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Best dating spots in UST this Valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day is approaching fast and there is no better way to spend it than with a date with a loved one. Dating doesn’t have to be expensive as the University could make for the perfect ambiance to build new romance, rekindle old flames, or strengthen existing connections.

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Photo by Gwen Dungao/TomasinoWeb

DISCLAIMER: TomasinoWeb does not promote public display of affection or any action that goes against the University’s code of conduct.

Whether having a date on Valentine’s day is trivial or overrated, it can still be a fun way to spend the day with friends, a special someone, or even someone entirely new. Dating doesn’t have to be expensive as the University could make for the perfect ambiance to build new romance, rekindle old flames, or strengthen existing connections.

Valentine’s Day is approaching fast and there is no better way to spend it than with a date with a loved one. Not only for people with significant others, it makes for a great opportunity to catch up with an old friend or to go out of one’s comfort zone and meet someone new. Whatever and however the case may be, Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate love in all of its forms.

Most UST alumni would probably have a fond memory or two of a date within the iconic walls of the University. Whether it be across the Plaza Mayor or on the grass of the field, it has for sure made their stay memorable. As such, there is no shame in spending a day together just enjoying the different places in the University and talking about what could’ve been, what is, and what will be. Here are some of the best places on campus for a date this Valentine’s day.

UST Grandstand

Gwen Dungao/TomasinoWeb

In the busiest days, UST’s Grandstand becomes the platform in which performances are done and at times, history is made. On its off days, the Grandstand becomes a platform to see an overview of the wide UST field as well as the Plaza Mayor and the busy streets of Espana. There is nothing more stunning than watching the sky slowly turn dimmer as the night makes its way in while the campus’ lights are illuminated. All of these are complemented by the few breezes that come every now and then reminding you to relax and live in the moment.

Stone Benches

Benches in UST aren’t only made for Popoy and Basha. These stone benches just beside the grandstand are best suited to spend time whether it’s a heart-to-heart talk, making promises, renewing old ones, or simply talking about the happenings in one’s life. Similar to the grandstand, it offers a closer to the ground view of the University and the busy streets of Espana. The stone benches around the campus make for a serene place to talk about all things, new and old.

Santisímo Rosario Parish

Sometimes the best way to celebrate love is through thanksgiving of the blessings received. Whether it be a short prayer or to hear a mass, the Santissimo Rosario Parish keeps its doors open for everyone. The spirit of Valentine’s doesn’t always have to be about the romance or the moments, sometimes it is better to just keep things simple and look back on all of the memories made, people met, and wisdom obtained.

Botanical Garden

If the busy campus isn’t something that you fancy, then perhaps the Botanical Garden could be the ideal spot to date. With tables, chairs, and surrounded by trees, the shade could be a comforting change from the usually hot and bright campus of UST. Bring a board game or perhaps takeout from a favorite food chain and the botanical garden could be an excellent spot to keep each other company for Valentine’s day.

Quadricentennial Square

Sometimes overshadowed by the view of Miguel de Benavides and the Plaza Mayor, the Quadricentennial Square provides a different aesthetic with the lights and the fountain. While it is not the best idea to visit at the peak of noon; at night this place becomes one of the most comfortable places to sit down and talk as the lights carefully light the surroundings and the music from the dance troupes practicing bring the specific energy only found in the Quadricentennial Square.

UST Miguel de Benavides Library

Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Sometimes the ideal date isn’t what one would call a date. There are times where the best way to bond is to be present in each other’s struggle. The Miguel Benavides Library could be home to many hardworking Thomasians; but this Valentine’s Day, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend time together as you both try to accomplish whatever’s on your plate today. It gives a whole new meaning to “going through ups and downs” when you’re in the company of your loved one as you try to soldier through stacks of papers and more papers.

Plaza Mayor

Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

Keeping up with the previous entry’s theme, sometimes the best way to spend time is to simply take a step back and watch the world move. In the Plaza Mayor, you can see students, staff, professors, and other members of the Thomasian Community go about their day. While seeing the stress on the faces of others could be distressing in one’s self, being able to talk about your day knowing that you have made it past the daily grind amidst the sea of others still going through it brings a different kind of relaxation.

Benavides Park

No spot is more iconic than Benavides Park or what’s more commonly known as “Lover’s Lane”. Naming conventions aside, it is not uncommon to see groups of friends or just individuals taking their time to unwind here. What makes this place so iconic is the shade provided by the trees which mix with the bright sun or the lights of the lamps at night. Add to this the view of the statue of Miguel de Benavides and behind him the Plaza Mayor, and surely it will make for a memorable moment each time.

 

Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers but also for those who simply want to celebrate the feeling of love as everyone is deserving to be loved. It is also not about the grand gestures of love or the expensive gifts, but the creation and celebration of the memories made with that particular person or group of people. At the end of the day, it is a reminder to everyone that love exists in all shapes and forms and romantic relationships aren’t the only metric to feeling loved.

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Netflix’s Money Heist and its aim to fight for political reform

La Casa de Papel or Money Heist is a Netflix series about a guy called the Professor leading a group of criminals aliased after major cities across the globe to pull off one of the most impossible felonies of all time — robbing the Royal Mint of Spain.

