. Today, the lighted path continues to serve its mission, that is to be the shortest distance that students walk from their Engineering classes to their Arts and Sciences classes, and vice versa, an especially necessary course when the breaks between classes are only 5 to 10 minutes.<ref name="betaway"/>


External Links


<references />

"February 2009." My Stand Alone Complex: Event Horizon. Web. 14 Oct. 2009. <>.
"As lobby palma hall image by gettingdangerous on Photobucket." Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket. Web. 14 Oct. 2009.<>.
"As lobby palma hall image by dainjay18 on Photobucket." Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket. Web. 14 Oct. 2009.<>.
"As walk up diliman image by roval_01 on Photobucket." Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket. Web. 14 Oct. 2009.<>.
Dzup1602. Web. 14 Oct. 2009. <>.
My Manila. Web. 14 Oct. 2009. <>.
"Campaign for Resources -- U.P. Artist's Circle Fraternity Mural." Web. 14 Oct. 2009. <>.
".:: Welcome - UP-KAL Website [Performance Venues] ::." .:: Welcome - UP-KAL Website ::. Web. 14 Oct. 2009. <>.

Art Studies 2
Section THU-1
First Semester, Academic Year 2009-2010
Group 4 Reporters: Africa, Sy, Velasco



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