Proofs of time immemorial

time immemorail

They stand tall and proud – those grey-and-black marble or concrete structures that teem the dusty corners and leafy grounds of our beloved campus, stone lips murmuring secrets of an age gone by. Mute and cold, they stare fixedly at all who pass by – chalk-white eyes immobile, heads held high (or bowed, for some), the silent spaces they occupy seeming to still time amidst the blur and haze of movement. The only constants in a world that shifts and distorts rapidly, these markers of time serve as reminders that history had once been wrought within the walls of the University.

Inasmuch as they are often ignored by the common student, these grey pals of ours have much to speak of – that of joyful eras worth commemorating and of sorrowful seasons that spoke of melancholy, even death – and, of course, they give a toss of their hats to the leagues of legendary figures who made their distinct marks on Lasallian ground. And because their purpose is more than that of mere adornment (although they do look spiffy under those shady boughs), we tick them off one by one – they whose stone eyes are always upon you.


1. Mother Mary (Marian Quadrangle)

This one is pretty obvious for the cluster of students who usually take to the greenery of the quadrangle to capture a few stunning angles. We thank the High School Class of 1934, who bequeathed this statue to “all Lasallites who come after them”, for this holy image of the Mother who stands guard over her children with pure motherly affection up to this very day.


2. Brother Andrew

(Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall)

Located in the lobby of ‘Andrew Building’, a bust of the man for whom the entire structure was named after stares benignly at all who pass by, a peaceful smile plastered on the bust’s face. Inscribed underneath are the various ways with which to describe the former DLSU Manila President, who is fondly remembered as, among others, a scholar, a philanthropist, and a patron of the arts. Students who wait in line for the elevators of Andrew Hall can take note of this tribute to one of the most famous alumni of our alma mater. Truly the ‘Quintessential Lasallian’!


3. St. Joseph the Worker

(St. Joseph Hall)

Students who traverse the long path of SJ Walk may occasionally notice the statue positioned outside the entrance to St. Joseph Hall. The almost solitary figure is of St. Joseph, himself — holding the Carpenter’s Square, the common instrument of his profession, the symbol of the labor of all workers. The statue that serves as a commemoration to the industry of the stepfather of Jesus Christ seems solemn as it bows humbly to all who pass by.


4. St. John Baptist de La Salle

(Marian Quadrangle)

On the corner of the grassy quadrangle, a tribute to the founder of our school rests upon a boulder. The patron saint of teachers himself stays erect at the edge of this immense field. With him stand two young figures that symbolize the Lasallian vision of educating the youth by ‘Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts, and Transforming Lives’. The bronze inscription underneath reveals the sculptures’ age, as it is inscribed to the administration, students, and staff of the De La Salle Grade School, which still stood decades ago.


5. The Priest and the Dying Brother (Marian Quadrangle)

At the center of the various benches located beside the quadrangle, a pair of solemn figures stay unmoving, as if frozen within time itself. The sculpture was erected in memorial of the 16 De La Salle Brothers who met their tragic deaths inside the campus on February 12, 1945 during the Second World War. The priest represents Fr. Francis J. Cosgrave, who was among those killed by Japanese soldiers on that fateful day – he who, despite injuries, courageously gave the last rites to his dying brethren. The courage and faith of those men are immortalized in the stone sculpture, which brings back memories of a darker, more turbulent time.


6. The Green Archer (Chess Plaza – or Central Plaza, for the millennials)

Easily the most renowned statue in the entire University, this piece was commissioned by Class 1966 and was crafted by master sculptor Ed Castrillo in 1985. Inscribed with the names of notable alumni and with the University logo, this statue, which was first unveiled during the 1986 Diamond Jubilee celebration, has remained and will forever remain a gleaming icon of Lasallian pride and excellence.


7. St. John Baptist de La Salle (again, William Hall)

A common sight, this one, for the students and professors who would rather trek the long flight upstairs to the College of Science departments. The imposing dusty-white pastiche of the renowned educator with a young boy at his side is reminiscent of the mission with which the saint undertook – a mission geared towards a truly transformative education.


8. St. John Baptist de La Salle (third time’s the charm: St. La Salle Building)

Now, this one is quite the unexpected one, as most students fail to take note of the statue of the zealous saint imposed upon the roof of the University’s most historic building – his right arm extended towards the far south. Scattered rumours and wisecracks maintain that the kind-hearted saint is actually pointing towards St. Scholastica’s College, where the girls lie in wait for Lasallite boys.


The several historical figures immortalized in stone and concrete will forever stay unmoving – watching as life within the University passes by. They stand as memorials of a time long ago, and as we observe these grey and white guardians around our University, a history already written encapsulates us and we smile with pride – content and satisfied with the green-blooded legacy we are invited to be a part of.


Shi Ailyn

By Shi Ailyn

Wilhelm Tan

By Wilhelm Tan

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