At the time of the Diliman Commune, Palma Hall became the center of student activism and a look-out point against the military forces trying to make their way into the university. Aside from the student activists, several faculty members also took part in the events that transpired during the Diliman Commune. With the allyship of the faculty members, the student activists were taught helpful tricks to help defend themselves and the university from the military forces. They were taught how to make pillboxes, molotov cocktail bombs, flamethrowers, and “kwitis” fireworks. The rooftop of Palma Hall became a launchpad for the “kwitis” fireworks which were used to deter military helicopters surveying the campus. The solidarity among the activists of the university fortified the campus, and red flags symbolized the liberation of certain buildings. The walls of Palma Hall were painted with activist slogans, all of them still underneath the coats of paint we see today. “Kwitis” imagines the anger, passion, bravery, and principles upheld at the Diliman Commune. The building of Palma Hall remembers those moments, and hopefully, we will continue to remember and uphold the same principles too. With the familiar threats and disturbance looming on our campus today, it is not the time to forget and stay silent.
Jea Gaviña is an illustrator, painter, and musician. In 2019, she graduated cum laude with a BFA in Visual Communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman, College of Fine Arts. At the moment, she’s studying to receive her second BFA degree in Painting. Jea has worked as an Art Director and Creatives Committee Head for the UP Music Circle, a university-based music organization from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She has done illustration work for Young Star PH, The Philippine Star, and Canva over the past few years.