I really wanted to enter UP when I graduated in high school. I was attracted to the liberal environment that they had. But unfortunately, with .2% less, I didn’t make it there. So, I went to the next best University for me and my family (since almost all my titos, titas and later on, cousins studied there) – University of Santo Tomas.
I was an ordinary student, probably the usual bulakbol-era who always cut her classes or slept on it. One of my classmates even called me mushroom, for they don’t know when i’m there or not. I wasn’t part of the Dean’s List, but had good grades to pass the course. I took up AB Behavioral Science, after a long discernment on what to take between Philosophy and Communication Arts. I was inclined to take Philo then as a major, but I don’t know what work will I take afterwards, so I decided for BES. Trainings, Psychological exams, Profiling, Tax, Labor code and other stuffs made me love my course. The craziness of my classmates and different neurosis of my professors brought out my own neurosis too.
I experienced and did crazy stuffs during college – begging my prof in P.E. to give me a special project just not to get F.A. (and she asked me to do a letter holder to be submitted two days after), be friends with Panfilo Lacson Jr. (yes, Sen. Lacson’s son and Jodi Sta. Maria’s hubby) and able to ride on his car around the UST grounds with bodyguards before us, stayed for hours at the Lovers lane just to watch lovers do their thing (stalker!), almost got expelled because of an innocent mistake (THAT was my turning point), auditioned for the Artistang Artlets (drama club) but had stage fright during the audition time, went up to the Main Building but before we could reach the top where you can see the heart of Manila, we were caught by the security guard (but eventually, I was able to see it years after), had a debate with my prof in Logic that gave me 1 in my class card (the highest grade and yet I couldn’t even remember the topic, just the moment) – and a lot so much more. Remembering it makes me smile and realize how crazy and fun college life is in UST.
Also in UST, was where I started my community life with a Catholic lay youth group and had a good and lasting friendships. Prayer meetings at Tinoko Park, General Assemblies at Rizal Audi or CAFA Building, Campus tour at the Benavides Park and the Arch of the Century, Sportsfest at the Eng’rng Gym… endless memories that added spice during my college days.
7 years after I graduated and left my University, the whole Thomasian Community is now celebrating its Quadricentennial Celebration, the 400 years of UST as an Educational Institution. I am proud that I became part of this University and it somehow mold me to who I am right now. While watching the Concert last night and everyone was singing the UST Hymn, I can’t help but get teary eyed and sang the song (and most of the time I hummed it, since I can’t remember the lyrics) remembering those glorious days of my college life and realizing that here in UST (Tinoko Park, during one of our prayer meetings, 2000) was where I first heard God and gave my yes that I will become a Full-time Pastoral Worker for Him when the time comes. And yes, I became one!
UST. The Royal and Pontifical Catholic University of the Philippines. I would be forever proud of you. Happy 400 years! Continue to mold more Thomasians to be the best as an individual and with their chosen field.
Go USTe! Go USTe! Go USTe! Go, go, go,go!!!