Brace yourselves for the most exciting guide to UPLB! Since the semester is about to start after a super-duper long break, you might be thinking of the buildings that gave you the fives. But let’s think of the fun places. Whether you are a visitor/tourist, freshie, a normal student, a returning student, a proud alumnus, or a student oblivious to the fun things the campus can offer, this guide is perfect for you. The Ultimate Travel Guide to UPLB!
Also, incoming freshman students, familiarize yourselves of what you are about to deal with and be prepared! We added Freshie Tips for each place so you’ll know what to do. It’s a long journey ahead.
(1) UPLB MAIN GATE
The main entrance to the campus. It has two pillars with a mosaic mural on the upper part on each side of the road.
Fun Fact: The mural on the pillars is no ordinary painting; it is made of tiles imported from Italy. Uh-huh, and you thought Elbi is just another ordinary school, huh?
Freshie Tip: When crossing the road, please use the path where the pedestrian lane is. Don’t just storm through the middle like a boss if you don’t want to be melted by dozens of eyes looking at you, including the traffic enforcers. You’ll know what I mean when you’re there.
Things to do: Ask the UPLB Police for directions. But thanks to this guide, you don’t have to anymore. *wink*
(2) CARABAO PARK
Locally known as C-Park. It’s located just right in the front of the campus, after the main gate. It has statues of carabaos (duh?) and some benches nearby for hang out purposes.
Fun Fact: This was previously the main gate of the campus, until those two pillars decided to show off.
Another Fun Fact: The legs of those carabaos are not really of the same size. Cool…but wait! There’s more! If you stand a couple of meters in front of the carabao statue on the right (facing the kwek-kwek tower) and look on top of the carabao head, you should see a mini-replica of the statue in the middle. It’s very small, so it may be hard to see. Uyy, pupunta na siya dun!
Freshie Tip: Since it’s located near the gate of the campus, most of the UPLB students pass through here…maybe you can sit on the benches and “familiarize” the faces of your fellow Iskolars…okay, we’re really here to spot some potential crushes to tell about that awesome mini-replica.
Another Freshie Tip: That previous tip being said, beware of stalkers. Pero ‘wag din masyado magfeeling, ha?
Things To Do: Hang out, sit, observe fellow Iskolars, eat, chat with friends
(3) KWEK KWEK TOWER
Formally known as the UPLB Heritage Tower. But it seems more fitting to call it the Kwek-kwek Tower.
Fun Fact: It’s called Kwek-Kwek Tower because we see the fire on top of it as a kwek-kwek—or “egg waffles,” as the coños would call it— because we eating machines tend to think of anything as food.
Freshie Tip: There’s not much to do here, but you can go underneath the tower if you’re bored and—for some reason—would want some random phone numbers, or see some writings written by someone in estrus phase, similar to the ones you see in public restrooms.
Things To Do: Take a picture, walk around it, read vandals, take shelter when it’s raining and you forgot to bring an umbrella
(4) OBLATION PARK
Also locally known as the O-Park. Located here is the symbol of the University of the Philippines. It depicts a man facing upwards with outstretched arms, symbolizing service to his country.
Fun Fact: All the oblations you see in different campuses of UP are all just replicas. The original one is hidden somewhere in the chamber of secrets of the UP Diliman Main Library.
Freshie Tip: There is a known myth—when you take a picture with the Oblation while still being an undergraduate—you won’t graduate on time. Well, don’t listen to that myth. Take a picture or not, you still won’t graduate on time anyway. Muhaha! Kidding!
Things To Do: Sit, chat with friends, have a picnic, observe surroundings, take picture, take picture with “Oble” (I dare you, undergrads)
A famous symbol here in UP Elbi. As you can see, it’s a tamaraw. But it is no ordinary tamaraw. It’s a tamaraw—with wings!
Fun Fact: Did you know that Pegaraw has a baby? It’s located in UPLB’s online registration website, the UPLB Systemone. It’s probably wreaking its cuteness there to compensate for the website’s slow servers.
