In the first few weeks of the new year, a barrage of bewildered posts slathered the DLSU Community Forum Facebook group, with students asking questions ranging from “Why are there so many trailers parked near North Gate?” to “Am I crazy, or was that really Tom Holland leaving the elevator just now?”
While public focus has shifted recently to prevailing national concerns, rumors continue to spiral about what exactly these strange occurrences and sightings may have meant. DLSU had until recently offered no information on the subject, other than an email from the Office of the Chancellor advising students that the upper floors of the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall and the Marian Quadrangle would be inaccessible indefinitely due to “reasons that cannot be disclosed at the moment”.
Last night, however, to quell the turmoil brought about by the imminent closure of the different areas inside the University, the administration issued a statement titled MISSION REPORT: DECEMBER 16, 1991. The statement, written in a mix of Russian and Sokovian, reminded that several areas inside the campus will be designated as off-limits to preserve their “cleanliness and integrity”. Further, it indicated that students are advised to avoid frantically crowding Hollywood-looking individuals so as to not terrorize their stay in DLSU.
The hardest choices require the strongest wills
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has been hard-pressed to give information on future movies, but as of press time, nothing concrete has been revealed regarding Marvel’s plans beyond 2022. However, last July 2019, Feige in an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Reddit caved to a question—“Is there anything you can tell us regarding movies that haven’t been announced yet?”
“I think our fans in Asia can be quite excited for what we have in store,” he said in his reply. “I can’t say much, but where we are at right now, the smell and pollution surrounding the location leaves a lot to be desired.”
The months that followed this AMA session saw trailers lined up on the streets of Taft Ave. and prominent celebrities appearing seemingly out of nowhere inside of the University. It didn’t take long for some speculative fans to point out that DLSU could potentially be the location Feige was alluding to.
So…your school is about to become a filming location
“It’s still kinda hard to believe,” remarks Bruce Bandila (IV, BS-BIO). “At first, I thought there was no way this was gonna be true. What were the odds Marvel would come to the Philippines, right?” He then relays that he caught a glimpse of Taika Waititi taking pictures of the labs on the fourth floor of St. Joseph Hall, expressing, “And now I’m just kind of in shock.”
While little is known about the project, Lasallians have been quick to come up with their own theories as to why Marvel Studios might have chosen DLSU to be a shooting location specifically, and what sort of superhero movie the campus might soon be known for. Clark Kim (VI, BS-PSYC), a longtime fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and self-proclaimed comic book lover, believes it has something to do with DLSU’s prominent research departments. “La Salle is the most productive research university in the Philippines,” he notes. “Many of Marvel’s plotlines hinge on research labs and experiments gone awry. There’s got to be a connection there, right?”
Diana Tatlonghari (IV, AB-LIM), yet another die-hard Marvel fan, postulates that the upcoming film might involve Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to some degree, given that Jacob Batalon—who plays Ned Leeds in the MCU—is the only actor in the franchise that has Filipino ties. With more and more Lasallians having reported Tom Holland sightings on campus, this theory doesn’t seem too far off. “Maybe it’s a movie about Peter helping Ned connect to his roots,” Diana guesses. She even offers a plausible title for the movie, Spider-Man: Bringing Ned Home.
Dormammu, I’ve come to complain
While many are excited to see what becomes of Marvel’s plans, others aren’t too happy with the restrictions that certain areas of the campus had been put under. “The lines in Andrew were already long enough as it is, and then one day I found out that they closed off all four elevators? For just one scene for some dorky, overhyped movie for kids? I don’t know when I’ll get to see my crush in person again,” complains Berry Elena (V, AB-CAM).
Meanwhile, DLSU faculty and staff also did not know what to make of the sudden disruption in campus, as several professors complained about the surge of absences in their classes and the sounds of fake explosions suddenly resounding throughout the halls. Judy Andrew Santos from the Filipino Department angrily states, “Naistorbo na talaga ‘yung klase ko dahil sa ingay galing sa kalokohan na ‘yan; sana sinabi nalang na ‘wag na tayong lahat mag-aral!”
(All the noise from that nonsense has really been disruptive to our classes, as if to say we shouldn’t even try to study at all!)
The most affected within the DLSU community, however, also happened to be its smallest population—the campus cats. “‘Pag may naririnig silang barilan o biglaang pagsabog noon, natatakot sila at tumatakbo sa kung saan-saan,” shares Genny Curry (IV, BS-PSYC), long-time cat lover and member of DLSU PUSA.
(Whenever they would hear gunshots or sudden explosions, they would get scared and run away, scattering to various places.)
Harley King (I, CHE) shares that, despite the inconveniences it has caused, he’s still excited to see this project come to fruition. “As a long time Marvel fanboy and student in DLSU, I’m thrilled beyond words right now,” he states. “The only thing that could make this situation even better is if I could be involved in the film in some way.” Many on campus share his sentiments; it would seem that an unexpected number of Lasallians have secret aspirations of joining Marvel’s iconic canon of heroes.
On that note, a recent twitter post from director Taika Waititi hints that he may be looking for willing Lasallians to play extras in this upcoming film, “Thank you for all the support @DLSUManila! If any of you are willing to cut classes for a week and be covered head to toe in bright blue body paint, just let me know!” While debates rage on whether the director was joking or not, only one thing is certain—DLSU is going for a ride.