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#TWenty: The TomasinoWeb 2015 Year-Ender

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Photo credits (from left to right, top to bottom): TomasinoWeb (K-12 bus), Maria Denise Paglinawan/UJP-UST (Stop Lumad Killings), TomasinoWeb (Flooded UST Field), Manila Bulletin (Ronnie del Carmen), TomasinoWeb (Pope Francis), Karl Angelo Vidal/The Flame (ABSC President Jan Dominic Castro), GMA News Online (Krisel Mallari), TomasinoWeb (Paskuhan 3D video mapping), TomasinoWeb (Salinggawi Dance Troupe), Quacquarelli-Symonds, UJP-UST, Pacucoa, TomasinoWeb (Traffic jam), TomasinoWeb (Shake Drill), TomasinoWeb (Aktiboto), SBS.co.au (White House rainbow lights), Pharmacy Student Council (Pharmacy Type B uniform), Palafox Architecture (Proposed UST Santa Rosa campus). Poster by Howard Humphrey Litan/TomasinoWeb

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Pardon the cliché, but 2015 has truly been a wild ride.

This year was almost as unpredictable and tumultuous as a ride on our country’s well-maintained, world class and probably overpriced metro rail system. It was as if the year happened like a bright and powerful, almost blinding, flash. Abrupt, annoying, but also warm.

Warm enough that this summer warranted an alternative uniform to keep students from melting into the pavement, and bright enough that the University managed to keep its flame burning as an academic institution as it garnered accolades from different groups in the academe.

But like flames, things can easily go out of control. 2015 was a rather heated year as it was shrouded with issues in and out of the University. This year, we had to deal with the forever-lost P50,000 ABSC fund, Krisel Mallari’s admission to the University, presidential shade over a “prized soccer field,” Lumad killings, and the US Supreme Court’s legalization of same sex marriage, among many other issues.

It was a tough year, and we hustled like how the Salinggawi Dance Troupe and the UST Growling Tigers did during their bids to reclaim the Cheerdance Competition and the UAAP Men’s Basketball championship crowns. We knew that we did our best, even if, like Salinggawi and the Tigers, we only bagged silvers.

On the flip side, we are all God’s children, as pointed out by Pope Francis’ visit to the country last January which left us with enough awe and inspiration to keep us running for the whole year.

And as the year draws to a close, it would be nice to remember all these things that happened—and more—in a list of the top 20 people, events, and issues which defined our 2015 as Thomasians, as Filipinos, and as inhabitants of this tiny blue dot in the universe.

Without further ado, here is #TWenty. -Xave Gregorio

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]Several “Type B” uniforms have been parading in campus ever since University administrators allowed faculties and colleges to have their own alternative uniforms.

The alternative uniforms were proposed as a relief from the heat for students who would be extending their stay in the University until the summer months due to the academic calendar shift.

Some students, however, were not in favor of the alternative uniform. They questioned if it’s actually necessary when students who took summer classes before the calendar shift did not need an alternative uniform. They also said that it would only add to their expenses.

Meanwhile, in controversy-laden AB, some students still have to resolve issues with their student council regarding the distribution and quality of their summer uniforms. Issues include delays even for senior students who have not yet received their summer uniforms even after the council released several memos.

Amid negative comments, many Thomasians still bought and wore their Type B uniforms whenever their faculties and colleges permitted it. -Cristina Miranda/TW[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_single_image image=”17379″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”right-to-left” title=”20. Summer uniforms” css=”.vc_custom_1451539017865{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left” css=”.vc_custom_1451539061230{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

A Political Science student sporting the Type B uniform of the Faculty of Arts and Letters asks a question during a forum on the Bangsamoro Basic Law held last Oct. 10. Photo by Adrian Castillo/TomasinoWeb

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The League of Filipino Students stage a silent protest inside the St. Raymund de Peñafort Building on Aug. 14, 2015 to call for accountability for the missing P50,000 student activity fund and for the delays of the Type B uniform. Photo by Xave Gregorio/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]Lost but not yet found.

The year is about to end, and yet the lost P50, 000 council fund of the AB Student Council (ABSC) remains a mystery.

The issue sparked in October last year, when the council fund intended for the Athena Cup, non-government organization fair, and staff general assembly was reportedly lost inside the ABSC office.

As expected, this stirred up anger among Artlets and distrust in the student council. Last August 15, the members of the League of Filipino Students-UST conducted a silent protest at the lobby of the St. Raymund de Peñafort Building, demanding for accountability and transparency from the ABSC and the verdict on the issue.

