Surviving Agno 101

The sun rises and sets – day after day, time after time – splashing its little avenue of camaraderie with shades of amber and mauve. The haze of aromatic smoke wafts through the whistling russet leaves of shady boughs –carrying with it the intoxicating scent of freshly-cooked food and of caramelized nicotine. Footfalls stir up clouds of dust in the bone-dry lane and echoes with the low din of the luxuriously-clad crowd – bringing with them the occasional high-pitched soprano squeal of a cosmopolitan woman or a bass-deep mirth of a muscled man.

Scarcely-lit cigarette butts dot the potholes here and there, bringing with them the illusion of fireflies sparkling in a seemingly endless pocket of darkness. Sunset hues ricochet off the gravelly path and intertwine with the shadows of the sweat-drenched crowd oblivious to anything, but their own bodily desire for economical food and emphysema-ridden vices.

Thus, we bring you the hidden kingdom of Calle Agno – that lush, secluded jewel of all green-clad scholars of the mighty De La Salle University. A thorny yet rosy path, behold the huntsmen and knights alike who tread this path with fear and wariness, for beneath the infinite darkness looms tentacles of the unknown – grasping and pulling gullible strangers into a permanent state of euphoria and forgetfulness.

Thus, on its peak season when travellers take the detour far more than usual, The LaSallian has issued a decree to rescue you from Agno’s hidden blood curdling horrors and show you the luxuriant paradise it truly is. Never fear, o brave explorer!

1. Thou shalt only wear leather-soled boots upon entering Agno (or anything other than flimsy footwear)
Trust us, you DO NOT want to don thin sandals or thick heels while parading around the pothole-littered Agno. Not only will you end up bruised or injured; you might also lose bucks when you snap one of those precious heels. The callous, gravelly path will see to that.

2. Thou shalt not hesitate to try out the variants of nibbles the villagers has to offer
And at accommodating prices, too! Agno offers variants food to satisfy the commoner. From exotic Chinese dimsum, breakfast munchies (think Bacsilog) to silky milk teas, Agno offers it all at prices a little over fifty pesos. All food worth living for is not always those found in five-star restaurants.

3. Thou shalt ALWAYS bring weapons and protective armor as a means of defence against feral beasts (or against the unpredictable weather)
The route from Andrew Gonzales Building to La Salle Hall offers roofs along the way to shield you against the weather – that is, except in Agno. Whether it is a sunny May day or a stormy June downpour, an umbrella is always handy in Agno. Not to mention hankies to screen the bitter stench of vehicular and cigarette smoke.

4. Thou shalt be wary of poisonous berries and misleading tracks (or of cunning strangers)
The danger that lurks in Agno is in some of its inhabitants – sly creatures hiding under false pretenses. This jungle is a public place, which makes it all the more precarious for students, even for those simply passing through. The LaSallian bids thee, guard your prized possessions.

5. Thou shalt be cautious of rushing carriages, especially with those hasty coachmen.
Cars and trucks that suddenly materialize behind you and honk at you with those ear-splitting horns are not rare in Agno. Remember: Getting trampled or run over is never an option.

6. Thou shalt have “town hall meetings” around The Agno.
One of the best things about Agno is that in almost any time of day, someone you know is going to be there. Whether they are at one of the plastic tables enjoying one of Agno’s delicacies, or just passing by for a quick smoke before an Andrew class; acquaintances are just about everywhere.

7. Thou shalt never fear to venture into the deepest passages of The Agno.
At this point, you are probably convinced that The Agno is truly a world class gem. Nothing can possibly beat its cigarette-induced spark. But alas, you are gravely mistaken. With a heart of pure and vans for extra walking, you will find that there is more to this wondrous kingdom. Between the trees and electrical post, lies a different region of Agno formerly known by brave knights and journeymen as “The Castro.”

8. Thou shalt familiarize oneself with the lively folks around tis’ wondrous kingdom.
As a bold adventurer, staying one step ahead is vital throughout your quest. Being informed is a key resource that can only be achieved with a striking smile and humble tongue. Making small talk with sellers around the stalls can mean better service and bigger servings in thy feast.

9. Thou shalt be armed with royal headgear when journeying on hot spells.
Aside from treacherous creatures lurking around the premises, one must stay aware of natural forces that strike from above. Summer time signals a whole new level of heat, which not only burns the skin, but blinds the eyes. Voyaging through with sunglasses for defence will allow oneto see The Agno in all her glory.

10. Thou shalt make known thy kingdom with fellow journeymen and honour thee ever long.
Upon entry, one does not simply walk out and leave The Agno. After experiencing tis’ hallowed grounds and its people and their colorful ways of life, visiting almost always guarantees permanent residency. Thus, for thy gain of kingdom and its peoples, one must strive to influence young padawans in its shining path. Keep in mind, you were once a freshman eating your lunches at the 6th floor of Andrew cafeteria.

Alas, our journey hath come to its completion. We now share a bond that will last through the dark ages. My brave comrade, I thank thee for thou loyalty throughout our wonderful quest in thy glorious kingdom of Calle Agno. I hope our humble decree hath shown this diamond in the coals its incomparable shine. Huzzah! Valiant journeymen, and may the cigarette butts be ever in your flavor.

Shi Ailyn

By Shi Ailyn

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