What effect has Peyups had on me? This was the question posed by Mimi when she asked me to do this article. Honestly? It has made me wish I was ten years younger.
In all my years of quietly observing the goings-on in the State University, never have I encountered something with the ability to unite and galvanize UPians the way Peyups has. The way this community has evolved since its inception four years ago is truly, truly remarkable. (I am not getting paid to say these things, by the way. How I wish. Hehehe).
I long to be ten years younger, or 14 to be exact (is that a collective scoff I hear from maroon and Mimi?). Alright, 17, but that’s as far as I’ll go. At my current age, Peyups-ing is still loads of fun, but probably not as much fun as doing it while in the midst of living the UP experience. Indeed, how can I possibly contribute to discussions such as “who is your fave personality in Peyups?” or “Nag-ACLE ka ba?”
While the current batch of Iskos and Iskas may argue that they, in turn, cannot contribute yet to discussions about salaries, career choices and graduate studies, the difference is that they eventually will. People like epal, arwen, gpov, kuo_chun, and me, on the other hand, must be content with merely sharing our college memories. For how can we even talk about the Alternative Classroom Learning Experience when we don’t even know what this new-fangled notion is all about?
Yet even though I am a bit older than most Peyupsers, life here in Peyups has not been without its share of first-time experiences for me. It was here in Peyups that I discovered others who shared my undying – if slightly misguided – passion for UAAP basketball, people like maroon, markolsen, boostergurl, and the now-inactive Miel. We even had the pleasure (or was it displeasure?) of interacting with the then-notorious teen_idol. I’m sure maroon misses him dearly.
Through the years we have been joined by other Maroon fans - like rudboy, Sparty, and maroon tiger/archer/eagle – and by the Maroons themselves – rob9, toti4, josant13, and delo11. Thanks to Peyups, we can now all mingle online and live the highs and lows of Maroon Mania. And for the nth time decide once and for all if Mike Bravo is a good player or not. That debate never reached its conclusion, although I guess many people have decided na mabait naman siya.
It was also here in Peyups that I first got hit on, believe it or not. Once in a while some misinformed male soul, thinking I am a she and for some reason believing I’m liberated, sends me a PM with a rather interesting proposition, topped off by some lines that are just priceless, from the direct (“The name Kim just drives me wild and horny!”) to the subtle (“Hi, I’d really like to be your friend.”) So this is what ladies like queen_amygdala, sux, caravaggio, and leila_lee must be experiencing every so often.
While no doubt this is all amusing, at the same time I feel upset because all this time Kim has apparently given off the impression of being an easy lay. Stupid FB thread.
I first learned about Peyups in 1999, when an officemate and fellow alumnus sent me a wallpaper with the young Anakin Skywalker casting a shadow while walking under the hot midday sun. Only instead of an image of Darth Vader, the shadow was that of the Oblation. I found this shot to be outrageously cool. I scanned the jpeg file to find any clue about its origins, and there near the bottom were the words www.peyups.com.
So I visited the site. It had a black background back then, nowhere near its appealing maroon-orange layout of today. Of course, just like any other community site of the late 90s, its lifeblood was its message board. ( um, the old peyups board had a blue background; the old upfight board, black – mimi )
Man, what a crazy message board it was. Karl and Mimi weren’t as strict yet about censoring profanity-laced posts, so it was pretty much a free-for-all. Since I have been a fan of the Fighting Maroons even before Karl entered high school, I was easily drawn into word wars with non-UP lurkers who dared insult our team. (Of course, 90% of the time these flame-baiters were actually correct, but we couldn’t let them insult our hapless team in our own backyard, right?)
So for several weeks I virtually ignored my duties as a salaried employee and spent most of my productive time surfing Peyups (wait, I still do that today), trading barbs in the “UP Maroons Support Site”, as Maroon Mania was known back then.
