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3,000 estudyante ng high school, sinalubong nang ‘di pumasok sa Arch of the Centuries

Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, hindi pumasok ng makasaysayang Arch of the Centuries ang estudyanteng freshmen ng UST Education High School (EHS), Junior High School (JHS) at Senior High School (SHS) bilang pagsalubong, taliwas sa taunan na pagpasok dito.

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Kuha ni Alexa Taay/TomasinoWeb.

Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, hindi pumasok ng makasaysayang Arch of the Centuries ang estudyanteng freshmen ng UST Education High School (EHS), Junior High School (JHS) at Senior High School (SHS) bilang pagsalubong, taliwas sa taunan na pagpasok dito.

Ang Welcome Walk ng mga Tomasino ay isang tradisyon para sa freshmen na nagsimula noong 2002 kung saan pumapasok sa arko ang mga mag-aaral.

Iginiit ng Pangkalahatang-Kalihim ng Unibersidad na si Rev. Fr. Jesus Miranda, Jr., O.P. na mayroon pang ibang paraan ng pagsalubong sa mga bagong estudyante bukod sa pagpasok sa arko.

“Ang pagsalubong sa mga estudyante papasok ng Unibersidad ay hindi kaagad nangangahulugang pagpasok sa Arch of the Centuries[.] Marami pang ibang paraan upang salubungin ang mga estudyante…maliban sa pagpasok sa Arch of the Centuries,” winika ni Miranda sa isang eksklusibong online na panayam ng TomasinoWeb.

Dinagdag niya: “Ang kinagawiang pagdaan sa [arko] at iba pang mga tradisyon ay para sa kolehiyo.”

Sa nakaraang taon, nagsabay na pumasok sa arko ang freshmen na mag-aaral ng JHS at EHS noong ika-2 ng Agosto samantalang sinabayan naman ng SHS ang mga estudyante ng kolehiyo noong ika-4 ng parehong buwan.

Idinaos, sa halip, ang isang seremonya ng pag-ilaw ng mga kandila sa pagsalubong na programang pinamagatang “ALAB 2018.”

Mahigit 3,000 na estudyante ng SHS ang dumalo sa salubong na nagmarka ng simula ng kanilang buhay bilang isang Tomasino ngayong taon.

Bukod dito, tinatayang 90 na mag-aaral ng EHS ang sumabay sa salubong. Humigit-kumulang 450 naman sa JHS.

Sa ALAB, nagkaroon muna ng orientation ang mga estudyante bago ang ipinalit na seremonya sa pagpasok sa arko, kung saan kaakibat ang pagsumpa sa “Oath of Commitment” na pinangunahan ng mga presidente ng bawat konseho ng EHS, JHS at SHS. Nagdaos ng misa pagkatapos.

Sandaling naantala naman ang simula ng programa dahil sa malakas na buhos ng ulan ng umagang iyon.

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Ang pagsalubong sa mga estudyante ng EHS, JHS at SHS ng Unibersidad ay nakadepende sa nais nila at maaari pang mag-iba sa mga susunod na taon, ani Miranda.

Sinabi ni Miranda, gayunpaman, na hindi pa pinal ang desisyon kung ang ganitong programa, na siyang kapalit ng pagdaan sa arko, ay magpapatuloy o hindi sa mga susunod na taon.

Ang seremonya ng pagsindi ng kandila ay pinangunahan nila Rev. Fr. Ermito G. De Sagon, O.P., ang regent ng SHS; Fr. George Pe Mung, O.P., assistant regent ng SHS; at ni Fr. Rodel S. Cansancio, O.P., ang regent ng JHS.

‘A rite of passage’

Ang programa sa pagsalubong sa mga high school freshmen ay hindi ordinaryo ngunit isang “rite of passage,” ayon kay Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P., ang Vice-Rector for Religious Affairs ng Unibersidad.

“Hindi lamang ito isang parada. Ito ay ‘rite of passage’ na nagmamarka ng mahalagang pangyayari habang ating ginagampanan ang kalooban ng Diyos. Itong paaralan ninyo, ito ay parte ng mas malaking bahagi ng buhay, isang biyaheng tutupad sa kalooban ng Diyos,” sinabi ni Tiong sa misa para sa freshmen ng high school.

Pinaalalahanan din niya na ang buhay ng mga estudyante bilang mga Tomasino ay “pang-araw-araw na laban para sa katotohanan.”

“Ang buhay Tomasino ay pang araw-araw na laban para sa katotohanan. Tayo ay nag-aaral ng mabuti upang mamuhay para sa katotohanan,” winika ni Tiong.

“Ang buhay Tomasino ay biyahe para sa katotohanan, panatilihin ninyong nagliliyab ang katotohanan sa inyong mga puso,” dinagdag niya.

