Though being founded on 1859 by the Society of Jesus, the Ateneo de Manila University has since moved on from its original campus in Padre Faura to its now expansive 83-hectare campus in Loyola Heights Quezon City. Here are some of the highlights of this beautiful campus:
Church of Gesu
The Ateneo is a Jesuit-run institution and the main church on campus is this huge, white, triangular structure that serves as a centerpiece of the whole campus. Its design is inspired by the Holy Trinity and the three-fold mission and vision of the school but also the traditional Filipino bahay kubo. Situated on Sacred Heart Hill, the highest point on campus, it perfectly complements the school’s main motto: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God).
Blue Eagle Gym
One of two gyms on campus (the other being the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center), the Blue Eagle Gym is home to most of the athletic teams of the university. Opened in late 1949, the Blue Eagle Gym has hosted many prestigious events such as the NCAA (when Ateneo still played in the league), the PBA, and, of course, the UAAP—the league the university currently competes in.
First Pacific Hall
Also known as the New Rizal Library, this five-story tall library is the haven for busy college students in the Loyola Schools. With four whole floors of multimedia research resources and the fifth floor serving as a study hall, it houses students frantically finishing requirements all-year round. On the weeks leading up to finals week, the staff lay down banig mats on the fifth floor for extra study space and a resting place for the tired students.
Manuel V. Pangilinan Center for Leadership
With three whole floors filled with rooms for student organizations in the Ateneo, this building can be called the central hub of student leaders of the university. There are over 80 student organizations accredited by the Council of Organizations of the Ateneo, so student life in the Ateneo is never dull as this building is always full with hustling students organizing various events catering to all kinds of advocacies and interests.
The unofficial forefront of the Loyola Schools, this building has that sign that says “Ateneo de Manila University” that every aspiring Atenean dreams to walk under someday. It also houses the office of our beloved university president, Fr. Jett Villarin. Watch out for the e-jeeps on campus as well, as both routes taken by the environmentally friendly vehicles pass through this hall—ready to bring you to the other stops scattered across the whole campus.
Old Rizal Library
What used to be the main library on campus is now home to the Ateneo Art Gallery, boasting art from artists such as Vicente Manansala, Arturo Luz, and Diosdado Lorenzo. The collections and exhibits shuffle year-round, so there’s always a reason to visit the art gallery again and again. This building also contains the Filipiniana section of the Rizal Library system, perfect for researchers looking for that perfect local source for their thesis.
Loyola School of Theology
Not only does this holy ground have the cheapest food in the Ateneo and the calmest setting on campus, but it also has the best view on campus. Gazebos and benches are situated at the edge of a cliff with a stunning view overlooking the Marikina Valley and the Sierra Madre mountains.
Matteo Ricci Study Hall
This multi-purpose building serves as an extra study area for the students in the Loyola Schools. The building has four rooms with different purposes such as holding meetings, using the desktops and studying individually, so it’s no wonder this hall is packed with people the whole day.
Before there was PAGASA, the Manila Observatory was the main weather forecasting bureau of the Philippines. Today, this research institute specializes in seismology, geomagnetism, and radio physics. In front of this building is the iconic statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Until recent years, it was a tradition for the bravest students to steal the sword St. Ignatius is holding on graduation day as a souvenir from their time in the university. It became such a problem that the school has since welded the sword onto the statue’s hands to stop it from happening again.
The campus scenery is a mix of old and new buildings, interwoven with natural greenery growing everywhere. With lots of little nooks and crannies to explore and even more fields to wander, it’s easy to get lost, both literally and figuratively, in the beauty of these grounds.
From ADMU? What is your favorite part of the campus and why?