March 21, 2014. Donning their crisp barongs and dresses, and the cowboy hats and summer hats we had earlier bought in Divisoria, our prospective Thomasian bar candidates took their Thomasian oaths as they attended the Baccalaureate Mass for graduates of the University this year.
This is the batch I had entered the University of Santo Tomas together with in the year 2010, and it is with much sentimentality and bittersweet affection that I bid them good luck as they undergo the tradition of walking out of the Arch of the Centuries as the mass ended. It fills me with sadness that I have not been able to graduate with them, but nevertheless it gives me much hope that they will surely make us all proud.
October 27, 2013. It was the last Sunday for the year’s bar examinations. True to tradition, the student body through the bar operations committee and the student council, staged the salubong after our bar candidates finished their last exams. This year, we hired a fire truck and had a street foam party, together with the UST Yellow Jackets pumping their proud beats as we all celebrated the end of the bar examinations month.
December 12, 2012. One of the activities sponsored by the student council during the annual college week is a debate tournament among interested groups in school. Perhaps out of whim, Lawrence decided to form a group, which included me and Henesty. We were an odd bunch, none of us debaters, but certainly not incapable of delivering good arguments. We made up a team name, awkwardly combining our first names into a silly phrase–“It’s Law, Hence–Victory!” Haha!
With not much expectations in our minds, we gave it a shot.
We spent the past few days researching and rehearsing our speeches, and today we went through the elimination rounds. We were matched against younger law students, but were all experienced debaters. All worthwhile opponents, I might say.
Behold, despite the novelty of our attempt, we won! Onto the semifinals!
June 15, 2012, University of Santo Tomas, Manila.
To close its celebration of its Quadricentennial, the University of Santo Tomas is holding a two-day festival (January 25-26) that hopes to recreate UST in the “perspective of the cultural milieu of old Manila at the turn of the 19th century” through “period costumes, songs, dances, poems and festivity.”
This, I think, is a great opportunity for us to appreciate the role of UST students in Philippine history. It was, after all, the period of Jose Rizal, Emilio Jacinto, Apolinario Mabini and Padre Jose Burgos. However, I am disturbed by the tendency of the administration and many students to regard this celebration as a mere pageantry of costumes and deodorized commemoration of whatever concept of grandeur they have of “old Manila,” devoid of any socio-political context of its times.
Every year, on the week before Christmas break in the university begins, the law school student body holds its annual college week. Part of the week-long series of activities is a variety show and performance competition among students dubbed “Civil Law Got Talent.” It is a fairly new ‘tradition’, started just three years ago. Things kicked off with a “salu-salo” of assorted food brought in by the different batches in law school.
There were seven group performances this year. Three from the freshmen, two from the second-years, and one each from the third and fourth-years.
My classmates won third place. The seniors eventually emerged the winners, overcoming the third year ‘defending champions’.
My classmates won third place. The seniors eventually emerged as the winner of the competition.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in my almost-two year stay in the University of Santo Tomas, it is that its students seem to have a major fascination with beauty pageants. All colleges seem to hold one, the winners of which send their contestants to the university-wide pageant. Well, all colleges except for Civil Law–until this year. It’s amusingly crazy. Some college departments even have their own. Last December 13, the first “Mr. and Ms. Civil Law” pageant was held, with a handful of contestants from the different blocks in law school.
Class president Aquino (yes, we have our own President Aquino in class) discusses our collective proposed schedule of exams. It usually doesn’t get approved or followed a hundred percent.
Earlier, Kabataan Party-List Rep. Mong Palatino gave a talk at a students rights forum in UST, hosted by the Central Student Council. That week, the student councils of UST launched its renewed campaign for the approval of the long-stalled “UST Students Code”.