Last February 2013, our Campus Journalism professor assigned us to write a detailed article of our walk around the campus. We had almost an hour to take down notes to help us for our composition.
I must admit I wasn’t really good at writing then and grammatical errors were a bit of a challenge for me (it’s not that i’m a Nazi now, but I think i’m better).
Two years later, I found that I actually kept this article so I decided I could post it here. I thought that copying whatever was actually written in the manuscript was so much easier. But as I write it down, I changed some of my insights, and altered some parts.
The nostalgia also didn’t help because It caused me to wait until the championship game of UST vs FEU; which turned out to be the biggest heartbreak of the year for a bona fide Thomasian.
It’s true what elders say.
Mas masaya mag-aral.
It’s not that I don’t like working. It’s just that being in a university, especially UST, is not only the best thing to begin with, but it’s way more fun.
So here it goes:
A stray of sunlight lit parts of some kiosks inside the Quadricentennial Park of the Royal and Pontifical. University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Maya birds, a breed whose presence is ubiquitous, chirped to one another producing the harmonious ambiance. This part of the university is the home to dance crews from different programs and colleges, who hold rehearsals and trainings to showcase to the Thomasian community.
The lobby in the nearest building, the Faculty of Arts and Letters or St. Raymund de Peñafort bulding, serves as the drop off point of students, brought by their car services. Students who spend their leisure time together through chattering and laughing were comfortably sitting in one of the chairs in the pavillions.
It seems inevitable that many students still rush and briskly walk to catch up with their 11:00 classes. The wind hustles leaving the leaves scattering all over the platform, where the famous foundation lies. The whole area is almost deserted. The only noticeable object that stands there are the famous big letters which boldly state UST, blocked in yellow and black, where newcomers share a picture with.
Tracing it back in history, the university has been in constant revamping and improving. Construction works echo so loud, inaudible to students in isolated buildings such as the Beato Angelico, located in the corner of España Boulevard and Padre Noval Street. Unlike those busy streets in the school, the Quadri Park is a sanctuary for both students and animals. The tents provide shade for people who loves to study in a quiet place while cats and dogs roam the campus.
The banging of metals and the strays of sunlight suggest a dramatic rhythmic transition of events. The strays of light worked like a prism when those streak the windows of the Main Building, which houses the Science courses. Students would horde in the right side of the building just to indulge on the favorite dirty ice cream owned by Kuya (don’t know his name).
Furthermore, the structure of the park is very symmetrical since lamp posts station equally in front of the building and those give off relaxing, satisfying rays and shadows at dawn. University staff members are often seen on a late afternoon to clear up the wastes collected all throughout the day. Plants are also very well taken care of in the campus since they purify the air.
Of course who would not know Ate Yema? One of the most iconic people in the university because of her famous pastries, cookies, and sweets, sold for a little-more-than-the-expected price.
Every corner of the university is being protected by numerous CCTV (closed circuit TV FYI) cameras rotating in 360 degrees. Signboards and street signs are placed all over the university for caution and friendly reminders. In the not so far side of the Quadricentennial Park is the iconic statue placed in 2011, during the 400th year of the university, where renowned celebrities such as Piolo Pascual and Charlene Gonzales are engraved to life-sized figures, in honor of their beloved alma mater.
Of course, security in the university would not be possible if it’s not for the sometimes friendly, sometimes irritated guards, barricading every gate of each building. For some buildings, one can easily see at the entrance an inscription of the history of the building itself.
After a quite long walk around the campus, the earlier peaceful description of the park suddenly shifted when a large group of students from another school swarmed the earlier deserted place of the Quadri park. A fat cat ran fast as one silly student played with it, causing the green trash bins placed beside the plant beds move. The students made sure every moment was captured especially on the not-so-easy-to-miss letter standees that loudly exclaim U-S-T.
This is the daily setting of the university. This is a place where dreams are made, changed, realized, and where steps to success begin. This is a place where one can just sit back, watch people, listen to the stories of friends gathering, to the music of the students rehearsing, escape the floods that nearly rushes to your knees, walk through the Lover’s Lane, food trip and stress eat, have pride of cheering for the university athletes, and finally, have the honor of saying, ‘I was a Thomasian; I am a Thomasian; and will always be, a THOMASIAN.
Tears started flowing on my face as I try to end this article.
I was the type of person who likes dwelling in the past. I still am dwelling in the past. But this time, I make sure that the memories I had during my college years, will always be cherished.
My dear UST, you’ll always be loved by me. I’ll support every game, will cheer at the top of my lungs. I’ll always imbibe the values you taught me, competence, compassion, and commitment.
Thank you and continue touching and changing people’s lives.
The original manuscript