Connect with us

Features

Metanoia at pagbabagong-anyo bilang Tomasino

Sa libo-libong bagong Tomasino sa loob ng QPav, libo-libong kuwento rin ang kanilang baon. Bagamat sila’y isa-isang tumawid sa Arch of the Centuries, sila’y mag-uumpisa ng bagong alaala bilang kasapi sa iisang pamilyang Tomasino. At ang Arko, lumipas man ang daan-daang siglo, ay nagsisilbi pa rin ayon sa kanyang diwa: pintuan tungo sa maunlad at maliwanag na hinaharap.

Published

on

engg freshie 2018
Kuha ni John Tristan Deang/TomasinoWeb.

Mula sa kalye ng España, araw-araw bumabati sa mga tao ang isang tarangkahan sa gitna ng berdeng hardin na nililim-liman ng mga puno na mayroong nagsisipang-abot na mga tangkay. Gawa sa naglalakihang bato, mayroong mga ukit ng kerubin, at mga markang nagpapakita ng kaniyang makasaysayang nakaraan. Sa mga ordinaryong araw, panglagusang ito’y tahimik na nagmamasid sa mga mag-aaral na naglalakad patungo sa kani-kanilang mga klase, ni-isa’y walang oras sumaglit at hangaan ang isang halimbawa ng istilong-Baroque na arkitektura sa Unibersidad. Ngunit, pagsapit ng buwan ng Agosto, ang inskripsyong nakaukit dito ay naiisabuhay, “Gateway to the History of the finest breed of Filipino.”

Ilang dekada na ang nagdaan mula nang mailagak sa kaniyang kasalukuyang puwesto ang makasaysayang Arch of the Centuries. Sa Intramuros, kung saan ito nagmula, nagsilbi itong daanan ng mga noo’y ordinaryong tao, tulad natin, ngunit sa kalaunan ay naging mga marangal at tinitingalang mamamayan ng bansa. Ngayon, ang pagtawid sa ilalim ng Arko ay simbolo na ng pagiging isang ganap na Tomasino at  isang tradisyon na iilan lamang ang mga masuwerteng makakasaksi at makararanas nito. Metanoia o pagbabagong buhay, at transpigurasyon o pagbabagong-anyo—ito ang mga salitang angkop sa paglalarawan ng taunang pagtawid sa makasaysayang Arko bilang Tomasino.

Isang himala kung maituturing ang napakatinding sikat ng araw, sapagkat madalas ang pag-ambon o kaya nama’y malakas na pag-ulan nitong mga araw na nagdaan. Hindi inaalintala ang tirik na araw, matiyagang pumila sa labas ng kani-kanilang mga gusali ang mga bagong mag-aaral habang nag-aabang ng kanilang hudyat na lumakad papalapit sa Arko.

Excited at siyempre scared kasi ‘yun ang magsi-signify ng pagiging college student ko. Nakakatakot man isipin o nakakakaba pero college doesn’t have to be labelled as something scary since maraming pwedeng ma-experience at magawa so I’ll just enjoy it,” pagbahagi ni Erwin Guillarte mula sa College of Architecture ng kaniyang nadama bago tumawid sa Arko.

Takot, kagalakan, at nag-uumapaw na tuwa—iyan ang mga kadalasang sagot ng mga mag-aaral  kapag tinatanong kung anong kanilang nararamdaman, dahil sa ilang saglit lamang, magiging ka-isa at parte na sila ng kasaysayan sa pagsunod sa yapak ng mga magigiting na Tomasinong minsan ay tumawid rin sa ilalim ng Arko.

“Masaya kasi, I’ve been waiting for this ever since I enrolled and parang ang fulfilling na this is like the start of my UST journey na,” ayon kay Czarina Custodio mula sa College of Education sa nadama papasok ng arko.

Lalong naramdaman ang kakaibang enerhiya sa loob ng Unibersidad nang malakas na hinampas ang mga naglalakihang tambol, sabay sa indayog ng iba’t ibang sagisag o cheer ng bawat fakultad o kolehiyo; mistulang itong naging dagitab na nanunuot sa kaibuturan ng kanilang mga damdamin at humihimok sa kanila na sabihin ang mga katagang: “Tomasino Na Ako.”

freshie 2018

Kuha ni Benjie Paulino/TomasinoWeb.

Matapos ang ilang minutong paghihintay, isang pagbabagong-anyo o transpigurasyon ang naganap sa mga masusuwerteng mag-aaral na matapang na tumawid sa Arko. Mayroong ilan na hindi napigilan ang emosyon at naluha, at mayroon din namang halos madapa na, makuhaan lang ang pambihirang sandaling iyon. Agad silang nagtungo sa Quadricentennial Pavilion (QPav) para sa misang idadaos para sa espesyal na selebrasyong ito.

