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It’s been almost forty years since I left the portals of this university, the Royal and Pontifical Catholic University of the Philippines.  I spent nine years of my young life in this  school. University of Santo Tomas, four years in  high school and five years at college.

I miss this place. I miss the wide campus and the early morning masses before attending class. I miss the friends I made during my high school years and those I met when I worked at the main library for two years.

UST Paskuhan 2017. Photo courtesy of Manila Bulletin.

According to Wikipedia, The Paskuhan is the culmination of the university wide Christmas  activities of the  university. The annual tradition started in 1991.The programs of Paskuhan were held during the last week or last day before the Christmas break of the university.” The picture shows the crowd of students who attended the last Paskuhan yesterday.  The front image with the  Christmas tree is the grandstand where major activities are held. In the background is the main building of the university (right) and on the left is the  Fathers’s Residence, the Santisimo Rosario church and the UST Seminary at the back of the building.

The university has been visited by three popes, the latest  was Pope Francis last January 2015. I was in high school when Pope Paul VI celebrated mass there.  Inside the UST Museum, one can see the Papal chair used by Pope John Paul II. He visited it twice back in 1981 and 1995.

It’s been in existence since 1611,  It’s composed of colleges, faculties, schools and institutes and confers several undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees.  St. Thomas Aquinas is its patron.

Looking back, I practically grew  up  here. Spending your teens and  early adult life in an institution such as this was a big privilege. Acquiring a  Catholic education was an advantage.

Proud alumna here. Go, go USTe.

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Two months ago, I had another opportunity to take shots of  one  of my favorite subjects, my alma mater, the University of Santo Tomas, officially known as the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the Catholic University of the Philippines. UST or USTe as we alumni fondly call it is the oldest existing  university  in Asia. In terms of student population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world in a single campus. The institution was established through the initiative of Bishop Miguel de Benavides, O.P., the third Archbishop of Manila. I blogged about it  more than any other subject  I encountered. You see, I am a proud alumna of the University spending nine years of my life since high school in this revered institution.

The UST Main Building with its massive, imposing and seemingly solid facade is one of the best city landmarks in Metro Manila. Designed by Fr. Roque Ruaño, O.P., priest and engineer, it has the distinction of the first fire-proof building in the country. The building is composed of forty independent structures separated from each other by a gap of one inch, which is filled with loose cement. One of these structures rises beyond the level of the fourth floor to form the tower in the center of the huge box-like stone mass.

Back in high school, I was never curious what the statues and monuments atop the main building stand for. Being a student who saw them everyday, they were  just part of the campus and the lovely facade of the building. It’s when you have left its portals that you get to appreciate it better and you’re proud, so truly proud that after all these years, you are still welcome in its bosom.

The  trio of statues represent  theologians and historians: St. Augustine, the Doctor of the Church, St. Raymond de Peñafort, O.P., doctor of Canon Law, and Vincent de Beauvais, O.P. French historian. And the three statues facing A.H.Lacson St. are those of the playwrights: the Spanish Lope de Vega, the Greek comic Aristophanes, and the French neo-classical comedian Moliere .

The wide campus in front of the UST Main Building.

The cross atop the tower symbolizes the University’s mission to impart knowledge in the sacred and civil sciences. Slightly in front of, and below the tower is the “Tria Haec” clustered around a giant clock in the center facade of the fourth floor. The hooded and robed figure “Faith” brandishes a cross up high and occupies the top of the clock. Lower and to the left of the clock stands “Hope” and to the right, “Charity”. All these statues communicate with their varied expressive poses magnified in stone. They teach in silence.

These three figures represent  the great philosophers Aristotle, St. Albert the Great and Plato.

This is  the inner quadrangle of the Main building. The surrounding rooms here used to be the UST Main Library (back in my time, that is).

I walked these halls countless times during my student days and working for almost three years as a student librarian instilled in me the love of books.  Those were the days and I really miss you, USTe!

Hmm…just want to remember, this is my 855th post, thanks WordPress!

Goal of 855 Posts Completed. Congratulations!

100%

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IMGP2320
IMGP2308IMGP2330The Arch of Centuries
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Fountain of Wisdom as seen from the top
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The  Football Field
It was founded on April 28, 1611 by Fr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P. The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the Catholic University of the Philippines. Simply known as UST but for us alumni and students alike, we fondly and affectionately call it Uste. 

UST is a private Roman Catholic University run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. It is the only Pontifical University in Asia. It is the only university (Catholic or not) to have been visited by two popes three times, twice by Pope John Paul II in 1981 and 1995 and once by Pope Paul VI in 1970 (I was in second year high school then).

It was built in a 215,000 sq. meter campus in Sampaloc, Manila. The university was originally located within the walled city of Intramuros, Manila.

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UST Main Building
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Miguel de Benavidez Monument

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