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Performers express dismay over ‘hurried’ Paskuhan concert

The sets of performers were allegedly cut short as organizers hurried to end the program in time for the fireworks display.

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(SECOND UPDATE 9:49 p.m. Dec. 17, 2016) Some performers from the Paskuhan concert last Dec. 16, Friday, are dismayed over an apparent mishandling of the event by organizers and production staff.

Band members of Jensen and the Flips, Miles Experience, Autotelic and Gracenote went on Twitter to express their distaste with the actions of the organizers and production staff.

“Pag sinabi nilang 5 mins na lang tapos na set mo, matic na last song na yun. So hintayin niyo na lang kami matapos wag yung “wrap it up” pa,” tweeted Choi Padilla of Jensen and the Flips.

The sets of performers were allegedly cut short as organizers hurried to end the program in time for the fireworks display.

Josh Villena of Autotelic said in now-deleted tweets that their original six-song set was cut to two songs, then was extended to three songs, then cut to two songs again, until they were finally allowed to perform three songs.

“[G]usto ng bands to have a good working relationship with the organizers. [S]ayang naman kung tratuhin silang parang utusan,” Villena added.

In a viral video, Gracenote vocalist Eunice Jorge was seen being interrupted by a host as she belted out the last few notes of “When I Dream About You”.

this is what happened last night #USTPaskuhan2016pic.twitter.com/0HJn7nF8wl

— tyra danielle (@tyradaniellee) December 17, 2016

“Dear thomasians, I was too excited to play and didn’t see that coming. Your prod team broke my [heart] in less than 12mins. Till we meet again,” Jorge said.

Guido Hizon of Miles Experience tweeted, “Kesa i-cut niyo yung sets ng mga banda, why not give the Thomasians the freedom to choose kung concert o fireworks ang gusto nila panoorin?”

Performers were said to have been cut-off while on stage as the organizers speed things up for Thomasians to view the fireworks display.

Despite the mishap, the band members said that they still enjoyed performing for Thomasians.

“Paskuhan prod, ill be honest – you are a pain BUT Thomasians always makes it hard for the band to unlove UST. Ill focus on that. We love UST!” said Maysh Baay of Moonstar88 in a tweet.

  “Pero of course, nagenjoy pa din kami. Sana lang na execute ng maayos. Salamat, UST! Sa uulitin! Sana next year uli,” said Padilla.

  “Learning lesson sana to treat your bands nicely. Nang makaulit. Thank you pa din UST 🙂 we had fun!” said Villena.

Paskuhan was organized by the Central Student Council (CSC), the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) in partnership with Tomasian Cable Television (TOMCAT) and several University offices.

In an apparent response to criticism on social media Central Board Speaker Nykko Bautista likened the situation to someone attempting to give soup to a baby without a bowl and utensils.

Meanwhile, Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) President Lois Locson has tweeted her apologies.

 TomasinoWeb is still trying to reach the CSC, the SOCC and TOMCAT for comment.

The concert was planned to be held at the UST Grandstand, but was held at the Quadricentennial Pavillion in anticipation of a downpour.

“If only we can control where to have Paskuhan, we would have put it in Grandstand,” Locson said.

Thomasian performers like the UST Saliggawi Dance Troupe, Teavana, a band from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Thomasian Idol winner John Saga and Miles Experience also performed in the concert.

Other performers include The Ransom Collective, Hale, Iñigo Pascual and Yeng Constantino.

Paskong Tomasino

Around 60,000 people flocked to UST on Friday to join in the 25th year of Paskuhan, themed “Paskong Tomasino Para Sa’yo!”

Light rain did not dampen the spirits of those who watched the fireworks display to the tune of anime theme songs like Voltes V.

Just like the previous years, the Security Office enforced tight security to control the flow of visitors. Outsiders were not allowed to enter the campus unless accompanied by a Thomasian.

Two Junior students from the College of Education said that they expected a reprise of last year’s 3D wall mapping.

“Last year kasi, yung preparations nila, napansin ko ngayon wala masyadong lights. Last year kasi bongga kasama nung lightshow.”

Visitors like Yuri Tabayoyong of St. Jude College Manila said that it was last year’s Paskuhan activities that caught her interest.

“Fireworks. Tapos sana magkaroon uli ‘yung lightshow. Madami kasi nagsasabi na maganda and madaming tao,” Tabayoyong said.

The two-day revelry started with a Mass celebrated by Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy and the Agape, where members of the Thomasian community were given chicken and lechon. -M.W.D.P.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to be more discrete with the use of the words “organizers” and “production staff.” Corrections have also been made to reflect that TOMCAT is not one of the organizers, but is one of the partners. Our apologies for the misidentification.

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Student organization condemn anti-terror bill provisions

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) The Political Science Forum (TPSF) condemned the constitutionality of the “questionable” provisions and mechanisms of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL).

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Arden Esmile/TomasinoWeb

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) The Political Science Forum (TPSF) condemned the constitutionality of the “questionable” provisions and mechanisms of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL).

“[T]he Draconian measures pointed out by critics of the law emphasized on the stifling of dissent and criticism, and the possible danger of disregarding the democratic freedom of every Filipino,” the statement released yesterday, July 4 read.

TPSF also called for vigilance among Filipinos amid the signing of the Anti-Terror Bill into Law last Friday, July 3. 

“Given this turn of events, the Forum calls for vigilance among all Filipinos in ensuring that its enforcement shall be free from disfranchisement of fundamental rights of everyone,” the Forum said. 

TPSF stressed that government critics, student activists, indignant masses, and indigenous groups in the country are the “most vulnerable” in the enforcement of the highly scrutinized warrantless investigations and arrest. 

According to the Forum, the provisions of the law, specifically on the prolonged detention of the alleged violator and lesser liability of law enforcers from erroneous accusations, “may result in power tripping and reckless law enforcement.” 