A month after the protest, a resolution released by the Student Welfare and Development Board (SWDB) sanctioned former ABSC President Marie Jann Lazo and former Treasurer Julienne Avila for mishandling the fund.

To prevent an identical incident from happening, incumbent ABSC officers proposed to install a CCTV camera inside the office. -Vince Ferreras/TW[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right”]

2015 proved to be a fortuitous year for the University after it reaped accreditations from the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accredication (Pacucuoa).

In this year alone, the University has received 13 accreditations from Pacucuoa, five of which are level IV. The programs Nursing, Bachelor in Elementary Education, Secondary Education,  Food Technology, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Medical Technology received the said level IV accreditations last June, and will be valid until 2020.

A level IV accreditation would mean that the said programs will be given full authority in managing their programs as well as offer new graduate programs under current level IV classes and extension classes without the need for CHED approval aside from the benefits given to levels I to III.

Meanwhile, the Hotel and Restaurant Management program received a level III RA, which will give the program freedom to offer graduate programs, distance and open learning programs, extension classes and transnational education along with the level I and II accreditation benefits.

The AB programs Asian Studies, Behavioral Science, Journalism, Political Science, Sociology and Communication Arts all received a level II 1st RA which will also be valid until 2020. It is the first time that the Communication Arts program received the said accreditation.

A level II accreditation means that the said programs will have the benefits of full administrative deregulation, financial deregulation in setting tuition and other fees, the freedom to revise the curriculum upon CHED’s approval, and a priority in being given awards and assistance by CHED or DepEd.

The Interior Design and Physical Therapy programs are still candidates for accreditation until 2017. -Anna Gabriela Mogato/TomasinoWeb

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The University reaped accreditations from the Pacucoa this year. In this photo, fireworks light up the night sky during the annual Paskuhan festivities held last Dec. 18. Photo by Carmelo Culvera/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17372″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”left-to-right” title=”17. QS Rankings” css=”.vc_custom_1451539422563{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1451539505707{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

This year, UST became the only university in the country to be given QS stars. In this photo, UST freshmen hear mass at the UST Field after they entered the Arch of the Centuries last Aug. 5. Photo by Miguel Santos/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]While numbers do not entirely dictate one’s identity, they definitely foster general impression.

This year, UST became the only university in the country to be given four out of five Quacqurelli-Symonds (QS) stars.

As the only Philippine institution to be rated, it scored one star in the specialist criteria; two stars for research; three stars for internationalization; four stars for teaching; and a perfect record of five stars for employability, facilities, social responsibility and inclusiveness.

UST also secured the 143rd spot in the Asian University Rankings and maintained its spot in the 701+ group in the World University Rankings.

The QS rankings aim to give students the power to choose potential universities on a global scale and provide a rough sketch of international education. On their website, they mentioned that UST graduates “consistently and yearly” dominate the top ten of board exams, thus proving that its academic programs are superior. -Vivien Sarabillo/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”69px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]Halfway through the year, UST participated in the first Metro Manila Shake Drill amidst the threat of a 7.2-magnitude quake hitting the metro.

The neighboring West Valley Fault has laid dormant for centuries, and the local seismology bureau has repeatedly warned of the impending doom of “the big one.”

Luckily, UST is ready for it.

The University has established a Disaster Preparedness Team and administrators have said that all buildings are structurally sound. -Xave Gregorio and Jasmine Dy/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”16719″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”right-to-left” title=”16. #MMShakeDrill” css=”.vc_custom_1451539614124{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left” css=”.vc_custom_1451539940239{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

The University also participated in the metro-wide earthquake drill held last July 30. Photo by Johmar Damiles/TomasinoWeb

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Heneral Luna almost got pulled out of cinemas, but with the help of netizens, it is now the highest grossing Filipino historical film of all time. Photo from the Heneral Luna Facebook page

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left”]When Spain sold the Philippines to the United Sates, war broke loose and the line between self-interest and love of country was thinned. Antonio Luna (John Arcilla), an excellent yet hot-tempered general believes that the Americans will bring nothing good to his homeland. So, with his mind ready and his gun loaded he leads his men to battle and, along the way, finds out that the white-skinned conquerors may not be the Philippine’s worst enemies.

