UP students lose phones, laptops to field trip blaze
◢ Juan Gregorio Lina
Students of a Physical Education 2 (PE 2) class this semester are in need of laptops and cellphones after a fire burned down the dormitory of the resort they were staying in during an Orienteering field trip on September 16.
The incident report by class professor and College of Human Kinetics (CHK) Dean Ronualdo Dizer did not determine the total value of the lost belongings, but a source at the CHK said the blaze claimed around ₱1 million worth of cash, phones, laptops, and other personal items. No one was injured in the incident.
The resort will pay for the students’ lost possessions based on a list of items that was furnished to the fire department and the parents or guardians concerned. The fire reportedly started around 9:30PM and was confined to the girls’ dormitory of the resort.
The local fire department’s initial investigation identified faulty wiring in electric fans in one of the rooms as the cause of the blaze. The findings, however, are still pending further inquiry.
The students were preparing for their group presentations at the resort’s activity area when a security guard approached the class and requested for their room keys, said Kisha Beringuela, one of the PE students.
The guard noticed on the CCTV that smoke was coming out of one of the rooms, prompting the resort’s staff to attempt to contain the fire, but the blaze had grown too large, Beringuela added. The resort management then relocated students to different sleeping quarters on the resort for the rest of their campout.
The remaining activities for the class were cancelled, but alternative requirements will be planned as replacements towards course completion. The class left the resort for Quezon City the following Sunday.
On September 19, the UP Diliman University Student Council (USC) appealed for UP students to help by either lending or donating laptops and cellphones to replace those lost to the fire. Meanwhile, the Office of the University Registrar will issue new IDs for those whose IDs were lost to the blaze, said Beringuela.
The Alto Rios Resort in Indang, Cavite has been the site of PE 2 orienteering classes for seven years, but the fire was the first time such an incident occurred at the venue, according to the report. Orienteering refers to a broad group of sports that involve using a map, a compass, and different station points to navigate usually unfamiliar terrain. ◢
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