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SANA ALL? Thomasian couple relives college in prenup shoot

From best friends to lovers, Thomasian alumni Mia Buenafe and Carl Vicencio looked back on their campus love story during their pre-wedding shoot last February which trended online. 

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Thomasian alumni Mia Buenafe and Carl Vicencio when they were in college (left) and during their prenup shoot last February (right). (Photo courtesy to Peek A Book Stories)

From best friends to lovers, Thomasian alumni Mia Buenafe and Carl Vicencio looked back on their campus love story during their pre-wedding shoot last February which trended online

Shooting the pre-nuptial photos at UST, according to the couple, was the “best choice” since the University holds their fondest memories. 

“[A]ll our memories were made there and I think it’s a way for us to remember where we started. Sometimes kasi nakakalimutan namin, and parang ba something na pampakilig ulit. ‘Oh naalala mo dito mo ako binigyan ng love letter mo, dito mo ako sinusundo,” Buenafe told TomasinoWeb

Their photos which featured the Main Building, Benavides Park or Lover’s Lane, and Roque Ruaño building garnered a total of 1,300 shares and over 2,000 reactions as of writing. 

Carl and Mia wanted to go back where it all began, University of Santo Tomas 😊

From classmates to bestfriends, and now…

Posted by Peek A Boo Stories on Friday, March 19, 2021

 

 

The couple is set to get married on November 2021. 

Art of give and take

Buenafe  and Vicencio were both hailed from the Faculty of Engineering before Vicencio moved to the College of Commerce and Business Administration. 

Vicencio recalled confessing through a seven-page letter, but Buenafe was not ready for a relationship at that time because she wanted to focus on studying. 

Instead of giving up and out of respect, Vicencio gave the distance his bride-to-be needed as he patiently waited for her. They became an official couple in 2012.

“[N]oong dumi-distansya naman ako parang nagbago ata isip nito, natauhan tapos ayon parang dun nag start na maging okay ulit,” Vicencio told TomasinoWeb. 

The couple recalled their mini dates in Dapitan, where they would usually drink milk tea and eat siomai, and the footlong stall in P.Noval where they shared their first meal together. 

They reminded Thomasians that love is all about give and take, as well as compromise and patience.

“[I]t takes two to tango talaga eh. For [me] kasi I don’t think na we will last for eight years if hindi kami naging patient and nagcompromise. Give and take talaga siya,” Buenafe said.

Vicencio, on the other hand, stressed the importance of respecting the wishes and boundaries of your partner. 

“[T]apos yun nga i-respect mo [yung] wish nung isa. Don’t take it against [them] na kung gusto nila mag aral muna,” he said. 

Pandemic, behind the scenes

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To turn their Thomasian-themed photoshoot into reality, the couple sent emails to the University administrators as early as January. 

“First with sec-gen (Secretary-General), kasi we plan to shoot in the Faculty of Engineering since we want to have those classroom shots […] and then after noon, we secured a lot of permits through email since there’s no office right now,” Buenafe explained.

They also needed to follow strict health protocols during the shoot to avoid possible Covid-19 transmission. 

Before the photoshoot, the two accomplished various health declaration forms for all individuals involved to ensure that no one showed symptoms of Covid-19.

Only a maximum of four people were allowed inside the Roque Ruaño building. The photographers, videographers, and stylists were also required to wear face masks and face shield throughout their stay in the campus.

The couple did the same when moving from one location to another. 

“We’re very lucky talaga na pumayag at least wala din masyadong tao so parang good time rin na mag picture kasi wala masyado exposure. Kasi kung makikita niyo yung mga picture kami lang talaga yung tao, ‘yung tao that time ang marami lang sa [UST] hospital,” Buenafe shared.

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Classes resume as NCR Plus shifts to MECQ

Classes remain to be delivered under Enriched Virtual Mode until the end of the academic year and subject to extension depending on the University’s decision.

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Photo Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb

The University announced the resumption of classes, both synchronous and asynchronous, starting Monday, April 12 after the national government reverted the ‘NCR Plus’ bubble back to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. 

Onsite work, however, will remain suspended according to the Office of Secretary-General. 

The University halted its classes last April 5 after both the UST Central Student Council and UST Faculty Union sought for a “health break.” 