Heneral Luna was released in a hundred cinemas and grossed over P200 million, making it the highest-grossing historical film of all time. When asked about the success of Heneral Luna, executive producer, Fernando Ortigas and, producer and screenwriter, Eduardo A. Rocha both said it brought tears to their eyes because of the outstanding commitment the audience has brought to the film. “It’s a cultural phenomenon. I’ve never seen anything like it, I get very emotional. The commitment the people are giving the movie,” said Mr. Rocha and this cultural phenomenon may again happen once two more historical films make their debut and in the process complete this planned trilogy.

Set during a time of war and deceit, Heneral Luna is film that will not just save Filipino cinema but may well start the flame that has long been lost in the hearts of many Filipinos around the globe. -Nadine Dizon/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]

As part of the University’s plans to further encourage its students to be more proactive for the 2016 elections, the UST Central Commission on Elections (UST Comelec) launched in early September their very own voter’s education program sought to educate and better guide Thomasians in choosing their future leaders: Aktiboto.

Its grand launch was preceded by a forum that gave an overview as well as an in-depth explanation of the importance of the orientation of first-time voters and re-education of existing voters alike with rules and guidelines to be followed for a clean election.

Aktiboto has indeed kept its goal in voter’s education thoughout the year through a series of events, from advocacy concerts to satellite voter’s registration, which engaged Thomasians.

2015 served as the year of preparation and execution of UST Comelec’s carefully planned agenda, like an exam that had been thoroughly reviewed, with the result of the 2016 elections serving as the end product.

In years to come, Aktiboto would remain a solid program exclusively launched before the election periods to continue the education of the youth on the responsible voting. -Ysabel Nicole Hilado/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”17012″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”appear” title=”14. Aktiboto” css=”.vc_custom_1451540550476{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear” css=”.vc_custom_1451540597125{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

UST Commission on Elections Vice Chairperson Raymond John Naguit speaks during the launching of Aktiboto, the voters’ education program of the University, last Sept. 16, 2015. Photo by Johmar Damiles/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17073″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”left-to-right” title=”13. Plans for new UST campuses” css=”.vc_custom_1451540709811{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1451540758188{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

In his report last Oct. 16, Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy said that the University is planning to build five more campuses in the coming years. Photo by Denise Sabio/TomasinoWeb

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Unlike other big universities and colleges, UST has only one campus.

But UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio Dahogoy has confirmed in his tri-annual report last October that the University has set its eyes to build new campuses in Iloilo and Quezon City as part of the University’s plan to provide more quality education in the future.

The Taguig campus—which will be more like an extension facility situated closer to the heart of business and commerce industry in Metro Manila—will house the University’s Master’s in Business Administration program, made possible in partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the largest business organization in the Philippines.

The University also plans to build campuses in General Santos and in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and their digital representations were shown during Dahogoy’s report. -Anna Gabriela Mogato/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear” css=”.vc_custom_1451541167420{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]After a lengthy and tumultuous legal battle which took her up to the appellate court, Krisel Mallari won in early August over her high school’s refusal to issue her a certificate of good moral character which prevented her from enrolling to the University’s Accountancy program as a Santo Tomas Scholar.

Mallari attracted attention for her salutatory address, which criticized what she claims to be an unjust grading system, was interrupted by school officials.

Sto. Niño Parochial School in Quezon City initially refused to release the certificate even after the Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Mallari, but eventually released it “with reservation, under protest, and with full intent to assail the legality, validity and authority,” a note which further delayed Mallari’s enrollment.

The certificate was forwarded to the University’s legal counsel and was deliberated on for days, and eventually, even if Mallari missed the freshmen orientation and the campus tour, she still got to enter the Arch of the Centuries-Xave Gregorio/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88ZZugdI-Vs” title=”12. Krisel Mallari” css=”.vc_custom_1451575981983{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1451354765467{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

The video of Mallari’s interrupted salutatory address. She later finished her speech on the ABS-CBN program Bottomline hosted by Boy Abunda.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”16808″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”left-to-right” title=”11. Ronnie del Carmen” css=”.vc_custom_1451542169562{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1451542280690{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

Inside Out co-director Ronnie del Carmen speaks to Thomasians after being given an award by the University last Aug. 10. Del Carmen is an alumnus of the College of Fine Arts and Design. Photo by Agatha Imbao/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”24px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]Earning his degree at UST as a Fine Arts in Advertising major, Ronnie del Carmen migrated to the United States and that’s when he met Oscar-winning director, Pete Docter.

Del Carmen joined Pixar Animated Studios’ story team on a number of feature films including the Academy Award-winning features Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and Up, for which he served story adviser.

