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Thomasians take part in gift giving with Lumads

Around 200 Thomasians immersed with the Lumads in a solidarity program as part of the “Dialogue of Life” organized by the Rotaract Club-Pharmacy Unit at the Baclaran Church on Sunday, Nov. 15.

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Around 200 Thomasians immersed with the Lumads in a solidarity program as part of the “Dialogue of Life” organized by the Rotaract Club-Pharmacy Unit at the Baclaran Church on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Entitled “”Dialogue of Life: Our Continuing Journey with the Anawim, A Gift Giving” students and professors of the University engaged in discussions on issues the Lumads are currently facing, took part in workshops and gave school packs and hygiene kits as donations for the children.

“Yung presensya niyo [Thomasians] ay malaking tulong sa layunin namin na mapalaganap ang nangyayari sa amin,” said Dulphing Ogan, Secretary General of Kusog Sa Katawang Lumad sa Mindanao (KALUMARAN).

The Lumads are composed of 18 tribes in Mindanao who are currently facing abuse and violence, held the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) accountable for the said acts. On October 26, about 800 Lumads arrived in Manila to air their grievances to the government.

The Lumads started to camp out in Baclaran Church after being invited by the Redemptorist priests and brothers since Nov. 13 after their permit to stay in Liwasang Bonifacio was shortened from Nov. 22  to Nov. 12 in time with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leader’s Meeting.

Fr. Joey Echano, CSsR of the National Shrine of Mother of Perpetual Help, mentioned during the press conference that the Church welcomed the said indigenous people after they moved out from Liwasang Bonifacio.

“Ang simbahan ay bukas sa sino mang nais makituloy. Lalo na ang mga biktima ng karahasan at pang-aapi,” he said.

Seeking help

Ogan reiterated in his opening remarks the Lumads’ demand to cease militarization and abuses in their communities which they have been suffering since the 90’s due to the misconception that they are producing rebels.

Last September, the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) was said to be burned down by the military or in some accounts, the Magahat-Bagani paramilitary group who were said to have killed the Lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Juvello Sinzo, and ALCADEV school director Emerito Samarca.

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The issue of Lumad also attracted international organizations such as the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS). Lyn Meza from the International Coordinating Committee of ILPS said “Your struggle is also our struggle.”

Dialogue of Life

Zarina Rivera, the President of the Rotaract Club- Pharmacy Unit and the project head of the event, said in an interview with TomasinoWeb that the special attention needed for the issue of the Lumad people motivated her to spearhead the program.

“Ang atensyon ay laging nasa Syrian refugees, bakit walang atensyon sa mga Lumad?” she said.

For College of Commerce and Business Administration Student Council Vice President Lorenzo Tañada,  who found the event to be an “eye-opener” said that he only understood the Lumad’s struggle through the dialogue.

Meanwhile, Athena Mondido of Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in University of Santo Tomas (STAND-UST) considers the event as the only way for students to help the Lumad and consider them as a family.

Dialogue of Life started its series of programs this month with a photo exhibit and last November 6, a cultural presentation and advocacy forum was held at the Benavides Auditorium.

Present in the gift-giving were UST Simbahayan and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Rotaract Club of UST – Central Chapter, Community Achievers Association – Pharmacy Unit, Community Achievers Association – Central, UST UNICEF Volunteers, UNESCO UST, Theatre Catalyst, and Becarios de Santo Tomas.

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UST Tiger Radio bags award in int’l college radio competition

The radio broadcasting arm of the University wins Best Audience in the 11th edition of World College Radio where 24 college radio stations from across the world participated.

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Photo courtesy of UST Tiger Radio

The University’s radio broadcasting station, UST Tiger Radio, was recognized in the 2021 World College Radio, a competition based in the United States.

The College Radio Foundation on Tuesday, Nov. 23, named the station, the lone representative of the Philippines, for having the Best Audience in the 24-hour global marathon of the World College Radio.

Now on its 11th cycle, the event saw 24 college radios across the world, from Asia and Europe to Latin America. With the theme, “In Tough Times, We Thrive,” the event highlighted the global efforts made by university radio stations to keep their production alive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tiger Radio’s theme for this year was #USTResilientRadio, which showcased the station’s measures in treading on and adapting to the so-called “new normal” in radio production.

Eric Galang, the MOR station head and an alumnus of the Faculty of Arts and Letters’ Communication program, was the special guest for Tiger Radio’s Off-Air segment. There, he talked about radio and the impact it made on his life.