“[..] Parang naging ibang tao; parang nabigyan ako ng hope maging isang mabuting Thomasian. Yun na yung start ng pangarap ko, na-open yung heart and mind ko na ito na yung chance na magiging Thomasian na ako,” paglalarawan ng mga freshmen na sila Lorraibe Suarez, Jirah Rosario, Kiya Undan, at Riva Baring, mula sa Fakultad ng Sining at Panitik, ng kanilang naramdam matapos ang pagdaan sa makasaysayang Arko.

Nakakatuwang isipin na ang taunang pagtawid sa Arch of the Centuries ng mga Tomasino noong araw na iyon ay tugma sa pista ng transpigurasyon sa banal na Simbahang Katolika kung kaya’t sakto sa okasyon ang homiliya ni Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., Pangkalahatang-Kalihim ng Unibersidad.

So, as you pass through your college life may you lived through a change and a transformation. A wise man once said, ‘The path of greatness requires a transformation to your higher self,’” aniya.

Tulad sa transpigurasyon ni Hesu Kristo, mula sa pagkakatawang tao tungo sa kabanalan sa harap ng kanyang alagad, hindi magiging madali ang karanasan ng mga bagong salinlahing Tomasino. Ipinapaalala ni Ang na sa oras ng kagipitan sa pag-aaral, ang mga ala-ala ng mga sandaling ito ang maghihimok sa mga Tomasino na magpursige at lumaban para sa kanilang pangarap.

This is not just your moment. This is your transfiguration moment,” dagdag niya.

Sa libo-libong bagong Tomasino sa loob ng QPav, libo-libong kuwento rin ang kanilang baon. Bagamat sila’y isa-isang tumawid sa Arch of the Centuries, sila’y mag-uumpisa ng bagong alaala bilang kasapi sa iisang pamilyang Tomasino. At ang Arko, lumipas man ang daan-daang siglo, ay nagsisilbi pa rin ayon sa kanyang diwa: pintuan tungo sa maunlad at maliwanag na hinaharap.

Comments

Features

For the love of their craft: UST Galvanize dominates Asian Hip-hop Philippines Dance Competition

For UST Galvanize, all the late night training, energy, and efforts became memories not of pain, but of success when their dreams of heading to the top have become a reality.

Published

on

Photo courtesy to Gab Estrada

Going after one’s dreams is no easy task; it demands strong determination, passion, commitment, and, sometimes, a little bit of luck. Success in something that you are truly passionate about is what you all strive for because in the end, all the hardships that you went through will be all worth it. For UST Galvanize, UST SHS Dance Troupe, all the late night training, energy, and efforts became memories not of pain, but of success when their dreams of heading to the top have become a reality.

Last November 11, they bagged the trophy in the Asian Hip-hop Philippines Dance Competition held at Tanghalang Pasigueno in Pasig, Metro Manila. The team for the competition was composed of Keith Anderson, Matthan Henri Ang, Mico Bacani, Jonas Belgica, Julia Del Rosario, Lia Escudero, Gab Estrada, Kurt Garbo, Andi Lopez, Kaela Madrunio, Yuri Miranda, Niña Reyes, Dylan Ruiz, Regina Sacdalan, and Kio Talactac. Their captain, Gab Estrada, has shared with TomasinoWeb the highs and lows of their journey in the competition as both individuals and as a team.

Overwhelming was a word that Estrada used to describe their experience, “the whole AHP competition experience was one for the books and also was sort of a roller coaster ride for the team.”

“We had to go through lots of challenges especially sa acads and sa pag manage namin ng time for ourselves and our family. Our training sessions were everyday including Sundays ‘pag 2 weeks before the compet na. It starts from 6pm to 9pm since marami kaming grade 12 na compet team.” Estrada also mentioned that their training sessions focused mainly on conditioning their bodies to improve so that they can dance to different styles easily.

But despite the jitters they feel before they dare to step onto the spotlight, they always do one thing as a team: pray.

They have been through a lot–and the team captain cannot hide his elation behind his words,“it was very overwhelming to know na kami yung naging champions kasi first time namin sumali sa competition this year tapos binless kami ni Lord na champions kami agad, na makalilipad kami sa Hong Kong to represent the country and of course, UST!”

When asked what their inspiration for their performance was, Estrada simply said that their coach pitched the idea of doing a choreography out of viral trends in social media. “Our coach thought of making the dance crazes [na sinasayaw ng mga tao sa social media] into a performance na yung mga songs na yun, gagawan ng real choreo,” and this creative idea, landed them a place of competing in the finals.

