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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

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”160px”][vc_single_image image=”17370″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”bottom-to-top” title=”18. Pacucoa accreditation” css=”.vc_custom_1451539288426{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”bottom-to-top” css=”.vc_custom_1451539326127{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

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

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17115″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”left-to-right” title=”5. #NoToUSTHairPolicy” css=”.vc_custom_1451544999278{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1451545105018{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]

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.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17329″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”right-to-left” css=”.vc_custom_1451546111699{margin-bottom: 6px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}” title=”3. Paskuhan 3D video mapping”][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left” css=”.vc_custom_1451546179570{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;}”]

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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Literary

This Thing

Swallowing the sun and rain
But myself still remains
Soaking up all my validity
It eventually shifts my reality

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I don’t know when it came
For there is no one to blame
On the other side of this face
There, standing with disgrace

This is a source of danger
A voice of a slipping reminder
Is this probably the truth?
Feeling estranged from my youth?

Conflicted with my ideals
Finding what would appeal
My mind that was in blight
Would eventually find its light

All alone this body is terrified
This takes over just to terrorize
Authenticity has been eliminated
Like the luster being defeated

Lies ahead were vivid hues
I was blinded, but I would choose|
Reaching out to that lucidity
Maybe to achieve serenity

Leaving this catastrophe
Can’t be done casually
But possible with a tenacity
Evacuating from that apathy

Swallowing the sun and rain
But myself still remains
Soaking up all my validity
It eventually shifts my reality

Not anymore fragmented
This, that has been connected.

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Blogs

Which is the best motorcycle-taxi service in the Philippines?

“Habal-habal” originally began as a mode of transport in rural areas where public transport isn’t as developed. Years later, it finds itself striving hard to be recognized as a legal mode of transport in the country.

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Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb

While the commute has severely gotten worse over the years, Filipinos continue to find ways to beat the traffic. The existence and prevalence of motorcycle-taxi services have lifted much of the burden of commuters despite the hurdles that the government throws in its way.

“Disastrous” is what best describes the current state of transport in the Philippines. Congested streets and seemingly endless road repairs continuously draw the ire of the masses who need to adapt to the rapidly changing world. Ingenuity becomes a necessity and not merely an advantage for students and workers.

“Habal-habal” originally began as a mode of transport in rural areas where public transport isn’t as developed. Recently however, it has found its way to the city with the presence of private motorcycle-taxi services that operate in secret. It was eventually given a bigger presence with the launch of services like Angkas making its way in 2017. Years later, it finds itself striving hard to be recognized as a legal mode of transport in the country.

This year began the launch of competing services like JoyRide and MoveIt. Both were introduced to keep Angkas from having a monopoly over the motorcycle-taxi industry and aid in the research of the government to determine the feasibility of such services. In its current state, these services provide training for their drivers to maintain a standard and ensure safety.

With quicker travel times and lower prices compared to apps like Grab or the conventional cab, motorcycle-taxis have changed the way people commute. Rapid developments have made this service more practical with same-day deliveries becoming a prominent feature. Take a look into the most widely used apps and see which service is the best.

Angkas

Screenshots from Angkas app

Angkas is the most recognizable name when it comes to motorcycle-taxis, it has become synonymous the concept itself in recent times. Originally launched in 2017, Angkas built a reputation of reliability and affordability in comparison to other ride-hailing services like Grab and Uber before it merged with Grab. Another defining trait of Angkas is not within the app but rather with its social media presence as it pokes fun at other services, the detractors, or even itself when glitches or problems arise in the service.

The app interface is clean and intuitive but its most recent iteration has drawn flak from some users as its original design was already considered to be adequate. There were also problems with booking in this iteration but most of it has been fixed. Nonetheless, booking in the app is simple and quick. The availability of riders as well as cost is relative to the location of the user. 

Angkas also reminds the users constantly of the safety protocols such as what not to wear and the grounds to which riders can refuse passengers (such as weight or clothing). The riders of Angkas undergo training and screening to make sure that they provide the best and safest experience for their passengers. This translates to the ride experience as the riders clearly show attention to safety and closely follow traffic rules as well as driving well under the speed limits. Even if you’re not used to riding in a motorcycle, Angkas riders will certainly give you the ease of mind with the way they ride.

JoyRide

Screenshots from JoyRide app

JoyRide is one of the new players that the government introduced to compete with Angkas. It is the second most-popular service in this new industry but its name did not grow immediately because of its quality. JoyRide has faced a lot of scrutiny regarding its true owners with allegations being made that it is being run by a government official, their management has denied this.

JoyRide’s app is reminiscent of Angkas’ app with minor changes in detail to set it apart. Pinning locations is easy and quick with options such as notes or promo codes being made visible should the user have any use for it. Prices between JoyRide and Angkas are usually similar but there are certainly moments where Angkas becomes more expensive but again, these factors are relative to location as well as availability of riders.