Ginanap ang ALAB sa UST Quadricentennial Pavilion kaninang umaga, Huwebes, ika-2 ng Agosto.

Samantala, gaganapin sa ika-3 ng Agosto, ang orientation ng mga freshmen sa kolehiyo na pinamagatang “ROARientation.” Welcome Walk naman sa Agosto 6.

Kabilang sa Basic Education ang mga estudyante mula sa EHS, JHS at SHS. B. Laforga & J. A. Pangilinan

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Counter military, police propaganda-based disinformation—veteran journalist

Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

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Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

Glenda Gloria, a journalism alumna of the University, said that the military and the police do not seem to understand the role of the media as the fourth estate because of their “very utilitarian” view of information. 

“They use information as propaganda because they think it has to achieve something for the organization, whether that means further securing the country or defeating the enemies of the state,” Gloria said in a fact-checking webinar. 

According to her, the attempt of law enforcers to speed up their propaganda is due to the tremendous pressure to eliminate insurgency before President Duterte steps down in 2020. 

“The biggest factor behind the politicization of the armed forces is the commander-in-chief. Whatever the President wants will determine the political influence of the military,” she said. 

Gloria reminded aspiring journalists that no war has been won using propaganda as a primary tool and to “continue the fight against lies” that are being weaponized for the mass destruction of the country.

The webinar titled, “Propaganda, State Secrets and Other Issues in the Security Sector,” was hosted by MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler. Vhey Tapia and Raheema Velasco 

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Flatten curve to revive economy, solon says

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

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Photo courtesy of the UST Central Student Council

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

“Klaro naman na hindi natin kailangan pumili between saving lives and livelihood. Hindi na tama na ang trade-off between the two…[b]ecause we can save both,” Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo said. 

Quimbo, who is also an economist, stressed the importance of evidence-based policymaking and monitoring, as well as business continuity and job projection interventions. 

The solution and interventions included grants for technical assistance, subsidies for COVID-19 testing, and wage subsidies with retention clauses. 

“We can afford to rise, pero dapat balansehin so as not to fall into a debt crisis… [b]ecause as we all know napakadali po to become poor pero napakahirap mag-exit sa poverty. Importanteng importante ang datos,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo also laid out the framework for the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE), which she is one of the principal authors. 

Under the ARISE, a comprehensive plan will be followed to address the pandemic-brought economic crisis with a proposed P1.3 trillion budget over three years.

In the bill still pending in the Senate, Quimbo specified transitional, financial, sectoral, and structural support that, according to her, were the basis of the framework for the “mini-version” of the Bayanihan 2 that is in effect until the end of this year.

‘Reform the economy’

IBON Foundation executive director Sonny Africa urged the government to “reform and shape” an economy that benefits everyone. 

According to Africa, the government’s current response is focused on a “very artificial poverty reduction” by granting cash transfers without addressing the structure that continues poverty.

“The government is very keen on infrastructure to promote economic growth, but the Philippines is so lacking in economic fundamentals as it uses infrastructure as a short-cut to growth,” he said.

Africa also criticized that while the government is focused on infrastructure development, decades of neoliberal health privatization eroded  the public health system, which worsened the mortality rate even pre-pandemic.

The webinar “EkonDisyon: Philippine Economic Recession and COVID-19” is a part of the MulaTalakayan organized by the University’s Central Student Council. 

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Tourism recovery to revamp economic sectors, officials urge

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Photo courtesy of the UST Research Center for Social Sciences & Education

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer Alfonsus Tesoro called for sustainable and strategic recovery efforts to support and revamp economic sectors.

“Tuloy-tuloy dapat ang pag-conduct ng tourism site assessment and planning kasama ang iba’t-ibang stakeholders from the national government agencies, provincial government offices, and the private sector,” Tesoro said in a webinar, Thursday, Oct. 23. 

According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, a survey conducted in Eastern Visayas showed that 66 percent of the respondents admitted that health risks affected their decision to travel, while 80 percent are now eager to visit tourism sites within the region only. 

“This gives us an idea of what tourism activities we should prioritize when we reopen our [tourism] sites. A large majority expect health and safety protocols in place, there should be value for money, and that fun activities will still be offered even under the ‘new normal,’” she said.

Tiopes added that despite the steady reopening of the tourism sector, health protocols would still be strictly employed to ensure safety of tourists and residents. 

The webinar titled, “Philippine Tourism Development and COVID-19 Pandemic: Recovery through Sustainable Development,” was spearheaded by the University’s College of Tourism and Hospitality Management in partnership with the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, Inc., and co-organized by the UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education. Paolo Alejandrino 

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