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WARNING: Mild spoilers ahead!

La Casa de Papel or Money Heist is a Netflix series about a guy called the Professor leading a group of criminals aliased after major cities across the globe to pull off one of the most impossible felonies of all time — robbing the Royal Mint of Spain. The show focuses on how the crew masters their plan, down to the very minute details, to ensure that they can execute it impeccably. It is shown how the Professor implements some rules and ensures that the crew abides by it for the operation to run smoothly, or so he believes. With interesting costumes, catchy tunes, and mind-boggling twists in the story, this show will surely get one easily hooked!

The show has been gaining online buzz recently — from an Instagram filter, tweets from excited fans, to teaser trailers all over the web – there is a built hype for the show especially now that the new season’s premiere has dropped on Netflix today. It has been months since the end of the third season, and everybody’s been anticipating the next series of events. Avid viewers of the show are very much eager to know what happened to our favorite crew, with all of us having a bunch of unanswered questions after that cliff-hanger of a finale left our hearts pounding and jaws dropped. Now we can finally sigh in relief because the answer to all of our questions possibly lies in eight 45-minute episodes. 

Money Heist is one of the most interesting shows of our time since it has a different take on the Heist cinematic genre. The generic formula for films and series in this genre is usually a clever mastermind recruit a group of delinquents with their own respective charms, add a seemingly fool-proof plan into the mix, and voila, you have created a crime film. This show has all of the essential components, but one thing sets them apart from the rest of the other works under the same genre — the group’s ulterior motive, which is evidently not just for personal gain, but for public changes as well. It took the elements of the classic Robin Hood-themed narratives and incorporated it into contemporary societal injustices, which make for an effective series of social enlightenment.

It could be said that the root of these vices is money. Why would an individual dare to stage a heist in the national bank of Spain to win over the sympathy of the masses? The answer lies behind the very reason why they are conducting the robbery. Through the heist, they insinuated the need for redistribution of wealth because of the stark imbalance between the rich and the poor. Besides, they are technically “not stealing” from the bank since they are just producing new bills through the bank’s printers. Additionally, for every bump in the road that the team faces, they still strictly abide by their moral principles to resolve the dilemma. Their means may be questionable, but their goal is quite reasonable.

An essential hallmark of the show is the identical masks the robbers wore in their heists. The Professor made them wear the mask to hide their identities, but his choice of design aims to make a statement. The masks are of Salvador Dalí, a Spanish surrealist artist, whom the protagonists’ philosophies are aligned with. Dalí is a renowned artist, famous for his works and for his protests against society’s capitalistic ideals. The mask symbolizes the people’s resistance to a system that forces them to accept the irrational normalization of social class, which is usually in favor of the elite.

Since the beginning of the show, the song Bella Ciao was heard in varying tempos to denote the highest and lowest points of the storyline. Historically, the song was sung in rallies during the Italian Resistance, with hopes of ending the rule of fascists. The song was actually banned in Northern Italy a few years back and that itself says a lot about its impact. It is still played in modern-day protests, with activists hoping that making a statement and refusing to swallow abysmal ideals dictated by unjust rulers could commence redefinition of unjust societal norms.

With the alarming responses of our own officials towards a national crisis, shows like these ignite our passion to fight for political reform. It empowers us to make a stand against tyranny and to also break free from the oppressive societal standards that the opportunistic upper class sets. Bella ciao!

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10 things you probably have encountered in an online class

Ever since online classes have been rampant in UST, we have noticed some interesting phenomena that happens in almost every class. These vary from each situation so if you have encountered some of these, you’re most likely going to relate!

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Artwork by Tricia Jardin

A decade ago, suspension of classes were a big nuisance especially to the pace of the academic year. This is because we did not really have a platform that was capable of holding more than 20 persons in a call. However, with the advancement of technology, it has paved the way to conduct classes online without the fear of falling behind the schedule.

Ever since online classes have been rampant in UST, we have noticed some interesting phenomena that happens in almost every class. These vary from each situation so if you have encountered some of these, you’re most likely going to relate! The following are the 10 things you probably have encountered in an online class.

1.  A dog

Your dog or your blockmate’s dog have probably taken the spotlight in this one. Cue the “aww!”s and the “your dog is so cute!” to inform people there’s a new member in your block.

2. Some bedroom noises

These bedroom noises vary in category. It could be your newborn sibling crying in the background or your sibling groaning as they stretch before they get out of bed. It could also be your neighbour’s feel good music that’s blasting on full volume. (What did you think the noises were going to be?)

3. Your mom’s voice in the background

You’re probably familiar with the sentence, “Anak! Nakalimutan mo nanaman maghugas ng pinggan!”. This is your cue to quickly wash the dishes or to ask your brother or your sister to do it for you. Just don’t forget it the next time.

4. The sound of vehicles driving past your house

It’s 9o’clock in the morning and everyone is still sleeping. Your professor is rambling about the adjusted schedule because of the suspension of classes. Everything was silent until you hear that loud “VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM” that broke that silence you thought you had. A notification. Your blockmate typed, “Kaninong tricycle ‘yun?”.