Having motivation makes you work harder and keeps you focused. Estrada revealed that there is one thing that keeps Galvanized motivated–not trophies, bragging rights, nor prizes––but rather, each other.

“The only thing that only motivates Galvanize is the company of each member. Without them, hindi naman mabubuo ‘yung piyesa namin sa AHP.”

Teamwork is quintessential especially when you are competing and it is, without a doubt, what Galvanize is made of. Their members always strive for growth and perfection in dancing. For them, their next goal is “to do better in our succeeding competitions and to be better in our craft”, Estrada said.

Comments

Continue Reading

Features

Written in Red: Revisiting the Horrors of The Maguindanao Massacre

Published

on

Artwork by Jessica Lopez

Minutes after being flagged down by unidentified men, the fate of fifty-eight people; eleven members of the Mangudadatu Clan, thirty-four journalists and media men, six civilians, and two unborn children, were sealed under three shallow mass graves; the reason: political rivalry.

Politics and Journalism are two equally powerful fields which often clash with each other; often violently.

The powers of each lies with their capability to influence–and they are locked in an unending loop on whose voice shall be heard more by the masses. As government watchdogs, journalists take on potentially life-threatening tasks to deliver significant information to the public and this is evident in the plethora of journalist killings in present and past administrations for going against the will of those in power.

Dirty politics would eventually lead fifty-eight people to their tragic demise on November 23, 2009. A convoy of six vehicles with thirty-eight journalists left Buluan to support the then Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu to file his Certificate of Candidacy against the Ampatuans, a powerful Muslim political clan in Maguindanao, despite receiving threats. Mangudadatu sought protection from these journalists in an attempt to prevent these attack but, the amount of media personnels did little to stop the cruel plans of his bloodthirsty rivals. About ten kilometers from their destination, the Municipality of Shariff Aguak, the convoy was seized and those in it were kidnapped and eventually slaughtered in an empty, desolate stretch of land in Ampatuan Town. The unfortunate event, known today as Maguindanao Massacre, was later dubbed as “one of the worst acts of political violence in modern Philippine history” and described by the Committee to Protect Journalists as the single deadliest event for journalists in history .

After the massacre, the province of Maguindanao was forever changed. All eyes were focused on the small town of Ampatuan in the southern isle of the country. The whole Filipino nation expressed their anger, and a surge of public outcry filled the streets. Yet, it took three days for the Ampatuan Clan to surrender Andal Ampatuan Jr. and Andal Ampatuan Sr., two of the primary suspects for the massacre.

Nine years after the massacre, those who perished still long for justice, no matter how loud they wail, three feet under those shallow mass graves. As we remember this deplorable event, the haunting image of those shallow pits with bullet-ridden bodies and the yellow backhoe in the middle of an empty lot is a constant reminder of the continuing prevalence of political violence in the country and how journalists, however unfortunately, must sometimes sacrifice everything in order to shed light on the darkest corners of our world.

 

S.N.M.

Comments

Continue Reading

Features

The valedictorian molded by pressure

The path to the top of the CPA licensure examinations was surely exhausting, but Lahaira Reyes believes that all of that was part of her journey and without it, her goal would have never turned into an achievement.

Published

on

lahaira reyes valedictorian
Photo by DMD Photography.

The path to the top of the CPA licensure examinations was surely exhausting, but Lahaira Reyes believes that all of that was part of her journey and without it, her goal would have never turned into an achievement.

For others, finding out that she topped the licensure exams was no surprise at all. As the valedictorian of the UST-AMV College of Accountancy Batch 2018, her family and friends were rooting for, if not expecting her, to arrive at the top. Reyes shared with TomasinoWeb the ups and downs of her journey.

Like every prospective CPA, she did everything in her power to prepare for the licensure exams.

“I think yung last sem po namin sa AMV, which is the Integrated Accounting Course (IAC), yung naging start ng preparation ko,“ she added, “kasi it is already a review of what we have studied since basic accounting, then naituloy nalang po sa review school.” As difficult as reviewing proved to be, adding to the pressure on her was the fact that she was about to take an exam that could change her life.

Time management was the hardest part for Reyes; considering the amount of topics that needed to be studied were far too many for the amount of time they had prior to the exam. Adding to that was the exhaustion from all the events following IAC: graduation, baccalaureate mass, birthdays, and other events. She couldn’t devote all her time to studying, and that was one of the many challenges that she had to face.Of course, she couldn’t just sit still and let this problem get in the way of achieving her goal, “What I did was to prioritize [sic] yung subjects na feel ko, maganda yung foundation ko ng basic knowledge then nagstart na ako sa mga bagong topics na di ko pa alam.”

