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Freshmen orientation takes on a new twist

A total of 13,004 new breed of Thomasians were formally introduced to the community at the Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena for the University-wide Freshmen Orientation.

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A total of 13,004 new breed of Thomasians were formally introduced to the community at the Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena for the University-wide Freshmen Orientation.

The orientation held July 8 aimed to provide standardized information about the University and Thomasian life, among others, to the newest and youngest members of the community.

Aside from the departmental orientations provided by each faculty and college, the administration decided to take the orientation a notch higher and gather all the freshmen in one event.

“We really are in charge of the orientation which used to be per college, per faculty. But now we decided that it should be unique, it should be all freshmen together. Before, we were giving the My University modules only to the scholars and student leaders but we think everybody should be given that,” said Prof. Evelyn A. Songco, Ph.D., Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs.

Secretary General Fr. Winston F. Cabading, O.P. commenced the event and as a Thomasian alumnus himself, the SecGen imparted various anecdotes, tales of waiting for the flood to subside and gastronomic adventures on the outskirts of the University. He encouraged the freshmen to grab each and every opportunity they can to “grow in heart, mind, and spirit.”

Aside from the regular rundown of events to look forward to and tips to keep in mind, new twists were incorporated to the program to further enlighten Thomasian freshmen on the nature of lifestyle they will face in their four- or five-year stay in the Royal, Pontifical and Catholic University of the Philippines.

“TomaSino: The Life and Works of St. Thomas Aquinas” was presented by Fr. Jose Antonio Aureada, O.P. The UST Graduate School regent educated the young crowd on the beginnings, struggles, and triumphs of the main patron saint of the University.

Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Fr. Filemon I. dela Cruz discussed the concept of Thomasian Identity  ̶ the values one needs to live by, the integrated components of a Thomasian and the identifiable manner of leading the Thomasian way of life.

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Swerte sila kasi nung first year tayo hindi naman tayo nag-ganyan. We just know St. Thomas, it was part of our Theology class, but not in this kind of orientation na kinukwento yung life ni St. Thomas; how he became a saint and our patron,” said Pax Romana Executive Vice President Charlene Versoza when asked about her thoughts on the latest portions incorporated in the orientation.

Prof. Songco also concurred that the new approach on giving the freshmen orientation is an effective way of instilling school spirit in them as early as the first week of their stay.

“Everybody should know about St. Thomas. So now that we have the QPav, we found a place where we could put together all the freshmen where they can benefit from all the topics,” she added.

The orientation was animated by performances by the UST Yellow Jackets, Salinggawi, and Teatro Tomasino. Thomasian Cable Television (TOMCAT) compiled video greetings of prominent Thomasian alumni as well as administrators welcoming the new batch to the university.

TomasinoWeb provided the periodic Social Media Update which featured tweets posted by the attendees of the event with the hashtag #USTFreshmenOrientation2014.

Three batches of orientation were conducted during the day to accommodate the seating capacity of the QPav arena. According to data from the Central Student Council, of the total freshmen enrolled this coming semester, 2,250 were from the Faculty of Engineering, making it the faculty with most students enrolled, followed by the Faculty of Arts and Letters (1,400) and the College of Commerce and Business Administration (1,200).

 

Photo by Kenneth Adrian S. Castillo

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Policy changes for gender equality—Gender Studies professor

Gender Studies professor urged gender equality advocates on Monday, Oct. 19, to stand for policy changes for the LGBTQ rights and protection.

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Photo grabbed from the official Facebook page of UST Hiraya

Gender Studies professor urged gender equality advocates on Monday, Oct. 19, to stand for policy changes for the LGBTQ rights and protection.

“[W]e should really work at changing policies and laws that will address discrimination,” Nathalie Africa Verceles, director of University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, said during a webinar on gender equality.

Verceles said the campaign for the approval of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill must continue. 

“[W]e need to continue to struggle and fight for a SOGIE equality law, and we should not stop until we achieve it,” she said.

According to Verceles, the grant of absolute pardon to US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton does not serve justice to the murder of transgender Jennifer Laude. 

“[B]y making him get off so easily, we are sending the message that we do not take hate crimes against transwomen seriously,” she said.

The use of the term homophobia should also be refrained, according to Verceles, as it “pathologizes” the LGBTQ community, and instead should use the term “heterosexism” to define discriminations that are targeted to those “who deviate from the norm of heteronormativity.” 

