Friday, January 28, 2011

Viva Santo Tomas!

Today is the 400th anniversary the University of Santo Tomas. Plans for the celebrations were in motion a couple of years ago, and I eagerly anticipated the event. I don't know why---maybe I'm just a total sentimental weirdo.

I have recently resigned, and as such, I'm now an aliping saguiguilid, but in honor of the occassion, my master and little mistress gave me a dispensation (READ: day off, 'Day) for the day, with the proviso that I have to be home by 4 p.m., lest no one would let the little mistress in when she gets back from school. I got to UST around noon and the preparation for the dinner celebration was in full swing. It's totally crazy, and so very cheesy, but I got goosebumps as soon as I stepped inside the campus.

(I'm hate to admit it, but it's quite obvious that most, if not all, the pictures I took suck; many people were milling about and I couldn't get a good vantage point. Taking the picture of the Arch of the Centuries was an act of bravery in itself because getting on the center means being in the middle of the road with cars passing by every minute or so.)
The Arch of the Centuries was a part of the original university in Intramuros. When the university was transferred to Sampaloc, Manila, the arch was moved piece by piece and was rebuilt. Bayanihan at its best. Apparently, there's an urban legend saying that any undergraduate who passes under that arch won't graduate from the university. I think this is a fairly recent folklore because I haven't heard about it when I was still there. All we heard were whispers of scary stories like the headless friar walking around once darkness sets in----we were always in a hurry to leave our microbiology class once 7 p.m. hits. Gullible fools.

This is the Main Building and where the College of Science is housed. When I went inside and climbed the wooden stairs, I couldn't help but feel transported to the time I first climbed those steps---maybe I remember it like yesterday because on my first day of school I was wearing a pair of new Figlia shoes that were not broken in and by the time I reached my classroom, my feet were covered with angry blisters. I remember going to the museum before PE class and my friend-classmate suggested that we change into our gym clothes in the museum---yes, that confirms it, we're dorks---that was the most daring thing we were prepared to do. (In case you're wondering, and I know you are, no, we didn't. The guard was giving us the stinkeye.) And, oh, there's another thing I remember well---as I was walking to an early class, I saw a pair of bra left on a secluded part of the hedges---and as a virgin freshman, I was torn between being appalled and being excited at the prospect of, uhm, a new experience. (Alas. It turned out I won't be leaving my bra, or any other article of clothing, on any hedge during my stay in UST. Or even after.)  This was where I found my dearest friends, and even for this reason alone, I'm thankful I'm a Thomasian. I have so many memories of the school and of classmates and friends, happy ones trumping the bitter, and I always look back at my stay as one of the happiest points of my life.
(That's Fr. Benavidez, and us Thomasians, and I'm guessing, especially the students of the College of Science, have a private joke about him. However, in deference to TheHusband and to friends from Morayta and Recto, I'll refrain from uttering that joke.)
I got these First Day Covers---I literally had to beg the clerk to sell me the set. I believe it was already reserved, but I let out my charm offensive and I eventually got my way. *Brat* In my defense, the person who reserved the set is from the university and can get his/hers once the supply is replenished, whereas I live from a land far, far away and would be totally inconvenienced. *Off to the precinct*

It was an enjoyable day for me, and the horrendous traffic didn't even dampen my mood.

You know what would make the quadricentennial celebration even better? Us winning the 2011-2012 UAAP men's basketball (and be the overall champion as well)! *Wish! Wish!*

Viva Santo Tomas!


  1. it's nice to go back to those days ano? kakatuwa naman mga kwento mo...especially about the bra! he he!

  2. FDCs, I love that! And you have a really nice school!


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