“[W]e realized that the number of COVID-19 cases is not only increasing in number but is now turning into names of people who are very familiar and dear to us,” the Faculty Union petition stated.

Classes remain to be delivered under Enriched Virtual Mode until the end of the academic year and subject to extension depending on the University’s decision.

As of April 11, the Department of Health announced a total number of 864,868 with 146,519 active Covid-19 cases in the country. 

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UST Hiraya blasts Duterte’s attempt to grope maid, Roque’s defense

An advocacy-based organization in the University denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions toward a female house helper during his birthday celebration on March 28, as well as Malacañang’s defense on the incident.

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Photo from UST Hiraya's statement posted on their official Facebook page last April 1.

An advocacy-based organization in the University denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions toward a female house helper during his birthday celebration on March 28, as well as Malacañang’s defense on the incident.

In a now-viral video posted by Sen. Bong Go, Duterte was caught attempting to touch his house helper’s crotch area. Palace spokesperson Harry Roque, however, defended the president by saying that there was “no malice” to it since the woman is already used to Duterte’s humor. 

In a statement posted on April 1, UST Hiraya said that acts of harassment should not be normalized, as a woman’s dignity is “just as valuable as a man’s.”

“In a country in which the patriarchal culture has gotten the best of society’s prejudice and […] justice system, such acts shall not be condoned and normalized. A woman’s dignity is just as valuable as that of a man’s,” they said. 

UST Hiraya president Judy Borja explained that rape jokes and other forms of sexual harassment are normalized because of people who enable this kind of behavior. 

“[This is] because of people like Harry Roque who continue to make excuses for people who commit sexual harassment like Duterte. As long as there will be enablers, such acts are still ‘normal’ for some people,” she told TomasinoWeb

According to Borja, Duterte’s misconduct subjects women to more “heinous” acts by influencing “misguided” children and adults to continue doing such despite the existence of the Safe Spaces Act. 

Under the Safe Spaces Act or RA 11313, sexual harassers or those who commit unwanted sexual advances are penalized.

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“They will feel like they are above the law and will less likely follow. Due to this, more and more women will be subjected to such heinous acts,” she said.

The organization also urged Thomasians and Filipinos to stand against rape and sexual harassment, and to help break the “boys will be boys” stereotype.

According to Borja, speaking up against harassment allows offenders to take accountability for their actions and stops victims from blaming themselves.

“Speaking up against sexual harassment lets one hold the perpetrator accountable for the wrongful act that they did because if they have the heart to listen and learn, they will learn from it…[A]lso, victim-survivors of sexual harassment will not longer feel alone nor blame themselves,” she said. 

Borja also highlighted the importance of putting trigger warnings when discussing topics like rape and sexual harassment, as these issues could affect some people’s mental health. 

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Pharma remembers ‘longest-serving’ prof, Jacinta Cruz

Assoc. Prof. Jacinta Cruz, MHPEd served as a mentor to generations of medical technologists from Faculty of Pharmacy. She was recognized as an “Outstanding Professional in Medical Technology” by the Professional Regulation Committee in 2009. 

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Late Assoc. Prof. Jacinta Cruz. Photo from UST official Facebook page.

The University mourned the loss of one of its longest-serving professors from the Faculty of Pharmacy (FoP) yesterday, March 26. 

Before her retirement, Assoc. Prof. Jacinta Cruz, MHPEd served as a mentor to generations of medical technologists from FoP. She was recognized as an “Outstanding Professional in Medical Technology” by the Professional Regulation Committee in 2009. 

The FoP also expressed their sympathy and gratitude to their departed colleague online. 

Mark Angelo Ngu, one of her former students, recalled how Cruz changed his life and how he discovered that he was diabetic through her laboratory experiment. 

He also said that she was a “strict” professor but for accountable reasons. 

“[S]he was strict, and she scolds students, but there is a reason for this one, in order for us to ready ourselves in the real world, [..] her philosophy was to hone our emotional stability as early in order to prepare us for the real world,” Ngu told TomasinoWeb.

Cruz, however, also never failed to show her “kwela” side to her students as well, which makes her unforgettable for Ngu. 

“[D]espite her strictness, she also has her “kwela” side. Once you get to know her “kwela” side, you will surely be happy with her around. Kaya hindi namin makalimutan si Ma’am Jannie,” he said.

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