He co-directed the phenomenal movie Inside Out with Docter, which still features the Disney-Pixar signature “right in the feels” hit.

Though Del Carmen went on as an art director in print and television campaigns in the advertising industry, his heart was still in filmmaking. Del Carmen fell in love with animation at an early age, so it comes as no surprise that he pursued his dreams in that field.

Occasionally, he would dip into comic book work for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. He continues self-publishing his works. -Samanthea Caballero/TomasinoWeb

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Poster by RD Daniel/TomasinoWeb

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Last October, Manila saw Lumads—the term used to collectively refer to the 18 non-Christianized and non-Islamized indigenous tribes in Mindanao—marching on the streets to air their grievances to the central government after three Lumad leaders in Surigao del Sur were killed last Sept. 1 allegedly by the Armed Forces of the Philippines-backed paramilitary group Magahat-Bagani.

UST’s Simbahayan Community Development Office joined in the calls for justice and showed their support for the Lumads through the “Dialogue of Life: Our Continuing Journey with the Anawim (Rural Poor)”, a program which included a forum and a gift giving which gave around 200 Thomasians the opportunity to interact with the Lumads. -Caryl Christine Manabat/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”190px”][vc_single_image image=”17189″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”bottom-to-top” title=”10. #StopLumadKillings” css=”.vc_custom_1451543225943{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”bottom-to-top” css=”.vc_custom_1451543304003{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

Dulphing Ogan, secretary general of Kusog sa Katawhan Lumad sa Mindanao, speaks to Thomasians during their visit to the Lumad camp in Baclaran last Nov. 15. Photo by Miguel Santos/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17048″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”left-to-right” title=”9. Transportation woes” css=”.vc_custom_1451543538034{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1451543648788{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

The MRT gave commuters a rather bumpy ride this year, exhibiting problems from dysfunctional airconditioning to being derailed. Luckily, the government has a solution to all these – a new ticketing system. Photo by Chealsea Murphy/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”45px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]The road to 2016 might still be a little too congested for people living in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Road congestion has gotten so bad that perhaps we would have to take up the entire stretch of Edsa to write every time we said the word “trapik.”

Transportation and communications chief Joseph Emilio Abaya considered this problem as “non-fatal” until he received a roasting from netizens, after which he apologized.

In his last State of the Nation Address, President Aquino mentioned that the effects of the ongoing improvements on the MRT would be felt by this year’s end. He also said that the several roads currently under construction are expected to be fully operation by mid-2016 or 2017. Commuters might have to wait until then before they experience the Aquino administration’s “Daang Matuwid.” -Cristina Miranda/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]

2015 had become a major adjustment for students and faculty alike as the K-12 implementation brought about major changes in the University starting with the major influx of students that amounted to more than 13,000 freshmen.

After five careful years of planning, the K-12 program, a 13 year coverage of basic education, is finally being implemented in UST next Academic Year with the University cutting programs and offering Senior High School.

The incoming Senior High School students will be using the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building. As a result, students from the College of Tourism and Hospitality Managements who use the sixth to ninth floors will be sent back to the Alberuts Magnus Building to make way for the senior high students, whose projected population is at 5,000. Meanwhile, Artlets who use the 10th and 11th floors might stick around in the building longer until further notice. -Ysabel Nicole Hilado/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17374″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”right-to-left” title=”8. K-12 implementation in full swing” css=”.vc_custom_1451544011180{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left” css=”.vc_custom_1451544063226{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

Reports say that the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building would be housing the Senior High School program of the University. In this photo, the building is shown in the background during the 2015 Baccalaureate Mass. Photo by Emmanuel Vittorio Salvador/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”16746″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”left-to-right” title=”7. ‘Prized soccer field'” css=”.vc_custom_1451544343171{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1451544385097{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]Militants burn the effigy of President Benigno Aquino III during his last State of the Nation Address where he threw shade at the University for not allowing the construction of a catch basin under the UST Field, which is a National Cultural Treasure. Photo by Patrick Palencia/TomasinoWeb
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“Bayan o sarili?”

The quote may come from Heneral Luna, but this time, the battle is between the Philippine government and the University.

Shortly after President Aquino’s last SONA, wherein he had blamed the annual floods in Metro Manila on a certain university (which is UST in case you haven’t noticed) that declined the Department of Public Works and Highways’ plan of digging a hole in the campus’ “prized soccer field” —as coined by Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda—in order to build a catch basin for flood.

