The school on the hill, the home of one of the biggest rivalries in UAAP history, the “school where it’s always traffic.” These are just some of the many things Ateneans know about Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). But this blue university is more than Jose Rizal stories and “people who speak English a lot”. There’s a couple of things that go on inside the campus that a lot of people (Ateneans included) may not know. Here are some of them!
Why do people call it “The” Ateneo?
You might’ve heard people—especially alumni—refer to Ateneo as “the” Ateneo instead of just “Ateneo.” Now before you dismiss it as Atenean grandstanding, the reasoning behind that is simple: Ateneo gets its name from the Greek word “Athenaeum,” which housed people who wanted to learn. There are many ateneos over the world like the Ateneo Veneto di Scienze and the Ateneo de Madrid, which is why Ateneo de Manila differentiates itself by using “the.”
Are there any unique species you can find on the Ateneo grounds?
Ateneo’s 83-hectare campus wasn’t always the building complex it is now. The original Jesuits bought the property and renovated it from the swampland it used to be. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t life in Ateneo’s forests and small ponds! In fact, it’s home to various wildlife and insects like the Ateneo Long-palped Water Beetle (Hydraena ateneo), discovered in 2012.
What’s the link between Ayala and the Ateneo Art Gallery?
Anyone who wants to visit the first museum of modern Philippine Art should go to the Areté Arts Wing. Filled with works from notable contemporary and post-war artists, the Ateneo Art Gallery is the culmination of Fernando Zóbel de Ayala’s wish to have a home for Filipino artists’ works. It’s good for your appreciation for Filipino art, and also happens to be very Instagram-worthy.
What can you find in the University Archives?
The Old Rizal Library, the previous home of the Ateneo Art Gallery, houses the University Archives. It’s a treasure trove of documents, microfilms, administrative notes, films, maps, and other notable belongings from Ateneo alumni. If you’ve ever wanted to see what uni life was like since 1958, this is the best place to go and look for it!
How many cute cats are on campus?
Finally, you can’t go far in Ateneo without running into one of the 150 cats running around the university at any given time. These furry companions are welcome (if sometimes snobbish) accompaniments to students during crunch time or simply when the cat feels like it. Initially seen as pests, administration’s views on them have since softened (though still regulated,) and groups like Cats of Ateneo have no end of pictures and love for these felines.
So there you have it. Some facts about the Ateneo that you might not have known. As one of the oldest institutes of learning in the country, it’s run into its fair share of strange stories, contemporary cultures, and cute cats, and there’s still plenty more to come. Ready to start your university journey? Discover your future school with us. Or find out more fun facts about local schools. Check out our College Life section on the Edukasyon.ph blog!