Other college radio stations recognized were England’s Surf Radio for Best Music Selection, Best Programming, and Best Overall Effort; USA’s WMSC 90.3 for Best Audio Production; Colombia’s Estación for Best Promotional Effort; and Sweden’s K103 Gothenburg Student Radio for Best Use of Theme.

Founded in 2010, the College Radio Foundation has been holding the World College Radio competition, which gathers international radio stations across the globe to share their best practices in production.

Paolo Alejandrino is a marketing content strategist for UST Tiger Media Network.

Paolo Alejandrino
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UST to expand F2F classes for certain programs

UST is eyeing to submit their applications for the resumption of limited in-person classes in proposed academic programs before December upon the approval of the University Crisis Management Committee.

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Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

The University will be expanding in-person classes to other programs where the intended learning outcomes cannot be fully achieved with Enriched Virtual Mode of instruction (EVM), Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Cheryl Peralta and secretary general Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. said in a joint statement.

According to them, UST is eyeing to submit their applications for the resumption of limited in-person classes in proposed academic programs before December upon the approval of the University Crisis Management Committee (UCMC).

“These will mainly be skills-based courses that require in-person instruction. We will likewise determine which year levels and courses will be prioritized per program to progressively increase the number of students and academic staff who will enter the campus at any given time,” they said.

“As soon as the proposals of academic units are approved by the UCMC, the retrofitted facilities are ready for visit, and the documentary requirements have been completed by the academic units, we can submit their applications even before December as was relayed during the town hall meeting with CHED,” the statement said.

This is in line with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ approval of  Resolution 148-G. This entails the Commission on Higher Education’s proposed phased implementation of limited face-to-face (LFTF) classes for all programs under Alert Levels 1,2, and 3 released on Nov. 16.

In a press statement, acting Presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said that “phase one of the implementation of LFTF classes will commence on December 2021 onwards, while phase two will begin in January 2022 onwards.”

Since June, the University has already started LFTF classes for medical and health allied programs.

On the University’s preparedness

Already-established institutional health protocols and standards for the current LFTF programs in the University shall be upheld during the resumption of expanded in-person classes.

The health protocols include the protocol for contract tracing and reporting of cases; for screening and detection, containment, and lockdown; for referral and transfer; and for isolation, quarantine, and COVID-19 testing.

“Our academic units are preparing the face-to-face training plans appropriate to their programs, consulting with stakeholders, coordinating with the Facilities Management Office (FMO) for the retrofitting of facilities, the Health Service for orientation on health protocols, and OVRAA for preparing the documentary requirements,” the statement read.

Moreover, the University’s digital IDs will be utilized to log contract tracing and health declaration features of Thomasians participating in limited in-person classes. Thus, students will be required to update their health conditions, vaccination status, and any contact with COVID-19 patients in the Thomasian Online Medical Services and Support (ThoMedSS)  website.

Health information collected through the new automated system will be monitored by the UST Health Service.

Angela Gabrielle Magbitang Atejera
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Thomasian artist bags 1st place in global art competition

Bricx Martillo Dumas, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts and Design, led the competition among 208 applications from 58 countries.

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"Nexus" by Bricx Martillo Dumas. Photo courtesy of DigitalArt4Climate and Bricx Martillo Dumas' Facebook page.

A Thomasian alumni won first place in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) art competition on Sunday, Nov. 14.

Bricx Martillo Dumas, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts and Design, led the competition among 208 applications from 58 countries.

His winning piece entitled “Nexus” showcased a hand holding a cigarette and a plastic material against a plain red background. This was the only entry from the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Four winners were selected through online public voting using Facebook reactions. Dumas’ art has garnered 825 reactions as of writing.

Dumas said that joining the competition was his chance to both represent the Philippines and advocate for climate action.

“Eight years ago, my hometown suffered from the wrath of [Super] Typhoon Haiyan. It changed my life forever. Should we wait for another typhoon stronger than Haiyan just to realize that this world is suffering from mass extinction? Or should we be the change that this world needs? Our time is now,” Dumas said in a video by DigitalArt4Climate.

“Nexus” was one of the selected 30 creations “with a great level of art skills and unique ideas about climate action” that will be auctioned off by DigitalArt4Climate to support the Sustainable Development Goals and UN Agenda 2030.

“DigitalArt4Climate” is an initiative in partnership with UN-Habitat that utilizes its resources for climate empowerment.

Larraine Castillo
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