While this has put the University in a bad light as it was seen as an act of selfishness, the Thomasian community did not take this issue lying down.

San Fransisco-based writer Julius Fernandes wrote in his blog that it would be a desecration to the University if the government were to make a retardant tank underneath the campus grounds.

The University administration also argued that the soccer field is one of UST’s cultural treasures, having been stood upon by three popes as well as having been a venue during the 1995 World Youth Day and Pope Francis’ Papal Visit last January. -Anna Gabriela Mogato/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]An overwhelming splash of rainbows, tears, and cries of exhilaration erupted in the US as their Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage nationwide after decades of queer struggle. US President Barack Obama even regarded the court ruling as a “victory for America.”

Shortly after the US Supreme Court ruling, a staggering amount of tweets related to the decision dominated social media site Twitter, making the hashtag #LoveWins reach its trending list.

Furthermore, tweets with #LoveWins or #Pride hashtags were automatically embedded with rainbow flag emojis—a symbol of the LGBT movement.

Incidentally, the same sex marriage ruling came in just in time for the Metro Manila Pride March at the Lapu-Lapu Monument in Luneta last June 26.

Several student publications and organizations, including TomasinoWeb, expressed support for the LGBT sector by coating their usual profile photos with a spectrum of bright rainbow colors along with other Facebook users. The sporting of these profile photos were met with criticism yet continuous love and support erupted, nonetheless.

The Catholic Church, however, maintained its stance that same sex marriage should be rejected-Quinn Mamaclay/TomasinoWeb

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The Supreme Court ruling in favor of same sex marriage in the United States made waves even inside the University. In this October 2014 photo, Corky Hope Maranan of Kapederasyon waves a rainbow flag during a protest along España Boulevard calling for justice for the slain transgender woman Jennifer Laude. Photo by Emmanuel Vittorio Salvador/TomasinoWeb

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College of Fine Arts and Design student Sef Veloria posted this photo of the stricter hair policy in the college on his Facebook profile and prompted a plethora of reactions from both Thomasians and non-Thomasians.

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While other people simply comply with the administration’s regulations, several Thomasian students chose to question them.

From the months of September to October, several students called for the suspension of the implementation of a new hair policy, which prohibits “outrageous” hair colors for everyone and long hair for men. The College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) took it up a notch and even banned the afro and the man bun, among other “outrageous” hair styles.

These students believed that hair color and hair cut do not affect their academic performance and that it is just a form of self-expression.

Thomasians expressed their opinions and disappointment using social media. They also argued that liberalism and freedom of expression were being oppressed because of the new policy, especially in CFAD, an art school, and in AB, a liberal arts college.

However, there were also some who supported the policy and believed that the students were abusing their freedom of expression. They even went as far as suggesting that these students could just leave the University if they cannot follow rules.

The local administrators stood by their policy. AB Asst. Dean Narcissa Tabirara explained that being part of a “liberal college” doesn’t mean that it does not give the students to do whatever they want, while former CFAD Acting Dean Romeo Castro said that it is all a matter of explanation-Caryl Christine Manabat/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”17387″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”bottom-to-top” css=”.vc_custom_1451545550080{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”bottom-to-top” css=”.vc_custom_1451545734255{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

Journalism junior Aly Samonte, sporting purple hair, poses for a photo in protest of the hair policy. This photo is part of a series launched by the Union of Journalists of the Philippines – UST chapter which garnered significant publicity. Photo from the UJP-UST Facebook page

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1CqkDtFm8″ css=”.vc_custom_1451358927750{margin-top: 21px !important;margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”bottom-to-top”]With an explosive performance in this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition, the striving UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe showed that they are capable of becoming champions once again with seemingly flawless stunts and astonishing tosses, en route to the top spot in the Group Stunts category.

The announcement of the winners was a shocker, as the hosts proclaimed UP as the second runner-up, garnering 610.50 points. The UP crowd and even the dancers themselves were left speechless at the result. After this, the UST crowd assumed that the two-year dominance of the National U Pep Squad will finally be broken by Salinggawi, but this was not what the judges had in mind. UST was called as the first runner-up, garnering 651.50 points, while posting the highest score in the dance category with 354 points. NU was then named as this year’s champions, completing a three-peat after posting a total of 668 points from the judges.

