UST Quadricentennial Celebration

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DISCLAIMER: Images were photographed by Madz Madaje. You are not allowed to use, modify, copy, in any manner, any of these without informing me first.  

Our alma mater, the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas celebrated its 400 years last January 27-28, 2011. My officemates who are also from UST and College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) attended the same event. Entering the university was so much easier than what I experienced during the last Paskuhan of 2010, the security was so tight that I had to get a help from Tina, my friend who is now taking up a Master’s degree at UST, and to allow me to go in. maybe since the event last Thursday was really for the alumni and alumnae. As expected, every area of UST was crowded and you would see group of friends laughing together and for sure, everybody was reminiscing their glorious days here just like what we did the whole night. Good thing, it also did not rain that day since the past days.

Group Photo via Ramil Trance:
L-R: Ramil, Me, Kirby Balagtas, Sam Guison, Nell del Rosario, Lego and Peter Prado

We took pictures and ordered some snacks from the Gymnasium eatery.

We first walked towards the back of UST Main Central library to see the Quattromondial. It is a monument built made of bronze and glass, ten-meter-high structure made by artist Ramon Orlina, a UST alumnus. At the same spot, there is the dancing Quadricentennial Fountain.

According to Orlina, the four figures represent the four centuries of excellence (Filipino student), erudition (Thomasian teacher), spirituality(Dominican monk) and tradition (Filipina student) that the University has displayed and inspired in every one of its stakeholders. The globe represents globalization, with all its benefits and hindrances, such as environmental degradation and cultural divisions. The ribbon with an inscription in Latin signifying accomplishment, scholarliness and wisdom streams out of the globe. These were modeled by actor Piolo Pascual (Filipino student), Orlina’s daughter Monina (Filipina student), beauty queen Charlene Gonzales (Thomasian teacher), and Fr. Rolando V. dela Rosa, O.P. (Dominican friar).~via Wikipedia

Quadricentennial Fountain

Then passed by the Main Building to lover’s lane which is actually called Plaza de Benavidez. This spot looks totally different now compared to what we had during my college years. The renovation of UST’s Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Benavidez started last 2006. Now, you would notice that the statues on top of the Main Building were a little bit touched and look not so historic but the statue of Benavidez remained aged and does not have its own lights.

College of Fine Arts and Design logo
Then we got to see the Arch of the Century. I remember I failed to pass through it during the Welcome Walk for Freshmen event because my friends and I were in a hurry to go home to watch Meteor Garden hahaha! And some of my classmates told us that we were not allowed to pass again to exit when we reached the graduating year. But still, I could not remember if we also had an event at UST regarding the exit parade... hmmm?

And of course, we would not let the night finished without seeing our college building – the Beato Angelico. It’s the residence for the Architecture and Fine Arts students. Awww... I miss my college days and studying.

And then we sat on the green grass at the quadrangle. UST had a concert featuring its famous alumni and my favorite, Sarah Geromino performing two songs. Gary Valenciano was a guest and generous enough to perform 4 to 5 songs. He is not an alumnus of UST but I personally think it’s okay to have him there since he’s very modest and he worked with a lot of Thomasians in the industry.

Then before 12 midnight, Salinggawi dance troupe had a number and the UST Hymn’s “Seat of Aquinas” was performed by great choir members and there was Erik Santos also. Waa I never learnt the lyrics of our hymn. Anyway, after few minutes, the fireworks display started and it was stunning! The show was not as long as what UST had last Paskuhan but this time, it was extraordinary. The place where the fireworks would come out was changed from the Quadrangle to the Church and Grandstand.

Spongebob in the middle of the display!

I was in solo while watching but surely, I had a great time. Then after the show, it’s “uwian” time. Then my friends phoned me and we went home.

I am proud to be a Thomasian! I thanked God for giving me a family who worked hard to provide me financial support to pay tuition fees, my daily allowance and materials for school projects. I am happy to meet friends and work with from UST. I believe that Thomasians are really humble and kind. Not all are religious but most are compassionate. And artists by UST are certainly talented.

University of Santo Tomas, Imbued with Unending Grace.

Our Mascot: QUSTER
(Quadricentennial University of Santo Tomas Tiger)

my Alumni ID, yey!

By the way, a week before the 27th, Meng and I met up to get Alumni ID. We paid PhP 350 for this and we got it fast although I failed to bring a photo with white background and so I had to run to Dapitan and find a store for rush picture-taking. And in my surprise, there are a lot of changes in Dapitan Street. Stores I could not remember I have seen in college and the Kodak establishment was gone, with Nitz Printing Shop occupying the spot. Anyway, Burger King also disappeared. I successfully found a store that would take my picture and print it out fast for PhP 30. I went back to Graduate school building while Meng was waiting for me and gave it to the Alumni staff. She scanned my picture and voila! My ID was printed out. And then Meng and I had a quick photo walk and I ate at Takoyaki kiosk on P.Noval Street. After that, we went to Tina’s office in EspaƱa for we were scheduled to visit the funeral of Gian’s father at Arlington, Sta. Mesa. Anyway, Tina and Gian were our college classmates also.

Mengki, my college classmate and close friend

Photo-op Wall at Main Building

Viva Santo Tomas!