"Ang ganda grabe!"
Those were the reactions of my fellow transferees. There were more or less fifty students who still couldn't take their eyes off the extraordinary spectacle.
We walked toward the main gate, which seemed to grow larger as we made our way to it. Huminto naman ang mga sumundo sa amin kaya napahinto rin kami sa harapan ng gate.
"Admission slips?" the guy with the brownish hair asked.
Halos lahat kami ay dali-daling nilabas ang kanya-kanya naming admission slip. Pinapila kami ng isa pang lalaki at saka niya isa-isang tiningnan at kinuha ang slips namin. He inserted it into a device embedded on the center bars of the gate. I was quite far from the front line but I think it was a card or paper slot equipment. Hinintay ko kung ano ang mangyayari at napanganga ako nang makita kong kinuha ng sundo namin ang lumabas sa likod ng device. The slip had been transformed into an ID.
"Cool," I murmured after seeing that.
"Anong cool?" Napatingin naman ako sa babae sa harapan ko.
"Uhm, 'yong slip kasi natin, nagiging ID. Ayun o," sabay turo ko sa device na nasa gitna pero kumunot lang ang noo niya.
"Huh? Wala akong makita."
"Ah, medyo maliit kasi."
She raised her brow at me so I immediately stopped talking. Sabi ko nga, mukhang malabo ang mga mata niya at hindi niya makita 'yon. Hindi ko na lang siya pinansin at gano'n din naman ang ginawa niya. I waited for my turn and maybe about ten minutes had passed before I got in front.
"Rainie Lazaro?" one of the guides called. Lumapit naman ako sa kanya at binigay ang slip ko. He put that inside the device and after a few seconds, he gave me my ID. Kahit na ilang beses ko na 'yong nakita kanina habang hinihintay kong mapunta ako sa unahan ay napanganga pa rin ako. It was innovative and cool.
Tiningnan ko ang ID ko pero wala pa itong picture. Itatanong ko na sana sa guide pero naunahan niya ako.
"Just follow them," sabay turo niya sa mga estudyanteng nauna sa akin. "Your photos will be taken there," sabi niya habang nakangiti at tumango naman ako.
Nagsimula akong maglakad habang bitbit ang malaking kong maleta. Pumasok ako ro'n sa main gate at sinundan ko ang babae sa harapan ko na nagtanong kung ano ang nakita ko kanina pero napahinto ako nang makapasok na ako sa loob.
I suddenly felt insignificant.
Right after the main gate, a Japanese-style garden came into view. A lush carpet of green covered the ground which were set against groves of trees with various leaf colors. Stones of different sizes were also lined and stacked at the sides while some were made as stepping stones. Beyond that was a short and curved stone bridge, surrounded by flowering trees and plants, which connected the entrance to a building that looked like a traditional temple.
Dahil iyon lang ang daan papunta sa loob ay pumasok kami ro'n. We were greeted by several staffs who were dressed differently from our guides. Instead of formal attire, they were wearing a certain kind of uniform—white polo shirt with a badge bearing the symbol of a gear.
"Please follow them," one of the women said while gesturing at the students who were exiting the temple.
"Whoa, Intelligence department staffs," rinig kong sabi ng nasa likuran ko. "Sabi ng Mom ko, sila ang pinakamagagaling na Senshins dito."
Intelligence department? Senshins? Ano naman ang mga 'yon?
Natigil ang pakikinig ko nang makalabas kami mula sa building na iyon dahil bumungad sa akin ang campus.