Despite the bridesmaid finish, the UST crowd showed their Thomasian spirit, cheering “Go USTe!” as loud as they can during the presentation of the award. Another year passed and the cheerdance crown still seemed elusive for Salinggawi. -Ralph Edwin Villanueva/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17388″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”right-to-left” title=”4. Salinggawi back with silver finish” css=”.vc_custom_1451545832076{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left” css=”.vc_custom_1451545918552{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

The Salinggawi Dance Troupe celebrate after they snag silver at the UAAP Season 78 Cheerdance Competition. Photo by Brianna Cardenas/TomasinoWeb

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The full performance of the Salinggawi Dance Troupe at the UAAP Season 78 Cheerdance Competition.

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A growling tiger flashes onto the Main Building as part of the 3D video mapping show by Panasonic. Photo by Johmar Damiles/TomasinoWeb

[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nu9_gt045Y” css=”.vc_custom_1451359475726{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”85px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear” css=”.vc_custom_1451546285353{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Thomasians had something more to look forward to aside from the usual fireworks display and concert in this year’s Paskuhan festivities.

The night of Dec. 18, although rainy and windy, was a special one because for the first time in a century that the Main Bulding stood, the iconic structure came to life.

In partnership with Panasonic and We Love Videos Manila, the Main Building served as the canvas for a 3D video mapping – a first in a Philippine university.

The façade of the Main Building was animated as the video mapping projected illusions that moved the structures of the building. The five minute Christmas themed video depicted the different stories behind the holiday such as the nativity scene and Santa’s workshop.

The video not only featured Christmas themes, it also sparked everyone’s Thomasian spirit by starting with a thunderous tiger roar and ending the presentation with the ever famous “Viva Santo Tomas” filling the spaces of the building.

The 3D video mapping started at 6:15 and played for every hour. The last presentation was capped off with the iconic fireworks display that put a seal to an eventful Paskuhan. -Maria Limjoco and Xuxa Rivero/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”136px”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right”]“No Heart, No Chance” was their mantra but heartbreak was felt by UST faithful as the Growling Tigers failed to end a nine-year drought for the elusive UAAP Men’s Basketball Championship. With no expectations from the fans, the España-based cagers surprised the crowd when they escaped last season’s runner up and eventual champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the eliminations but bowed down in the much anticipated best-of-three finals, 64-75, 62-56 and 62-67.

After a dismal rookie season as the chief tactician, when the Tigers missed the limelight in Season 77, Segundo “Bong” Dela Cruz pushed the emergency button for his team; it is now or never for his post. Sports analysts predicted the Growling Tigers to finish on the fourth or fifth spot after the two round-robin eliminations based from their preseason tournament outings in the Fr. Martin Cup and FilOil Flying V Hanes Cup.

Gilas standout Kevin Ferrer led the team on their campaign with a help from veterans and graduating players Ed Daquiaog and Karim Abdul where the three combined for 63% of UST’s output all season. Dela Cruz’s job will become harder as almost all of his starting line-up this season will be graduating and chances foregoing their fifth playing year. -Aaron Brennt Eusebio/TomasinoWeb[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc8gYEBRj4E” title=”2. Tigers settle for silver” css=”.vc_custom_1451529251742{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”17389″ img_size=”full” css=”.vc_custom_1451394484724{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1451394612670{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

King Tiger Kevin Ferrer cries after the UST Tigers lose the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament championship crown to the FEU Tamaraws. Photo by Amirah Banda/TomasinoWeb

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Pope Francis waves to the crowd at the UST Field during his visit to the campus last Jan. 18. Photo by Adrian Castillo/TomasinoWeb

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Rain did not stop the Pope and the people. Photo by Miguel Aquino/TomasinoWeb

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2015 kicked off well for Filipinos and the Thomasian community as they welcomed no other than the Supreme Pontiff himself, Pope Francis, for his much-awaited visit.

As early of November last year, the national government had already announced the suspension of classes and government work in the metro, where most of the Pope’s activities took place.

Given its “Pontifical” status and title as “The Catholic University of the Philippines”, UST has always been part the itinerary of popes whenever they visit the country.

This was the fourth time a pope visited the University. It was first visited by Blessed Paul VI on 1970, then Pope St. John Paul II visited twice, the first on 1981 and during the 1995 World Youth Day.

On Jan. 18, despite the cold weather and light to moderate rain brought by Typhoon Amang, a number of people lined up around the campus as early as the eve of the Pontiff’s encounter with the youth.

The occasion was open to the general public, as some people came from different parts of the country just to witness this once in a lifetime event.

Many endured sleeping on the sidewalks with only newspaper and cardboard to protect themselves from the cold air. Road closures did not stop some people from catching a glimpse of Pope Francis as some walked all the way to España.