Freshie Tip: Don’t worry my young padawans, there is no myth connected to this one, so go on and take a picture! *wink* I mean, there is no way you would graduate on time, right? Kidding again!
Things To Do: Take pictures, bask in the glory of Pegaraw
(6) MAIN LIBRARY
Home to the greatest collection of books/ journals and to the office of the Chancellor.
Fun Fact: The sides of the library are always used by the students as a place for meetings, hang outs, dates, and even for emo moments. Yup, most students don’t actually enter the building when they say they’re going to the library.
Freshie Tip: If there is a time that you need to actually enter the building, ready a strap for your ID and wear it like a high-schooler would. You’ll need it if you don’t want to get soaped by the security there.
Things To Do: Sit, hang out with friends, chat with friends, emote, or actually read a book
(7) DL UMALI HALL
The campus’ main auditorium. It’s named after Dioscoro L. Umali, a former dean in UPLB.
Fun Fact: The auditorium has a similar architecture to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, so you can see a striking resemblance in this auditorium and Nicanor Abelardo Hall at CCP.
Freshie Tip: Get tickets as soon as possible and arrive one to two hours before the scheduled time if you plan on watching a show or concert with no reserved seating—especially the popular ones, unless you’re fine with sitting on the aisle or standing at the back. Or, or…have a friend arrive early. You know how this goes. Sige na, makisingit ka na. Ganyan naman kayo eh. Pinapaasa pa ‘yung mga nasa likod na makakaupo sila. </3
Things To Do: Watch the best shows ever, sit on the stairs while waiting for your tardy companion, take pictures, see a good view of the Freedom Park, Carillon Tower, and Fertility Tree
(8) MARIANG BANGA GAZEBO
Formally known as Mariang Dalam-banga, but is more popularly called as Mariang Banga. It’s probably just one of the variations of Maria Makiling.
Fun Fact: There’s an urban myth spreading around the campus where Mariang Banga was said to change the way she carries the banga at certain times. It is said that when a person sees that, it brings bad luck.
Freshie Tip: Since there are benches here, it’s a good place to unwind and just observe. Also, regarding the myth, when an Iskolar sees it, it’s said he wouldn’t graduate. But as I say again, don’t believe what they say! You wouldn’t graduate anywa–okay I’ll stop.
Things To Do: Take pictures, sit and relax, hang out, chat with friends, sit with your special someone
(9) SENIORS SOCIAL GARDEN
This is the campus’ outdoor events place. A garden show is being held here every once in a while.
Freshie Tip: Ironically, as the name itself says, this garden is not only for seniors nor is it definitely only for susyal peeps. But I don’t think anyone would go here on any normal day anyway.
Things To Do: None, unless you’re invited to a wedding located at this place, or when there’s a garden show.
(10) BAKER HALL
Also known as the Baker Memorial Hall. This is currently the Department of Human Kinetics, acting as the sports center in UPLB.
Fun Fact: During the times of war, when Japan took control of the hall, it was used as a prison for the soldiers. Rumor has it that there is a “dungeon” underneath the building, said to extend up to the freedom park. I think you can see the barricaded entrance to that dungeon at the back of the hall in the first floor beside the restrooms.
Freshie Tip: It kinda makes you hungry, right? But as you may have read and realized by now, this is not a bakery. It is kind of the opposite of a bakery. This place is where fats are burned. Go get fats somewhere else.
Things To Do: Play sports, watch people play sports, be a fangirl, be a fanboy
A place to watch field sports such as soccer, ultimate, or track and field.
Freshie Tip: This serves other purposes, too. It can be for dates, and other things. Don’t just go there alone. Chances are—you’ll be out of place.
Things To Do: Watch, and learn
(12) FERTILITY TREE
The biggest Acacia tree in the campus. You can easily see it from the Freedom Park. It has a huge canopy.
