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Posts Tagged ‘UST at 400’


Back in March, I blogged about  The UST Dominican Cross, a part of University of Santo Tomas’ celebration of its 400th year and an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record.  Here is an official announcement from the university and a link from the Guinness  site.

The largest human cross was achieved by 13,266 participants at an event organised by the University of Santo Tomas (Philippines) in Manila, Philippines, on 9 March 2011.

Go USTe! Proud to be a Thomasian!

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The Thomasians did it again. It was an estimated gathering of 24,000 students, faculty members and UST staff at the UST  Field to form the black and white Dominican Cross. It symbolizes the Catholic and Dominican identity of the University of Santo Tomas. the even was meant to highlight

penance in the season of Lent and as part of the 400 years celebration of the university. Fr. Winston Cabading, OP said that this is also UST’s attempt to rewrite the Guiness Book of World Records by forming a Dominican Cross.

Proud to be a Thomasian!

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Time flies, certainly!  We had our informal high school reunion yesterday at one of our batchmates’ s house in Quezon City.  Though it was  not the  first time we had it, it was the first time since our high school graduation that I met some of our classmates.   It was almost 38 years and we were just in our teens when we graduated from high school. Most of them are now proud grandparents!   One of the regular attendees is a four-year old grandson of one of our batch mates.  He practically grew up with the batch and is familiar with almost every one.  I call him our “reunion baby”.

Our reunions always start with a Thanksgiving Mass and end with so much laughter, reminiscing the good old days and sometimes remembering events  and our beloved teachers.  It’s about cherishing getting older and humming songs of yesteryears,  updating each other on the latest happenings in our lives, hours of bantering, exchanging jokes and laughter.  Not to be left of course is the scrumptious  lunch or dinner for the batch.   UST Education High School – part of history, part of a Pontifical, Royal Catholic University in the Philippines.

It may take years before we see some of our classmates again but the friendship, camaraderie and sense of belonging  are what we will always cherish in our hearts.

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And I thought the fireworks the other night are lovely but this is even more beautiful –  the culmination of the week-long celebration of the 400th year of University of Santo Tomas – UST Quadricentennial Alumni Night Pyromusical!

Go USTe, Viva Santo Tomas, Proud to be a Thomasian!

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It will be our fourth high school reunion  this coming Saturday, January 29, 2011  which will be held at 11am at one of our high school batchmate’s house in Tandang Sora (still in connection with the 400th celebration of our beloved university).  Since we found each other again in 2003 (our first reunion),  we’ve been in touch via an e-group at Yahoo and we were able to find those whom we haven’t seen since our high school graduation back in 1973.  I think more than half of our batch are now living abroad so it’s kind of  hard to see each other unless they go home and spend a few hours with the remaining members of our batch.   Though sometimes, some of our classmates hold instant get-together, we  are never in complete attendance. It would be nice to be able to  see them again after  two years.  Most of us are now on Facebook, but there is something more inviting and pleasant than just having those chats once in a while or sending those private message now and then, it’s called high school reunion.  Seeing them face to face is  of course a welcome bonus. High school reunions are more fun than probably attending college get-together. Come to think of it, I have only two close college classmates, the rest I have yet to meet again since our college graduation back in 1978.

This week marks a series of events to commemorate our 400th anniversary celebration of the university.  When I think of the days and years that I was  in UST, I can’t help but feel nostalgic and  happy to share these events with everyone.  My Christian values were enhanced further when I was studying there.  There is a certain kind of pride and gratitude that I was given the chance to study in a Pontifical, Royal and Catholic institution that speaks so much of  history and tradition and as they say, “400 years of unending grace.”

Revisiting the place, walking its halls once more, and appreciating the years of stay here and just plain reminiscing – I guess that’s what reunion is all about.

Our high school class picture during our senior year!

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Go USTe!


And here’s the firework display that they did last night, during the countdown.

400 years of unending grace….

UST Hymn, a nostalgic song which I learned since high school…

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Reminiscing.  Remembering. Going back to one’s school of learning! My two close friends, Sr.  Thea, FMM and Grace  had our once-in-a- year reunion (sometimes once in two years) last January 04, 2011 and we decided to meet at UST before taking lunch later.  We retraced our steps from the Chapel (it’s actually a parish) but we were used to calling it simply the chapel back in our time.

