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Thomasian Welcome Walk 2014 Trends, Freshies Feel at Home

IN one of the most memorable rites of their college lives, more than 13,000 joyful cheers and chants filled the air from different sides of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) as the freshmen took their first steps



IN one of the most memorable rites of their college lives, more than 13,000 joyful cheers and chants filled the air from different sides of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) as the freshmen took their first steps through the Arch of the Centuries, which is the highlight of the annual Thomasian Welcome Walk held last July 11.

     The scorching heat may have gotten our dear freshmen fanning like crazy but it was still a welcoming sight to see the bright sunshine smiling at everyone rather than the usual rain and flood that have caused several postponements in the previous years. More importantly, it didn’t cease everyone’s enthusiasm and excitement, even before the event began.

     This year, the Faculties and Colleges looked their best in their own simple or over-the-top way. From face paints to stylish headdresses and Beatles-inspired glasses; from small noise-makers and dancing college mascots to lively drums and people in stilts and other larger-than-life props, they didn’t fall short in making the freshmen feel the celebratory vibe of the occasion.

Now ‘Official’ Thomasians

     The freshmen were all smiling as they passed through the Arch and on their way to the Quadricentennial Pavilion for the Mass. It was something you would expect from a batch whose Welcome Walk happened on time.

     Although exceedingly glad being an official Thomasian, Anna Talavera, speech language pathology student from the College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS), still feels the pressure of being in UST.

     “Sorbang saya, I am expecting so much, and I feel nervous that maybe later on, it might be so hard,” she said.

     When asked about their impression of the campus, most freshies would say that UST is beautiful and big.

     For Lorraine Uy, also from CRS, the campus has a nostalgic feel. “Para siyang Hogwarts. (fictional wizardry school from the Harry Potter movies) Nafi-feel ko na bumalik ako sa past,” she said.

     Also, most freshies felt belongingness to the university due to the warm welcome from their senior Thomasians. Many of them would say that Thomasians are “approachable” according to Aira Bascugin from the Faculty of Pharmacy.

     The Freshmen Campus Tour, held before the walk, also helped in promoting belongingness. Raiya Rivera, a psychology freshman from the College of Science, said that the tour has helped her appreciate UST. “I’m okay with any school. But during the campus tour, parang mas gusto ko na sa UST,” she said.

The Arch Myth

     Superstition has it that once you enter the Arch, you are not allowed to exit before you graduate, or else your stay in the university would be cut short. There had been countless tales of students who dared to break it though none can prove of its validity.

     But for Isabella Idilo, a student from the College of Education, passing through the arch is a ritual that must be cherished. “Why break the tradition? It’s a special thing,” she said. “Whether the urban myth is true or not, just don’t do it (exiting the Arch as an undergrad) for the sake of being special,” she added.

     For Jefferson Acala, a law student at the Faculty of Civil Law, said that although he passed the Arch twice, he doesn’t believe in the superstition, but will not try it anyway.

     “I don’t wanna try, unless it’s the Baccalaureate Mass already,” he said.

     Internet celebrity Erika Rabara, a medical technology freshie from CRS, exclaimed the general perception towards the Arch urban myth.

     “Wala naman atang mawawala kung maniwala, mukhang mas maraming mawawala kung di ka maniniwala,” she said.

     This rite of passage began back in 2002, and has become a tradition among the Thomasian community ever since with more creative gimmicks from each college and faculty every year. That’s not all. There are also post-celebrations like concerts after the Walk, which have also been cancelled a few times due to bad weather.

Photo By Joshua P. Lugti




#TWenty: The 2017 TomasinoWeb Year-ender

2016 was a merely a teaser for​ more terrible things to come—but 2017 was also the year we fought back.



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A letter from the editor

To say that 2017 was a challenging year is an understatement: 2017 was a terrible year—which is honestly funny, considering how just exactly a year ago, we were all probably tweeting how 2016 was the #WorstYearEver (it’s Twitter; sharper expletives are welcome).

If anything, the past year was merely a teaser for worse things to come, and it seems that 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: The Growling Tigers continued their dismal performance in the UAAP, securing only a single win this season; the government’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs continue to claim the lives of thousands, even teenagers; and hazing has killed another student, and this time, it’s a Thomasian—all while the Dutertes enjoy lavish photoshoots in the Malacañang.

Mocha Uson is now an actual government official (which, more or less, gives legitimacy to her blatant misinformation frenzy), martial law is in full swing in Mindanao after a series of terror attacks, and candidates who lost to abstentions in the student council elections have threatened to take over the vacant posts.

It was a terrible year, but it was also the year we fought back.

A hashtag has given sexual harassment victims a voice to decry and expose abusers. Thousands marched in the streets of Manila last Sept. 21 to protest the government’s inhumane drug operations and harassment of farmer and indigenous communities. Mental health advocates also fought the stigma surrounding mental health conditions with a hashtag and Ariana Grande showed the world that we could respond to terrorism with love and solidarity.

It’s undeniable that we are living in dangerous times—and that we are facing even more challenging times ahead. Despite all the things we hated this year, we are here, on the last day of the year, hoping that we could fight our way through 2018 like we did this 2017.