Fun Fact: The people who discovered this tree didn’t just go here and said, “Wow, this tree is huge! I’ll call it the Fertility Tree!” No. They called it that way because there’s a reason. Yeah, couples go here at night. I know you know. They’ve seen things, man. They’ve seen things.
Freshie Tip: Are you gonna stay the night? Are you gonna stay the night? Catchy song! Oops, but don’t even think about it. Don’t be one of them. Seriously, don’t.
Things To Do: Sit under the shade, picnic, enjoy the view, look for objects below the tree
Things To Do At Night: Oh stop it, you.
(13) CARILLON TOWER
It is actually called the Rizal Centenary Carillon Tower.
Fun Fact: It’s the tallest building in Elbi. Not fun enough? It has 37 bells. Other carillon towers have 23 bells.
Another Fun Fact: Remember that Pinoy horror movie White Lady? This is where the character of Angelica Panganiban committed suicide. In connection to this, the tower is actually open to the public during its early days but is now closed for safety reasons.
Freshie Tip: Don’t wait for its bell to go “Ding, dong.” It’s not going to do it, unless there’s a major event.
Things To Do: Sit beside it, chat with friends, take pictures, practice dance routines
(14) FREEDOM PARK
Locally known as the F-Park. This is the largest field in the campus. Used for field sports, such as soccer and ultimate. This is also where the graduation march is held.
Fun Fact: About 8 out of 10 joggers at the freedom park always jog counter-clockwise.
Freshie Tip: Save money for the month of February because you’ll be spending a lot of money for food and for dates during the UPLB Feb Fair held here at Freedom Park.
Things To Do: Sit, magbunot ng damo, have picnic, play sports, chat with friends, jam with friends, team building with org, jog, watch people jog, listen to some sharers of the gospel
(15) THAI PAVILION
A small Thai-inspired pavilion.
Fun Fact: Currently, little is known about the history and purpose of this small pavilion here in the campus other than being called the Golden Jubilee Pavilion. Only a few people know the secrets that lie within this structure. I’m not included, obviously.
Freshie Tip: You are the future of the campus. You are encouraged to research more about this.
Things To Do: Do yoga, meditate, hang out, take pictures
(16) NIHON KOEN STEPS
It’s a traditional Japanese garden, with Torii as the centerpiece.
Fun Fact: If you count the number of steps going up, it would be 125 steps. If you count the number of steps going down, it would still be 125 steps. Well, what did you expect? 🙂
Freshie Tip: This is an easier way to get to the College of Forestry. It can be a way to burn fats, too.
Things To Do: Take pictures, go up and down, repeat, have picnic
(17) MARIA MAKILING SCULPTURE
A field statue of Maria Makiling marking the entrance to the College of Forestry and the Makiling Forest Reserve.
Fun Fact: Because of its unusual location, the sculpture is often mistaken as a white lady or something at night by some wannabe ghost busters.
Freshie Tip: Get to know about the legend of Maria Makiling. It’s a must for UPLB students. I repeat: you are the future of the campus. Don’t let the legend die.
Things To Do: Take pictures
(18) MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (click to view opening hours, admission fee, and more info)
A museum that contains different species of plants and animals here in Mt. Makiling and also in other places.
Fun Fact: Behold guys! If you apply to be the museum’s night watchman, you’ll see—this is when the museum comes to life. Oh wait. Wrong museum…and that’s just a movie.
Freshie Tip: At least visit the museum before leaving the campus. Trust me when I say, you’ll be having a lot of time in the campus. That’s a lot of time to see the museum come to life.
Things To Do: Educate yourself, learn scientific names, appreciate nature
(19) MAKILING BOTANIC GARDENS (click to view opening hours, admission fee, and more info)
Primarily serves as a place for preservation and research of endemic plants in Mt. Makiling.
Fun Fact: This place has once been popular for its Center for Philippine Raptors, where different kinds of birds, including the Philippine Eagle, are being taken care of. But it has now moved to Quezon City.
