Posts Tagged ‘USTe’

University of Santo Tomas which fellow Thomasians fondly call USTe is turning 412 today. Imagine 412th year of unending grace. It has been my home from high school to college, officially known as the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas. It was visited by three Popes over the years. In terms of population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world. I blogged about it several times here. What you see is just the main building. There are several colleges and faculties in the whole campus.


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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!


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Congratulations to my dearest Alma Mater, University of Santo Tomas for the 14th straight overall championship. Afterall, UAAP is not all basketball. Go USTe, you deserve a big round of applause.

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Do you remember your own high school and college days? Those days of new discoveries – having your first crush, falling in love (or you thought you did), meeting lots of friends, having a crush on one of your professors, aspiring to be a poet (because you want to remember everything  about your first love)  – you name it, perhaps those days are a little obscured now but they are not forgotten.  They simply fade in one’s memory and when you think of them, you smile and reminisce.

I remember the days when my classmates and I used to squat on these  same fields  while eating mani and kornik  laced with chili oil. Back in our time, this  cobbled walk way was simply cemented  and the century old trees had concrete benches underneath.

Ah, the familiar landmark and statue of Fr. Miguel de Benavidez,  OP the founder of the University. It’s the first thing that will greet you on your way to the UST Main building.  This bronze statue “rises on top of a granite pedestal flanked by four lions each bearing the coats-of-arms of the Philippines, Spain, Holy See, and the Dominican Order. He dons the rugged habit of the pioneer Dominican missionaries. His right hand is elevated in the preaching fashion, his index finger pointing to heavens. His left hand rests on his chest holding a book bearing the words Santo Evangélico on its cover. A skull-cap covers his head, and a pectoral cross hangs from his neck, the symbols of Episcopal dignity.”

I miss this place. I spent nine years of my life here, from the tender young age of 12 to a young lady of 21 when I left its doors.

And every chance I get, I take pictures of the place,  remembering those days – campus life – it seems so long ago but it is still achingly familiar.

The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines, in short, we, alumni and students alike, fondly call it it USTe.

Today, we are celebrating the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Patron Saint of UST. The university was named after him. And it’s the beginning of the neo-centennial year of UST.

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A few months ago, I blogged about a favorite comfort food – ice cream!  I was on  my way to meet a friend at the University of Santo Tomas this morning when I chanced upon Mang Fidel, UST’s   ice cream vendor since I can remember. Some students were lining up to buy, what else, ice cream in cone. I signalled  one shot and he graciously took a pose. The students clapped and I was rewarded with a smile. Mang Fidel is definitely growing old with the university. And I say, student days would not be complete somehow without Mang Fidel with his ice cream cart.

And eating ice cream is more fun in the Philippines, right?

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The  Pontifical and Royal, Catholic University in  Asia, University of Santo Tomas. 400 years of unending grace.

And starting tomorrow,  January 24, 2011 UST will open its doors to a  week- long activities  that would culminate  on January 28, 2011, our 400th year!


8:00 am UST Plaza Mayor



5:15 pm UST Chapel

January 25, 2011


7:00 pm UST Plaza Mayor

January 26, 2011


8:00 am UST Campus, University Belt


9:00 am UST Chapel


5:00 pm UST Medicine Auditorium

January 27, 2011


9:00 am UST TARC (Thomas Aquinas Research Center) Auditorium


6:30 pm Quadricentennial Square


7:00 pm UST Grandstand and Open Field

January 28, 2011


8:00 am UST Central Seminary Gymnasium


5:00 pm UST Grandstand and Open Field


7:00 pm UST Plaza Mayor and Benavides Park

January 24-27, 2011


Pope Benedict XVI has granted the University of Santo Tomas Santisimo Rosario Parish an apostolic blessing and plenary indulgence in connection with the Quadricentennial celebration of UST:

In a letter through Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, the Pope said he is giving a plenary indulgence on all those who will go to the UST church from January 2011-January 2012 “under the usual conditions of Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayers of the intentions of the Holy Father.”

Indulgence is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a “remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.”

The opening of the Jubilee Door tomorrow will be highlighted by the UST Quadricentennial Mass for Students at 5:15 p.m. at the UST Church with Manila Archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales as celebrant. ( source: Phil. Inquirer news)

Pope Benedict himself will deliver a special message during the mass via a video.  The UST Main Building, UST Central Library (which holds a large collection of rare books even dating back as early as 1501), the UST open grounds, the UST Central Seminary/Ecclesiastical Faculties and the UST Arch of Centuries were designated National Cultural Treasures by the government.

The Quattromondial Monument,  a ten-meter high work of art by one of the alumni of UST, Ramon Orlina, a well-known sculptor,  will be unveiled at the Quadricentennial Square  on January 27, 2011. Made of bronze and glass, the four figures represent the  young male student (modeled on Philippine actor Piolo Pascual who is an alumnus of UST,  the young female student , the Thomasian teacher and the Dominican monk-scholar which is modeled on Fr. Rolando V. dela Rosa, the present Rector of UST. The model for the teacher is no other than actress and beauty queen Charlene Gonzales-Mulach, a  UST alumna.

I spent nine years of my life in this Catholic institution and I am proud to be a Thomasian.  I just realized that this is my 400th blog at Dreams and Escapes, what a coincidence.

Here are more pictures of UST.  I just love taking shots of the nooks and crannies of the University every chance I get.  It is a photographer’s delight.

Plaza Mayor, fronting the Main Building

The UST Chapel (Santisimo Rosario Parish).  This building also houses the UST Central Seminary and the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties Lbrary

The Quadricentennial Square

UST Main Bulding

Miguel de Benavidez Library

The UST Fountain of Wisdom

The UST grounds

UST Arch of the Centuries, designated as National Cultural Treasure

St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order (part of the Lumina Pandit Exhibit)

Another shot of the Quadricentennial Square

The main hall of the Miguel de Benavidez Library (formerly called UST Library)

With two close  friends,  Sr. Thea, FMM and Grace, we were former Student Librarians of UST

At the Ecclesiastical Faculties Library (I’m the one in red shirt..hehe)

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IMGP2308IMGP2330The Arch of Centuries
Fountain of Wisdom as seen from the top
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.

UST Main Building
Miguel de Benavidez Monument

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