Who could not forget singing “We are all God’s children, we are all the same…” or chant “Viva Il Papa Francesco” even in front of their television screens? Indeed, the Papal Visit made this year a memorable one-Vince Ferreras/TomasinoWeb

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Basketball

Defending champs Lady Bulldogs too much for Growling Tigresses

The UST Growling Tigresses were swept by the defending champions the NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of UAAP women’s basketball tournament, 66-54, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Saturday, Nov. 23.

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Photo by Ann Corrine Vizconde/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigresses were swept by the defending champions the NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of UAAP women’s basketball tournament, 66-54, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Saturday, Nov. 23.

The Tigresses hoped to live another day as they battled against the defending champions but failed as the Lady Bulldogs started the game strong and never looked back. 

UST was able to inch as close as 10 points in the payoff period before the Lady Bulldogs replied with an 18-4 run that immediately brought the lead out of reach in the final minutes.

Reynalyn Ferrer and MVP Grace Irebu were the key players for UST during the game as they had 16 and 11 points respectively.

On the other hand, NU continued its six-peat with three of their players scoring double digits in Monique del Carmen and Kaye Pingol who had 15 points apiece and Rhema Itesi with 12.

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Basketball

Chabi Yo, Nonoy bag MVP and Rookie of the Year honors

Growling Tiger forward Soulemane Chabi Yo was crowned as the season MVP while point guard Mark Nonoy claimed rookie of the year honors in the UAAP season 82 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

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Photo by Corinne Vizconde/TomasinoWeb

Growling Tiger forward Soulemane Chabi Yo was crowned as the season MVP while point guard Mark Nonoy claimed rookie of the year honors in the UAAP season 82 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 6. 

Both players were instrumental in snapping UST’s three-year Final Four drought, with Chabi Yo serving as a two-way threat all throughout the season and Nonoy being the chief orchestrator of the team’s league-best offense.

Chabi Yo notched 76 statistical points to finish first in the MVP voting with his averages of 16.9 points, 14.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists, completely outclassing co-import Angelo Kouame, who himself was also among the favorites to claim the individual plum. 

Nonoy on the other hand, had 39.29 statistical points to go along with his season averages of 10.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 dimes to edge out fellow frontrunners in teammate Sherwin Concepcion and the streaky Tamaraw guard LJay Gonzales. 

 

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Blogs

Revisiting Galleries and Museums

The country has numerous museums welcoming visitors. For Thomasians, these are only some that are nearby and very accessible. Let’s get ready to discover galleries and the astounding visuals they have to offer. 

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Artwork by Aldrich Aquino

Do you remember the rush of excitement in marching towards the museum and happily lining up in the entrance to see what it looks like inside? The memories might be fleeting but the feeling remains. After all these years, museums still invoke curiosity and wonder.

Every month of October, we are encouraged to revisit the museums all around the country. This month celebrates the Museums and Galleries and is intended to kindle national consciousness in the Filipino; promoting the nation’s rich and distinctive culture, heritage, and national identity embodied in the form of art and cultural, historical, and religious artifacts.

The country has numerous museums welcoming visitors. For Thomasians, these are only some that are nearby and very accessible. Let’s get ready to discover galleries and the astounding visuals they have to offer. 

National Museum of Natural History

museum-of-natural-history

Photo from Rappler

 

One of the most visited museums in the metro and also the largest museum in the Philippines, the National Museum of Natural History puffs its hint of modern architecture mixed with its rich heritage and collection of numerous artifacts.

Located at Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila. It opens it doors from 10:00AM to 5:00PM every Tuesday to Sunday. The newly reformed museum boasts a pristine atrium where the “The Tree of Life” rises in the center. Extending upwards, the skydome acts as a natural lightsource. It has now hosted numerous tourists and fellow Filipinos alike. Visitors can ogle on the beautifully designed halls and displays that consist of many artifacts and paintings.

Roaming around the alluring space of the museum, it would instantly make you realize that it is jam packed with literally everything—from marine life to biology to botany, the possibilities are endless. It shows the exquisiteness of our world, engaging us to become more interested in the life that exists around us.

National Museum of Fine Arts 

Photo from National Museum

Amidst the busy streets of Manila, peace can be found at the National Museum of Fine Arts located at Padre Burgos Drive, Manila. It opens at 10:00AM to 5:00PM from Tuesday to Sunday. One of the most famous paintings in the country’s history is displayed in the first floor lobby—Juan Luna’s Spoliarium. The enormous piece could be found hanging on a wide wall, being admired by anyone who enters.