“[T]he balance of power in handling revolving around terrorism are centered to the executive department whereas the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) shall be comprised of presidential appointees, members who have most likely to have conflict of interest with the state,” TPSF said. 

The Forum also questioned the “practicality and relevance of the bill” during the pandemic.

A group of lawyers and civic leaders, led by Lawyer Howard Calleja, filed yesterday, July 4, the very first petition against the newly signed ATL before the Supreme Court. Jayziel Khim Budino

 

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Students not ready for self-directed learning—EdTech director

Students “may not be really ready” for self-direction and learning independence without “prodding from the teachers,” the University’s Educational Technology Center (EdTech) director said yesterday, June 27.

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Screengrab from the Learning in Focus webinar

Students “may not be really ready” for self-direction and learning independence without “prodding from the teachers,” the University’s Educational Technology Center (EdTech) director said yesterday, June 26.

“With or without pandemic, no single tool really and no amount of technology would be the solution to all our instructional problems,” Asst. Prof. Anna Cherylle Ramos, president of Philippine e-Learning Society, said during a webinar about shifting from classroom to online term.

Virtual monitoring sessions and centralized e-learning support unit, according to Ramos, was provided by the University to the teachers for the implementation of an online learning system.

“For the context of the University of Santo Tomas that has been using online technology for almost 20 years since 2002, we had the edge of implementing our continuity plan for teaching and learning right away after the declaration of the lockdown,” she said.

Ramos mentioned that in a survey conducted by the University, 98-percent of the faculty and 94-percent of the students have no stable internet connection.

“Out of our survey, we were able to locate the students with no internet connection and with our partnership with major telecom companies who were able to deliver the devices and the pocket wifi devices, so that they are able to finish the semester,” she said.

“I guess for me, COVID-19 also provided some positive contribution because it has unleashed a revolution in our education,” Ramos said.

Challenges ‘more psychological’

The bigger challenge in taking the education online, according to De La Salle Lipa College of Information and Engineering Dean Jorge Bacobo, is more psychological than technical.

“Those [technological problems], we know what the solutions are,” Bacobo said. “It’s getting the people who are involved for example in our schools, teachers, parents, administrators, to adjust to a revolution that’s forced [on] us by pandemic.”

“It’s really the evolution of people and how they have to change their relationships with each other in order to address the new needs of a new normal,” he added.

Bacobo emphasized that the pandemic changing the whole world challenged more the relationship between the students and the teachers and between the teachers and their teaching platform.

“Teachers suddenly realized they’re not anymore the sages on the stages. They’re now set aside. They’re more like guides on the side…They are no longer the medium of instruction,” he said.

Bacobo explained that the digital infrastructure has become the new medium and the teacher’s “avatar” or representative.

Department of Education Undersecretary Nepo Malaluan also said that online learning is “a very potent tool.”

“When we talk about the learning continuity in this time of COVID and doing distance learning, online learning is only one of the modalities,” he said. 

“Our viewers and our parents and learners and the public and sometimes even policy makers equate distance learning with the online learning platform,” he added. 

Technological challenges of online learning, according to Malaluan, are the capacity of teachers in delivery of large-scale online learning, conversion of classroom-based learning resources to distance learning resources, and the cost of online learning to the students.

Ramos urged the students that despite the teachers being “converted into text,” students should be more understanding as the issue of bandwidth impedes the online availability of the teachers.

“Online technology or online instructions would just be one of the many things we can do to be able to deliver that content,” Ramos said. “[Students] must realize that while we are doing something like this, we still have your teaching presence.”

“The learning activities themselves and the step by step procedure being given by the teachers is in fact the teaching presence themselves. There should be that understanding on both parties,” she said.

The webinar, “Learning in Focus,” was organized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inq To be You, and INQUIRER.net.

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CSC decries ‘unlawful arrest’ of ‘Pride 20’

The University Central Student Council (CSC) condemned the “violent and unlawful” arrest of 20 protestors who participated in the Pride March held in front of Mendiola Peace Arch, Friday morning, June 26. 

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

The University Central Student Council (CSC) condemned the “violent and unlawful” arrest of 20 protestors who participated in the Pride March held in front of Mendiola Peace Arch, Friday morning, June 26. 

“[It] is a clear abuse of undignifying power against our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters,” CSC’s statement read.

The protestors who were arrested called to junk the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which is set to lapse into law on July 9. 

Different progressive groups who joined the rally were dispersed by the police, despite observing health protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

“Our expression of dissent will never be an act of terrorism. Pride is a protest. #FreePride20!” CSC said. 

According to reports and posts circulating online, several police were seen “hijacking” one of the demonstrators’ private vehicles to bring them to the police station. 

The police nabbed 20 people, 10 of which are members of Bahaghari including its spokesperson Rey Valmores-Salinas, eight members of Gabriela, and two drivers.

Salinas took to Twitter to express her concern on their arrest: “Hinuli man kami ngayon, walang pandemiya, walang lockdown, at mas lalong walang mga pasistang baboy ang makapipigil ng pagsinag ng Bahaghari. #SulongWagPatinag.” 

#FreePride20

The arrested protestors were not informed of their violations and were not read of their Miranda rights, which angered the netizens.

The #FreePride20 trended on Twitter as netizens called for the immediate release of the ‘Pride 20,’ which were currently detained at the Manila Police District headquarters.

Miss Universe 2019 Catriona Gray as well as groups such as Gabriela Women’s Party, Bahaghari, and Metro Manila Pride also condemned the arrest. 

Three minors were already released, but the remaining are set to spend the weekend in detention as inquest proceedings resume on Monday.

The Metro Manila Pride March was originally set on June 27. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled and will be held via virtual gathering instead. 

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