We used to call this the Pharmacy Garden. I wonder if they have changed its name since we left UST.  The short stretch of road is the shortcut going to the chapel.

Come to think of it, I didn’t take any picture at the front of the Main Building since that has always been the focus of my camera every time I get the chance to take a few shots  here.  This is actually the back of the Main Building and at the far corner is the College of Commerce where I took  BSC Economics.   Far left is the Quadricentennial Square where you could find an interactive fountain and al fresco sites. Ramon Orlina’s sculpture, Tetraglobal was covered in blue cloth so I was not able to take shot of it.

I love this corner, it used to house the UST Main Library where I spent almost three years working as a Student Library Assistant.   Those were the days where I learned to truly be a bookworm.

Santisimo  Rosario Parish or the  Chapel,a silent witness to lots of fervent prayers everyday.  One of my favorite places in the campus.  It has undergone a facelift . Back in our time, we only had those large overhead electric fans but now, it is fully air-conditioned.

This is the main altar.  How I’ve missed this place.  Beautiful, isn’t it?

I love the intricate design of the steel doors going to the UST Seminary.  And the image of Mama Mary is simply beautiful.

This is the back of the  Miguel de Benavidez  Library where the Quadricentennial Square is located. I was aiming at the cross atop the Main Building but it was a little too far.

Couldn’t get enough..haha!

Another shot of the Chapel. This building houses the UST Central Seminary, Father’s Residence, Ecclesiastical  Faculties Library  and the Santisimo Rosario Parish.

Ah, the football field with the giant Christmas tree used during the Paskuhan 2010 and besides it is the  UST grandstand.In a few days, UST will be celebrating its Quadricentennial Year.

I am re-posting this particular shot which I took last March 2010. It’s the front view of the UST Main Building.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS – The Pontifical, Royal and Catholic University of the Philippines. Proud to be a Thomasian!  Viva USTe!

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It has been thirty years since I left the portals of UST, how time has flown! I was about eight or nine years old when I first set foot at the University when my father took me to his office (UST High School) one summer break. What left an indelible mark was the vast field of greens and the imposing and awesome facade of the UST Main Building. I promised myself that won’t be the last time that I would visit the place because I wanted to study there too.

That dream was nurtured by my father’s desire for all his children (my three brothers and I) to embrace a good Catholic education. And so in the summer of 1969 (you might say, it’s so ancient), I took the high school entrance exams at the UST Education High School. I remember, I had it at the office of the principal, Mrs. Gloria Hernandez since I was late for the official date of examination for new students. Graduating from a public school during my elementary years and from the province at that really made me quite nervous. I never thought I would pass the qualifying exams for incoming high school students. That started my nine years of stay at the university.

Back then, UST High School which we know as “pay high” was a one-storey affair at the back of the Main Building fronting what used to be called the Resto. I was already in college when that building was burned down and it was then that the present High School building was erected. My father worked there for almost thirty two years and he retired from office in 1987. For those who are not aware, UST has two high schools, one of which is the Education High School, a training institution for graduating students at the College of Education. It extends support to bright but financially handicapped students by means of lower tuition fees. The former building of Educ High was located in front of the UST Hospital. I think it was only during our sophomore year that we transferred to the present site, the Albertus Magnus Bldg. (Education Bldg.).

What I remember most during my student years? Plenty – the ice cream vendor near the Canteen of the Education building, College Inn in Espana, “cornik” and “mani” laced with hot and spicy oil in Dapitan, “banana q” at P. Noval, the knee-high deep waters during typhoons, the evening walks along Espana while waiting for a ride home with some classmates and friends, the early morning masses at the UST Chapel, the occasional walks at the quadrangle area with classmates, the fear of not passing the qualifying exams for Economics majors, (thank God I did it) the struggle of solving problems in our Statistics class, the research works and feasibility studies in our Economics subjects and a lot more. But what really made my stay in UST worthwhile was my three-year stint as a student librarian at the Humanities Section of the UST Main Library. If you ask me, I would say, those were the best years of my teenage life. It was there that I met all my wonderful friends, it was there that I learned the value of work, it was there that I got to know that there is a different world out there – the world of books!

I had a chance to go back again and took pictures of the place last Saturday, February 14, 2009. Some moments to treasure, a few minutes reminiscing on the UST that I knew which is indelibly etched in my mind.

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