Aside from the Spoliarium, the museum also showcases the works of famous painters such as Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Fernando Amorsolo. Aspiring artists, art lovers, or just casual viewers of art will find this museum a safe haven.

Ayala Museum

ayala-museum

Photo from Ayala Museum

Located in the city of business and industry, the Ayala Museum can be found at Makati Ave. cor. Dela Rosa St., Makati City and opens during 9:00AM to 6:00PM from Tuesday to Sunday.

The museum boasts as a major destination for school field trips, showcasing the country’s history from prehistoric times until the EDSA Revolution in 1986. The museum keeps a large number of rare artifacts that aren’t found elsewhere in the Philippines. The display of Philippine History enraptures its visitors—especially the Maritime Vessels Collection that pays tribute to a variety of ancient ships. A collection of pre-Hispanic items are worth looking at as well.

The museum also holds a lot of exhibitions, talks, workshops and even concerts which strengthens the museum’s goal in uplifting the Philippine arts, history, and culture scene vibrant.

Intramuros’ Museums and Galleries

 

Aside from the beauty that Intramuros radiates because of its history, there is more to it than just aesthetics. Its sites and museums houses the pieces and artworks that are part of the walled city’s rich past. 

You can start a museum hopping adventure around the area by starting from the Intramuros and Rizal Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum which uses images, sounds, and animatronics to tell the history of the Philippines when it was colonized by Spain. 

Following that is Casa Manila Museum which also depicts the Spanish colonial lifestyle and how it influenced the Filipinos back then. The San Agustin Church is a UNESCO Heritage Site and its museum takes pride as well on its religious relics, wooden and ivory statues, the church’s 3500-kilogram bell, and many more. 

san-agustin-museum

Inside the San Agustin Church Museum. Photo from San Agustin Museum Facebook page

Depicting the lives of the largest number of immigrants in our country, the Bahay Tsinoy tells the struggles of the Chinese people, how they established Binondo, and how they connected with the Filipinos despite our differences. 

RIzal Shrine inside Fort Santiago, Intramuros. Photo from nhcp.gov.ph

Last on the list is the two-storey building Rizal Shrine Museum located in Fort Santiago where the Filipinos and Americans were imprisoned including our country’s national hero Jose Rizal. It stores Rizal’s archives and personal valuables such as books, clothing, medical instruments, and other things. 

Inside Museo de Intramuros. Photo from The Philippine Star.

You can also explore and see for yourself the other museums such as the NCCA Gallery, Museo de Intramuros, iMake History Fortress, Destileria  Limtuaco Museum, Instituto Cervantes de Manila, and Fr. George J. Willman SJ Museum. 

León Gallery

Situated in W14 La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City, the León Gallery is the steward of Philippine antiques, Old Master Paintings by Juan Luna and Fernando Amorsolo to modernist modernist works by Fernando Zobel and Diosdado Lorenzo, and and other historical pieces of Filipino art. 

Photo from Rappler

The gallery also hosts exhibitions which features and commemorates the works of contemporary artists as well as antique furniture, ivory, and paintings. They also conduct biddings and auctions on antique furniture and paintings. The gallery definitely exceeds its mission on providing convenient access to contemporary and historical pieces of Filipino art.

UST Museum of Arts and Sciences

In the heart of the campus, is our very own museum that is a place to behold. Our museum has a wide collection of mineral, botanical, and biological artifacts that came from the science courses—more than 400 years ago when the university was beginning. Along with being the oldest university in the Philippines, UST also holds the oldest known museum in the country. The museum opens at 9:00AM to 2:30PM on Sunday and Monday, while it opens at 8:30AM to 5:30PM from Tuesday to Saturday.

Photo from UST Museum Facebook page

Cultural and historical pieces are the prevalent displays in the museum. It has old instruments, clothing, weaponry, and burial jars from different eras from the Philippines, China and Japan. Exuding the university’s pontifical status, the chair that Popes John Paul II and Francis sat on when they visited the country is showcased at the second floor.

The university definitely ignites and strengthens the sciences, Philippine culture and history together with religious artifacts in its museum.

The month of October is not the only time for you to visit these museums, in fact, you can visit museums all year round. Now that art is made more accessible, these displays of Philippine culture can educate us about our identity. By seeing these in our museums—we become far more stimulated to understand their interpretations in the past. 

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