Reyes was anxious over the fact that she would not be able to study all of the topics covered, especially ones that were only recently incorporated into the exam such as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, but she was reassured by her review school facilitators that it was normal for them not to finish everything. “[…] namili nalang ako ng reviewers na feel ko complete na siya ng basics and may konting twists din,” she stated.

Reviewing may have been hard, but staying motivated to pursue her goals proved harder. But Reyes couldn’t lose herself, not at a time like this. She needed a reason to continue, a motivation to keep herself together—her family. “To give back to them finally kapag may work na, then yung mga taong sumusuporta sa akin, kasi sobrang nakakataba po talaga ng puso knowing [that] many people are praying for you,” she explained, “kahit nakakapressure, nakakamotivate din po.”

Despite feeling unprepared and inadequate, Reyes knew she had to pull herself together, and found strength in those closest to her.

“Everytime na I open up to someone, lagi nilang sinasabi na sana wag ako madown kasi sila nga naniniwala sa akin na kaya ko so sana daw I also learn to believe in myself.”

Not only did she have her family to cheer her on, but her batchmates believed in what she could do and achieve. Why would she let herself be pulled down by her stress, if the people around her kept pulling her up? “Yung moral support talaga from the people yung nakakapagpush na magcontinue.”

And there it was, she was ready, even though in the back of her mind she had her fears and worries, she knew her family had her back. “After nung first exam, kinabahan talaga ako. Kasi ang daming erroneous questions so yung confidence naming examinees parang bumaba kasi hindi namin alam if hindi ba talaga namin makuha yung answers or mali lang talaga yung questions.” The anxiousness was there, and only intensified with each passing day getting closer to the examination results.

“First time ko super kabahan sa kung ano mang result kasi siguro this will really make a big difference in my life.” She couldn’t focus on other things, her mind kept thinking back to how well or how badly she did on the licensure exams. “I was studying for an international certification exam that I will take the next day while waiting for the results,” she explained, “But honestly, hindi din naman ako makafocus dun sa inaaral ko.” Her mind went from the best-case scenarios, to the worst ones, going from each one of them as she let the hours and days pass by, waiting for the results.

Reyes shared that she had waited from 7 PM to 12 AM waiting for the call from parents to hear about the results, hearing the clock tick from time to time. It seemed endless—the waiting and the overthinking. Then suddenly, the phone call that would change her life finally came. “I just can’t believe it, I screamed sa dorm out of happiness and excitement,” she exclaimed, “then after minutes, nagcall na yung mama ko then yung ibang members of my family, my friends to congratulate me.” At long last, all the anxiousness and fears in the back of her head vanished, as though her heart was released from being squeezed tightly.

The destination is usually the only thing seen by others, rather than the whole journey. Behind Reyes and her success, there were people who helped her achieve her goal and made her who she is today. “First, I want to thank my parents and my whole family for their endless support,” she listed, “then my professors sa AMV kasi kahit pinahirapan nila kami nung undergrad, it is all worth it naman.”

She also wanted to thank her facilitators in Review School of Accountancy (ReSA), “kasi they really helped me na mabawasan yung pressure, madagdagan yung confidence, and sa review talaga academically.” And finally, to her batchmates, for believing and cheering her on. She never saw them doubt her even once

“And of course, to put Lord for blessing me with all that I have today and for guiding me na makarating ako dito.” Thanks to them, all of them, Lahaira turned her dreams and goals, into an achievement—a reality.

But this doesn’t mean that Lahaira’s journey is coming to an end. Reaching her destination just serves as another starting line, the start of another journey. “I think the most important lesson I learned is to keep on going on, na failure will really be inevitable in our lives and we will have our own ups and downs,” she expressed, “Rejoice and pray when we receive something good. Cry, pray, then get up again when we fall down.” This is a lesson worth sharing, a lesson that she thinks everyone deserves to know, “Wag sana nating hayaan na ibaba pa tayo lalo ng failures and mistakes natin.”

After everything else, Reyes remains humble and keeps her faith in God, strong and undisturbed. Ups and downs are unavoidable—in fact, this is what makes up a journey. Being at the top doesn’t make her invincible, it just makes her a normal student, one who fights to reach her goal, who doesn’t let anything get in her way, but instead, motivates herself to continue and get up every time she falls down.

“Let us pray for the courage and strength to face each day, try again everyday hanggang sa marating na natin yung goals natin.”

Comments

Continue Reading

Trending