Resemblances don’t end with apps when it comes to JoyRide. From helmets to vests, JoyRide clearly took inspiration from Angkas. Riders wear purple variants of their gear as opposed to Angkas’ blue. The vests come with a handle that passengers can hold onto during their ride and this has been consistent with every rider so far. Ride experience varies from rider to rider as some riders may drive too fast but similar to Angkas, tapping on the shoulder of the rider would be a gesture to slow down.

MoveIt

Screenshots from Move It app

Another one of the players that aims to compete with Angkas, MoveIt tries to set itself apart in its appearance from Angkas in an effort to be recognizable. It tries to merge what was good with Angkas and Grab to become a possible all-in-one solution when it comes to express courier services. While not as popular as JoyRide or Angkas, it certainly deserves a mention in the conversation of motorcycle-taxi services.

MoveIt’s app is much more different than the last two offerings: a pro and con. The user is greeted with different options of what they could do with the app such as delivery or booking a ride and reloading a virtual wallet to pay with. While the uniqueness certainly sets it apart, the design looks dated and plain. This doesn’t affect the usability of the app itself but compared to Angkas and Joyride, it feels noticeably jankier. 

Ride experience is similar to Angkas and Joyride but appearance-wise, MoveIt’s riders are a lot more subtle. The red long sleeves or jackets that they wear stand out a lot less than Angkas or JoyRide’s uniforms. Another difference of MoveIt is with their helmet. It sports a different style compared to Angkas or JoyRide’s half-face helmets. This can be annoying as the size is a bit smaller than expected which could make the fit awkward for passengers. 

Facebook groups

Screenshots from Facebook app

Feeding off the popularity of Angkas, more and more Facebook groups offering the same service popped up after the prior’s launch. While not being recognized by the government and thus not being legal, this has become one of the ways that users book motorcycle-taxis for even cheaper than those offered in the apps. What makes it most convenient is the fact that no other app would be needed to book a ride.

Being a Facebook group, it simply runs within the Facebook app itself or through a mobile browser. The only thing a user has to do is to follow a specified format and post a request of a ride, delivery, or purchase. Any special request can be made within the post and can be negotiated between the rider and the passenger. The glaring downside of booking through this group is the lack of enforcement of rules or any safeguards for the rider or the passenger.

Ride experience will vary wildly from rider to rider as there is no screening process involved in booking a rider. Simply choose a rider from the myriad of riders who will comment and leave messages and hope that the ride will at least be okay. The ride is entirely up to the rider but you can still communicate whatever you may need from them. To sum it up shortly, the entire experience is solely at your discretion.

 

READ  Martial law forum highlights human rights violations

Commuting in the Philippines for some is a lot more tedious than the work they actually have to do for the day. Motorcycle-taxis have become an effective medium for transport despite the scrutiny of the government and the unease of others. It has also opened up job opportunities for more people and has helped ease the stress of commuting for a large portion of Filipinos. 

At the end of the day, motorcycle-taxis cannot resolve the problem of heavy traffic in the Philippines. These kinds of services only serve to make the problem somewhat manageable for the moment. Services such as Angkas or Grab should not have to be a necessity for Filipinos to get to where they need to be on a daily basis. What we really need is a solution that addresses the problem effectively and permanently.

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Manifest

CBCP: Avoid holding hands during ‘Our Father’ prayer

CBCP also implemented a set of guidelines and the mandatory prayer of the “Oratio Imperata” amid the growing fear and threat of the novel coronavirus.

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Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) discouraged the Catholic faithful in holding hands during the singing or praying of the ‘Our Father’ during eucharistic celebrations in a statement released Wednesday, Jan. 29.

They also implemented a set of guidelines and the mandatory prayer of the “Oratio Imperata” amid the growing fear and threat of the novel coronavirus.

Upon the instruction of CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles, all parishes are prompted to pray the Oratio starting Feb. 2, in all weekdays and Sunday masses, after communion.

Furthermore, CBCP recommends, “in this moment of uncertainty about the illness caused by the virus,” to practice receiving communion in the hand, regularly change the holy water in the fonts, and install protective cloth in the grills of confessionals. 

It also exhorted, meanwhile, parishes dedicated to patron saints in times of pestilence and incurable illnesses St. Raphael the Archangel and St. Roch to conduct special prayers and processions.

The Oratio Imperata reads:

God our Father, we come to you in our need to ask your protection against the 2019 N-Corona Virus, that has claimed lives and has affected many.

We pray for your grace for the people tasked with studying the nature and cause off this virus and its disease and of stemming the tide of its transmission. Guide the hands and minds of medical experts that they may minister to the sick with competence and compassion, and of those governments and private agencies that must find cure and solution to this epidemic.

We pray for those afflicted may they be restored to health soon.

Grant us the grace to work for the good of all and to help those in need.

Grant this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Mary Help of all Christians, pray for us.

St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

St. Rock, pray for us.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.

St. Pedro Calungsod, pray for us.

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