The long queue and rains did not stop University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman students, faculty and alumni from flocking to Beach House last Monday and Tuesday. It could have been, after all, the last time that they would enjoy the canteen’s famous barbecue.
They weren’t just there for the barbecue, though. They were there to say goodbye to almost three decades of memories, and friendships built over a simple meal.
A few members of the UP Pre-Medical Honor Society, who are Beach House regulars, said that even though their tambayan is a bit far from the canteen, they don’t mind making the trip because they really enjoy the food.
Added Angeline Alagao, who is taking her master’s in Physics: “Aside from the barbecue, my favorite is the ensaladang talong.”
For Political Science graduate Jan Robert Go, Beach House was his go-to place to eat with friends from his department.
“What people fail to understand, especially those who aren’t from here—‘Ano ba ’yan, canteen lang naman ’yan eh,’ that’s the usual mindset—is that Beach House was a part of our youth,” said Carla Bautista, a Communication Research graduate and the person behind the Facebook page Huwag Isara ang Beach House Naming Mahal.
“Beach House was where the friendship between me and my closest college buddies flourished. We all have the same taste when it comes to food—especially when it is pork barbecue!”
said Pilar Pinga-Cruz, a Broadcast Communication graduate. “I once invited my office mates to eat at Beach House. I was really hoping to bring my two children there to eat, too.”
Beach House closed its doors on Wednesday, July 9, after a long legal battle with the university’s administration about the canteen’s location. They have been evicted from their spot beside the Main Library, right on the edge of the Sunken Garden, because of a nearby open drainage, which the UP admin says poses a health risk to the canteen’s customers.
However, most members of the UP community feel that this is not reason enough to close their beloved barbecue place.
“Okay naman ’yung pagkain, mura; wala namang nagkakasakit. So, why shut it down?” said Bautista.
Bautista started the Facebook page early this year to appeal to the university to change their decision. It even features a short video about Beach House’s history and its significance to the UP community. The page has now over 3,000 likes.
Petitions, both on paper and online, have also been circulated, collecting over 5,000 signatures.
Beach House’s owner Tessie Feliciano is even willing to have the open drainage fixed, said Bautista, but the university’s decision is final. As of press time, they have written another letter to the administration, requesting an extension to stay in their current location, but there has been no feedback so far.