Then one day I mustered enough courage to e-mail the webmaster, without even knowing who he was. In a moment of insanity, I asked him if I could right a regular sports column in Peyups, then proceeded to sell myself (he didn’t have a clue as to who I was either). I mentioned my BA Journalism degree, my few sports articles published in some now-defunct publications and, above all, my love for both UP and its Fighting Maroons. Karl, either because he was feeling rather nice that day or because he desperately needed anything to make the site more interesting, actually replied and said that a sports column sounded like a great idea. He didn’t even question why someone would actually love the Fighting Maroons.
Stunned by my brazenness and by his rather swift reply (Karl e-mailed me back after just two days), I found myself rather unprepared to write a column. I tried to buy more time saying that I wanted to write about the 1986 UAAP championship and have it posted on the 13th anniversary date, October 25, 1999. That gave me around six weeks to finish it. Lord knows I tried, but somehow I couldn’t find the right time and motivation to do it.
So for the next year or so, the sports column remained a pipe dream. Once in a while Karl would e-mail me, ostensibly to talk about another disastrous UAAP campaign or to simply chat. It turns out my girlfriend’s brother was his high school classmate. And that his nickname back then was Lem-lem. (I expect my Peyups account to be banned soon.) Then he would ask about the sports column. “Nobela na yata yang sinusulat mo, ah,” he would say in jest. I would give a sheepish reply that someday I would have the column ready.
It was early 2001 now, Erap had been ousted already but the proposed sports column was still nowhere in sight. In fact Lem-lem….errrr, Karl was still nowhere in sight. Physical sight, that is. I had not even met him at all, but he on the other hand claimed to have seen me at a UAAP game in July 2000. It was the first time Karl had a Peyups Member Sighting of me. Definitely a historic moment.
By this time Peyups had grown and improved exponentially. There were more members regularly surfing. The message boards were better maintained. School-bashing was no longer tolerated. The number of topics was not only plentiful but interesting and though-provoking as well. But above all, the site offered something no other school-based community site offered: a systematic and proactive way of allowing members to submit their own essays.
I knew this was the right time to launch my sports column. I got back in touch with Karl, composed an article about Michael Jordan’s pending comeback, and faster than you can type SKL, The Insider was born.
It is perhaps the lousiest column in Peyups, its name totally dull and bearing no connection to its topics, its whole reason for being centered around the loose premise that I will be able to provide some inside information about the local sports scene. Yet somehow it has instead provided inside information about the weddings of my best friend and my sister. (They didn’t marry each other.) The earlier articles, about such mundane topics as Manny Pacquiao and Baranggay Ginebra, were so boring that I couldn’t even get anyone to debate with me. Heck, I practically couldn’t get anyone to give a comment. I became so desperate that I actually thought of posting several comments using different nicknames. Was I that out of touch with today’s generation?
Now, nearly two years and seven articles later, I find myself a bit pleased that my two latest articles now have a combined 54 comments and 1,395 page views. In contrast, the first five articles have drawn only a grand total of 34 comments. Never mind that Limbwizit’s “Wala nga bang bobo sa UP?” has over 10 times more comments (413) than my most recent Insider article (the mushy one about my sister – 35 comments). At least I’m improving.
And never mind that in reality my most-read article is not found in the Insider archives. It was so popular not because of the brilliantly-written prose but because of its main topic. (Last time I looked it had been read nearly 7,000 times already, due in large part to those great pics. Girl, you rock my world.) At least there does exist an article with over 5,000 hits and not written by Choc, Johanna or Limpbwizit. So what if very few people know that Kim and its author are one and the same?
Before I end, I’d like to give a heartfelt thank you to the 2K combination – Karl and Karmina – for accepting me into the Peyups family and for, in their discreet ways, teaching me to become a mellower and nicer person. I’m sure both of you are proud to see your baby Peyups grow into what it has become today. It’s quite remarkable, actually, (or maybe it’s only logical) how describing being a part of Peyups is practically like describing what it’s like to study in UP: you have to be there to know what we’re talking about.
Here’s to another four years, Peyups. Congratulations.