Freshie Tip: Visit this place too before leaving the campus. Take a look and enjoy the sight of all the beautiful and exotic plants you’ll probably never remember.
Things To Do: Field trips, walk around, take pictures, appreciate nature, have picnic, hold events
(20) FLAT ROCKS (click to read about Mariang Makiling Trail)
A river bed located somewhere in the Mt. Makiling.
Fun Fact: The Flat Rocks is called “Flat Rocks” because of flat rocks placed on the river bed (say what?). Basically, they’re rocks that you can stand on ‘cause they’re flat (ugh). Also, this is the first stop of the journey to Peak 2. Not so fun for a fun fact.
Freshie Tip: Visit this. It’s a privilege to stand on a flat rock. It makes you feel superior.
Things To Do: Take pictures, rest for a bit, and then swoosh to the next stop
(21) MUDSPRING (click to read about Mariang Makiling Trail)
Just a lake you happen to pass by. A super hot, sulfuric lake.
Fun Fact: Mt. Makiling is a dormant volcano. And, what you happen to see as the mudspring, is often mistaken as the crater of the volcano. It’s just another mud pot in the mountain where hot, hot gasses coming from deep inside the earth flows out.
Freshie Tip: Visit. No mudspring = No graduating.
Things To Do: Take pictures, feel hot, rest a bit
(22) MT MAKILING PEAK 2 (click to read about Mariang Makiling Trail)
The summit of Mt. Makiling.
Fun Fact: This, what we call the peak two, is the highest point of Mt. Makiling. There are three peaks in Mt. Makiling. The peak three can be visited, while peak one still has an unestablished trail, as far as I know. Also, the trail in Mt. Makiling can be traversed from UPLB to Sto. Tomas in Batangas and vice versa.
Freshie Tip: Visit and take a selfie once you get there. It’s awesome. Why, you ask? Because it makes you look like a badass that’s why.
Things To Do: Enjoy the view, take pictures, enjoy bragging rights upon reaching the top
(23) BSP MONUMENT
The monument of the symbol of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines
Fun Fact: The monument is what the Boy Scouts call as the scout sign. They always use it while reciting the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.
Freshie Tip: Sorry kids, but there are no Scouting subjects currently available in the curriculum. But you can always take up ROTC.
Things To Do: Respect the scout sign, boys.
(24) NATIONAL ARTS CENTER (click to visit website)
That red-roofed building you always see from afar. It’s a building of the Philippine High School for the Arts.
Fun Fact: It’s actually built to be seen on purpose on different angles of Elbi. And when you’re up there, you could see the whole of Elbi.
Freshie Tip: Visit this so you could take a good gander of the place you’ll be living in for the next four to unknown years.
Things To Do: Wander, take pictures, have picnic, enjoy the cool breeze, enjoy the cool view
A day in the life of a UPLB student, and professionals alike, can be very stressing. But don’t forget that there are always the little things in your surroundings that can change the whole way you view the hardest of things. Take a look around, Elbi is not just a place of singkos. Granted, it’s pretty hard to study there, but the things that can keep you sane everyday are always there, just around the corner. It’s about time you see the fun side of UPLB. When you’re down and stressed, just remember these magic words:
Pahabol Tip: Don’t forget to try the most delicious choco-milk in town located at DTRI! It’s the kind of milk that makes your life Legen–wait-for-it Dairy! Legend Dairy! Napatawa ka ‘no? *virtual high five* *don’t leave me hangin’*
Word for the Freshies: Don’t take the not-graduating-on-time thing seriously! It’s simple. If you do well, you graduate on time.
…actually, it’s not that simple.
Now go and share this, don’t be a meanie!
Traveling can be tiring! If ever you get hungry, where will you eat? Find your resto in this post: 10 Best Restaurants in Los Banos or 10 Affordable Places Where UPLB Students Usually Eat
How to get to UPLB? Read our Stopover article here: Stopover: UPLB