With that, I now present to you the top 20 people, issues, events, and trends that defined the spirit of 2017.

My comrades, Thomasians, Filipinos, netizens: Here is #TWenty.

The fight continues,
Philip Jamilla

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SHS music org is reigning champion in 2017 Musikapella

Selah also bagged four other awards in this year’s Musikapella.



Aside from the championship, Selah bagged four other awards. Photo courtesy of Musikapella, grabbed from Selah’s Facebook page.

With enchanting voices that mesmerized crowds, UST Senior High School’s Selah brought home the championship crown in this year’s Musikapella last Saturday, Nov. 25 at the AFP Theatre.

With the theme, “A Tribute to Paskong Pilipino,” Selah serenaded the people with Simbang Gabi as part of their contest piece, along with their choice piece, Kampana ng Simbahan.

Aside from the championship, Selah bagged four other awards: The People’s Choice Award, Sulyap ng Musika 2017 Winner, Best Interpretation of Choice Piece, and Best Interpretation of Contest Piece.

Triumph would not come without sacrifice: Balancing academics along with long excruciating hours of chorale training with their new choirmaster, Mark Raeniel Agpasa, Selah proved that no matter what hurdles they face, they will come emerge victorious.

President Veronica Therese Rivera narrated their journey in an exclusive online interview with TomasinoWeb.

“As an organization, Selah felt that there were unsaid expectations to excel, to make a name for UST Senior High School, since this was the first ever inter-school competition joined by UST SHS Selah,” Rivera said.

The group felt the need to step up as two other UST SHS organizations, dance troupe Galvanize and performing arts group Singtala, have already made a name in their respective fields.

But all in all, while winning was an ideal goal, Rivera stated that Selah wanted to do their best in the competition and perform their hearts out, even if that meant winning merely one award that night, as they valued the solidarity and community that Selah had brought with them.

Selah’s new choirmaster was overwhelmed with the support the Thomasian community gave them.

“Having that much likes and shares in social media sends a strong message — that people believe in Selah, that there are literally thousands of people who are part of Selah,” Agpasa said.

Musikapella is an annual choir competition and fundraising event for the University of the Philippines Economics Society Scholarship Fund.

Watch Selah’s winning performance below:

by Mykel Alen Tan



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The art that saves

Here’s what you missed at UNESCO Club’s INDIE+GENIUS: Indie Night for Indigenous People.



MUSIKAT performs on INDIE+GENIUS: Indie Night for Indigenous People, a benefit concert organized by the UST UNESCO Club for the indigenous peoples of Tarlac. Photo by Earl Balce/TomasinoWeb.

The art saves the heart and soul — but through UST UNESCO Club’s INDIE+GENIUS: Indie Night for Indigenous People at the Engineering Concert Hall last Wednesday Nov. 29, art also saves the education and literacy of the indigenous peoples (IP) of Tarlac.

The concert kicked off as MUSIKAT serenaded the crowd with songs popular in the local music scene such as Kathang Isip by Ben & Ben, and June by Oh! Flamingo.

Raphael Sanchez from the UST UNESCO Club also performed Sila by SUD, and Treat You Right by TJ Monterde.

Students from the Faculty of Arts and Letters performed heart-wrenching spoken word poetry pieces.

Legal Management junior Rey Rebollos performed a piece on love and heartbreaks — of moving on and acceptance of the past.

Meanwhile, Communication Arts sophomore Manisha Mirchandani showed her painful journey from being apart from her family and finding her home within her.

Brimming with sentiments and advocacy, Louise Meets and Henri Igna from Words Anonymous also showcased their prowess in evoking emotions through poetry.

Meets’ performance was about heartbreak, separation, brokenness, healing, and self-acceptance.

“We kept naming it forever. Kept trying to water the garden that blooms behind our home even when nothing grew,” Louise Meets said on her piece, Museum of Broken Things.

And as for Igna, home is not a place: It is the person you hold dear.

“Pag hinto ng taxing sinasakyan ko, sa tapat ng kinatatayuan mo, sisigaw ako ng “”Manong! Para. Nakauwi na ako,”” Igna said in his piece, Taxi.

Their last performance was a collaborative piece that they had also performed during this year’s Pride March. It portrays a vibrant future for homosexuals where they can raise their own children and be accepted by society, testifying that their love are real. Both artists fight for equality, rights, and acceptance of the LGBTQIAP+ community.

In collaboration with various artists, the UST UNESCO Club organized INDIE+GENIUS as a charity concert to provide the basic necessities for education for IPs in Tarlac, asking the audience and advocates to donate a notebook and two pencils as their entrance pass.

“[We want] to help build literate indigenous communities through education. Pwede pa [sila] magdonate ng notebooks and pencils sa org room namin sa Tan Yan Kee Student Center Room 3N,” Alyssa Rafael, the director for education of UST UNESCO, told TomasinoWeb.

Rafael also encourages everyone to join them in their upcoming outreach program, “Halubilo” for the benefit of the indigenous community in Tarlac.

“Anyone can join us. They can contact us through our Facebook and Twitter accounts or pwede din sila dumaan sa org room para magtanong,” she urged.

by Lanz Nathan Hernandez



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