The webinar titled “Hiraya Talks: Pagkakapantay-Pantay” was organized by UST Hiraya and co-presented with UST UNESCO Club, Mental Health AWHEREness, and FEU Saga, in partnership with TomasinoWeb, Benilde Hive, Sanggunian: Commission on Gender Equality, The Malaya Initiative, JRU – Junior Photographic Editors and Graphic Artists, and UST UNICEF. 

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2 Thomasians among top 10 in 2020 physician boards

Two Thomasians placed second and seventh among the top 10 of the 2020 physician licensure exams (PLE) held last March and September.

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Alexa Taay/TomasinoWeb

Two Thomasians placed second and seventh among the top 10 of the 2020 physician licensure exams (PLE) held last March and September.

John Marlon Lintan, who emerged second, got a score of 88 percent, while Erika Anne Pañgan, who landed on seventh place, got a score of 87.08 percent.

The University placed fourth among top performing schools and recorded a passing rate of 86.96 percent, with 20 out 23 examinees, lower than last year’s 99.31 percent, with 430 out of 433 examinees.

Maria Carla Buenaflor topped this year’s PLE with a score of 89.17 percent, and Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation was hailed as the top performing school.

Right timing

Despite the pandemic, circumstances have been favorable to both Lintan and Pañgan.

In a Facebook post, Lintan expressed his gratitude and encouraged everyone not to allow delays to define their present and future.

A dream delayed isn’t a dream denied,” Lintan said on his Facebook post. “Just strive forward, have faith and believe that there is a right timing for everything.”

For a dream delayed isn’t a dream denied.Posting this as a gentle reminder to never allow delays define what you can…

Jm Lintanさんの投稿 2020年10月1日木曜日

In an interview, Pañgan said she had to wait and make a lot of adjustments before the board exams.

“I originally started my board exam preparations [in] December of 2019 for the March 2020 PLE, but due to the pandemic, our batch had to wait for another 4 months to be given a definitive date for the second part of our board exams,” Pañgan told TomasinoWeb.

During quarantine, Pañgan followed a daily schedule and routine to make sure she’s both on track and living healthy.

“I tried to live healthy indoor spinning class, some arts and crafts, sleep eight to 10 hours a day during the lockdown period,” she said. 

Pañgan admitted that this year’s licensure exam was a “very uncomfortable experience” compared to the March to September PLE last year. 

“It was three times harder than usual but everything is possible when you put your heart and mind on what you do and what you want to achieve,” she said. 

Eight hundred examinees out of 1,424 passed this year with a national passing rate of 56.18 percent, from last year’s 84.96 percent or 4,006 out of 4,715 examinees. With reports from Paolo Alejandrino, Jayziel Khim Budino, and Coleen Ruth Abiog

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Martial law victims slam Marcos day

Martial Law victims condemned the approval of House Bill No. 7137 bill declaring Sept. 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

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Martial Law victims condemned the approval of House Bill No. 7137 bill declaring Sept. 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Executive Director Ma. Cristina Rodriguez said that it is “harmful to the country’s history” as it could generate misleading facts that can confuse younger generations. 

“Kapag hinayaan mo ang probinsya niya na i-honor parin siya, ang harm niyan hindi lang sa probinsya niya kung hindi sa buong bansa,” Rodriguez said. 

According to Rodriguez, the Marcoses should be held accountable for the youth to understand the atrocities during Martial Law. 

She stressed that Ilocos Norte should instead “be ashamed” as they “fully benefited” from Marcos, while Mindanao was bombed and Cagayan Valley and Samar’s forest were industrially logged. 

“Sa totoo lang ang dapat maging attitude ng mga taga-Ilocos Norte ay bumawi naman kayo. ‘Wag niyo nang igasgas sa sugat ang asin,” Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez also said that the national government should not acknowledge the bill to “hold a moral position” on the abuses inflicted by the Marcoses. 

“Yung mga nakinabang sa Martial Law at sa panahon ni Marcos gusto nila ‘yan. Dapat yung ating pagsusulat ng kasaysayan at pagtuturo ng kasaysayan ay tama,” Martial Law political prisoner Cris Palabay said. 

Palabay urged the youth not to forget the atrocities during the Martial Law. 

“Huwag po tayong matakot, lagi ko nga po sinasabi yung culture of fear, culture of silence, dapat yan ay labanan, tiyak yan, mas maraming magagandang mangyayari,” Palabay said. 

The webinar, “Francisco de Vitoria: Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao – Talakayang Batas Militar” was organized by UST SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office to shed light on the abuse of human rights amid the pandemic. Cherizza Mae Bautista

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