Friday, January 14, 2011

Zorro in U.P. and Beyond

I am not even sure if U.P. could claim 'Zorro' as its own, but as far as I could remember, I first saw him in U.P. premises. I was not even yet enrolled in my masteral classes, I could recall him patrolling the very busy intersection of Krus na Ligas on C.P. Garcia. I thought he was just another one of those urban wanderers, but slightly geared-up, garbed-up like the cape crusader 'Batman'. In fact that was what I called him, not knowing what his official nickname was. That was maybe circa 2003 or 2004.

Six to seven years later, he has earned the monicker 'Zorro'. He has become a U.P. icon, the U.P. Zorro. He is a staple on the University oval. He usually sits around late afternoon in front of Vargas Museum, to the delight of most (and detriment to some) joggers on the oval's bike lane. As far as I know he is harmless, inflicting only some critical comments to some unfortunate by-passers. The most I heard from friends, they are blunt statements like 'Ay maganda tong isa, pero tong isa, mataba' (Zorro describing 2 female joggers - one petite and the other a little on the plump side). But most who do get some reactions from him would just simply shrug it off, passing it off as a quick laugh.

But lately I have discovered Zorro's new daily itinerary, staying at the pedestrian triangle at the entry of Elliptical Road coming from Quezon Avenue. At around 1 pm, Zorro would stand proud at that intersection, with his hands akimbo. He is usually with his 2 trusted companions (an old Tonka dump truck toy and his boomerang). So it seems he is widening his patrol range. He is now becoming a fixture beyond the Diliman campus.

I do not know his story and history. Like in the original Zorro, we do not know the real person behind the mask. I heard rumors that he was once a U.P. student who could not handle the pressures of his studies but I was told this is unlikely. There are more but these too were just as lost in obscurity as the first claim. But whatever his origin is, U.P.'s Zorro is already a legend. He has become part of U.P.'s popular culture, an identifiable fragment of any average student's life in this era.


Andrea said...

Hi, i am glad i opened your site again. Yesterday when i went to LBP near DA, nakasalubong ko sya, but i havent heard of him before that. I didn't look much at the face but at the gadgets on his waist and the toy truck making some noise on the pavement. When i looked back at him, i thought he is old, but in your photo he is goodlooking and young. Someone in the office told me he has already been featured in a newspaper. I hope he returns to his UP post, he is safer there.

metscaper said...

Yup. I always wish him safety. U.P. life will be a little less colorful without him.