5. The neighborhood chicken

No one in your house is awake yet to cook breakfast and you’re 10 minutes late to your online class. You’re hungry and sleepy but you are determined you’ll focus on this class you need to catch up on. You sit down with your laptop, head propped by your arm to try to stay awake. Then suddenly, you hear a faint cock-a-doodle-doo from your speaker. A notification. Your professor typed, “Guys, sorry, wag kayo mag-alala. Ipriprito ko na yun mamaya.”.

6. A comfort room break

The waterworks are on duty today but you’re unsure if your strict professor would allow you to go to the comfort room to release whatever your body needs to let go of. It’s funny how we still have to ask even when comfort is at our disposal a few steps away. Imagine what it’s like for your blockmate who often needs the toilet. 

7. Your younger sibling who keeps on crying

If it’s not your mom, it’s most likely your younger brother or sister who’s making the noise. You should probably check on them right now though. I assume they need something or someone.

8. The teleserye your lola is watching

It’s 10 in the morning and you are in your living room. Suddenly, your lola picks up the television remote control to watch her favourite teleserye. She hands you the remote control to raise the volume higher. Don’t worry. It’ll just be an hour of your time everyday. Just wear your earphones. It’ll be over soon!

9. Your blockmate who’s often M.I.A.

Better call them now. You definitely don’t want them to miss another class.

10. Conversations that are best kept on Messenger

It’s best to keep your block’s conversations in another messaging app. I know you know what I mean. 

We all have different practices in our face-to-face class as well as in online classes. However, in the midst of the distances from our second home – our school – let us not forget the reason why we do this: to learn and to later on serve our country. 

Lastly, use your time productively and don’t forget to wake up your blockmate!

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Ilaw ng Tahanan, Sagisag ng Lansangan: Rage Against Feminine Archetypes

Comical as it seems, it has become so indoctrinated in the narrative of what it means to be a woman, that essentially it has become a means to favor and please the men in our society—to put it simply, the feminine archetype is a catalyst for the patriarchy.

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Artwork by Tricia Jardin

A natural beauty, she was. Daisy-fresh. Frail and delicate, with her small frame and timid silence. Her hair constantly smelled of vanilla, and she had a smile that came with her almost effortless grace. She is painfully soft-spoken. Her cheeks resembled that of the skin of a peach—supple, smooth, tinging coral. And above all that she had eyes that could lure you in. It was almost as if she knew the kind of beauty she held, but not enough to be flaunting it.

Here is an example of a misrepresented woman as shown by the ideal woman trope. In literature, we see her as Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby; in film, Summer from 500 Days of Summer. Women in fiction, yes, but still prototypes of the ideal woman, told from the account of a man, that sooner or later, serve to cater to the male gaze.

This is the feminine archetype, contemporarily known as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl or the Femme Fatale: the idea that a woman, in all her precious glory, should be of natural, flawless beauty—none of that cake on the face, none of those fillers and such. She should be modest, otherwise if she is vulgar she is an embarrassment. She should attend to her husband like a real woman, whatever that is supposed to mean, because it is her responsibility to do so. She should be dainty! If she must fix herself up she must do so without going overboard. 

But this is relevant… exactly how?

These templates of the ‘perfect woman’ teaches young girls and the children who may come to identify as girls, beyond reasonable standards to live up to, furthermore decentering from their freedom of expression and identity. Comical as it seems, it has become so indoctrinated in the narrative of what it means to be a woman, that essentially it has become a means to favor and please the men in our society—to put it simply, the feminine archetype is a catalyst for the patriarchy.

This continues to be a challenge for contemporary feminists as it has been for their predecessors. Years upon years of uprisings and nth wave feminism movements helped established the New Woman, who, on this day and age, in contrast to the feminine archetype, is no longer soft-spoken, doe-eyed, or motherly—but resisting, self-sustaining, and non-conforming. She is tenacious, and is unafraid to bring her revolution to the streets, like all other female activists that preceded, but the objective is not to discredit them.

This is to introduce an entirely new breadth of feminists who willingly engage in activism in and out of the streets, who challenge the still-in-existence feminine archetype, who fight against those who continue to disparage women, and most importantly, to empower those who need empowering. Women and their eagerness to champion equal rights have prevailed even in social media platforms—a brand new kind of solidarity that cuts through the one-dimensionality of the digital world, which is now without limitation in addressing a variety of sociopolitical issues.

The feminine archetype is but a small part of a bigger issue that continues to misrepresent women as charming, frail, and subordinate—much like in movies and literature—which in turn contributes to, and may even elevate to a great deal of oppression and abuse. Once we value other women as much as we do those in our lives, once we acknowledge that some women might not even be female at birth, and that some may not even appear to be women, we perpetuate intersectionality and a mindset that more often than not, empowerment is more important than power.

 

Happy Women’s month to the cis-females, the transwomen, those who identify as women, women of color, female activists, women who were rape and sexual abuse victims, women who are victims of social injustices, comfort women, and all the other women in the world.

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