The Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, the Catholic University of the Philippines, the oldest University in Asia and home of the Growling Tigers!
It’s been a busy week for me, and all other Senior High School students of University of Santo Tomas. Our week was full of activities:
August 1- Orientation
August 3- University Wide Orientation (Freshmen Roarientation)
August 4- Orientation
August 5- Thomasian Welcome Walk
It’s a good thing we had no classes last Tuesday for it was Misa de Apertura, a mass attended by the University’s faculty and administrators to give thanks and guidance to Lord Our Father for the upcoming school year.
The highlight of my week was definitely the ROARientation and of course, the Thomasian Welcome Walk.
The UST Freshmen Orientation or known as the ROARientation is a spectacular University Wide Orientation just for us Freshies. The famous UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe prepared a batch dance for us. Everbody danced to the beat of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”. I timidly followed the steps from the dance troupe–actually, scratch that! I didn’t move a muscle except for clapping and other hand gestures. I’m an awkward dancer and I was sure enough I won’t make friends if they saw me dance. Like Taylor Swift said, it’s also called, ‘Publicly humiliating myself’.
UST introduced us the members of the Central Student Council and three members from UST’s Teatro Tomasino performed as well.
Though University of Santo Tomas’ founder was St. Miguel de Benavides, we learned that the University was named after St. Thomas Aquinas and follows his teachings and virtues. During my 9th grade in Junior High School, we learned about St. Thomas Aquinas and his book, ‘Summa Theologica’ in World History class, but I was astonished to find out that he is also the Patron Saint of the Students as one of the speakers in the Orientation stated.
Videos created by the TOMCAT or the Thomasian Cable Television were played during the event. Those videos features Tiger Boy and Tiger Girl giving us different tips such as school supplies to bring during the first few days of class, proper attire when going to the Miguel de Benavides library, the different printing shops around the University and of course, they reminded us to always bring our Registration Form for it will serve as our I.D. for the first few weeks of school.
Of course what kept the crowd enthusiastic and alive was singing the different UST cheers. The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe helped us with the steps done as we sung the cheers while the UST Yellow Jackets provided us beat as they hit every drum with power that could almost wake the Tiger statue on the Plaza Mayor to come alive. The ever so famous ‘GO USTE’ cheer was the loudest of all. Everybody knows it–even other Universities and UAAP fans sings at the top of their lungs to join the GO USTE cheer.
A few more talks and it was already the end of the ROARientation. A few stunts were performed by again, the ever astounding Salinggawi Dance Troupe and then it was time for the program to end.
We balled our knuckles into fist and place it on our hearts as we whole heartedly sung the UST hymn.
And that was the end of the ROARientation.
But before my friends and I went home, we visited the museum located at the Main Building. I am fond of museums and enjoyed my visit there. I even saw the Papal chairs Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis used during their visits in the University. I was stunned by the detailed structure and designs of the chair, especially Pope John Paul II’s. The arm rest of his chair was designed to look like it was covered with bronze feathers.
THOMASIAN WELCOME WALK
The Thomasian Welcome Walk is a yearly tradition for the Freshmen of UST. Freshmens must pass under the famous Arch of the Centuries. It as sign that freshmens are truly a Thomasian.
My day started to be hectic, actually all of the senior high students were very busy preparing for the Welcome Walk. Adding the finishing touches for our banners, cutting flaglettes, doing face paints–yup, every section was busy with their own thing.
I was even surprised when two representative from our section distributed the freebies from UST–a string bag with an umbrella, fan, I heart UST pin and a Freshmen guide booklet inside.
It was a long wait before the ceremony started, but when the beat of the drums from the UST Yellow Jackets and when our group started to leave the Blessed Buenaventura Garcia Paredes O.P. Building and made our way towards the Arch, we knew that it was just a matter of time before we become true Tomasinos.
Our hearts were pounding inside our chest as we near the arch; pounding to the beat of the drums. Everyone was so ecstatic and alive!
I looked up as I passed the famous Arch of the Centuries. I even snapped a pic to make sure I have something to post on Instagram 😂
Passing under the Arch of the Centuries was something special. I am so delighted to be a Thomasian. Out of the 14,000 aspiring Thomasians, I am one of the lucky 5,000 who get to live their Thomasian dream.
After passing the arch, we headed to Quadricentennial Pavillion for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I was inspired by the priest’s homily. He congratulated each and every one of us, he welcomed us as the new members of the Thomasian Community.
He told us that right now there are a lot of questions bubbling inside us and that we are so eager to know the answers. But on the right time, we will learn the answers to those questions soon. We all have to be patient.
He also told us to be ourselves and make friends and enjoy our stay in the University.
Regular Classes starts tomorrow and you don’t know how anxious I am. I am very nervous, I have no idea of what’s going to happen. I pray to God that everything will turn out well throughout my stay in UST. Of course, what’s life without struggles, obstacles and pain? I know I’ll be experiencing a lot of hardships along my UST journey but somehow I have a feeling that I’ll survive all that because of my faith in God.
Tenth grade was the most stressful school year for me (yet). But I am so thankful I still managed to be one of our class achievers and won two quiz bees despite all the stress I’ve been through. I remember crying while reviewing, not studying for an exam because of projects, always being sleep deprived, sometimes not giving a shit at all because I couldn’t pull my shit together and numerous breakdowns. Numerous Breakdowns.
I got lost along the way but I still found my way back to God and here I am, still alive and well.
I’ll be busy adjusting to the environment of the University and how professors conducts his/her lessons because I am used on how the system works in my old school. (I do hope I don’t have terror professors!) Also, I’ll try to socialize with my new blockmates. I have been with the same faces for the past four years. (Perks of being in a Pilot section, it’s the same faces every year) Everybody knows everyone except for a few new comers but I am so comfortable around my Junior High School friends and that it’ll be hard for me to adjust. Sometimes, my social anxiety kicks in…and I always wait for people to approach me first.
*Sighs* But that’s life after all. *Shrugs*
Another one is I’ll definitely miss our home. I’ll miss my mom, my sister, our pet and the comforts our home. I guarantee I’ll be homesick for at least two or three weeks. I am used to having my mom on my side and telling her everything that happens on my first day. Now, I can only call her or chat with her.
My independence will be tested in UST. I don’t have our maid to clean up after I eat nor clean my clothes whenever stains ruins my clothes or ask my mom to buy me these and that because we need it tomorrow.
I still have my best friends with me, we live in the same dorm but each of us are busy with our own lives. So I’m on my own–but not really, because God is with me.
Well my lovely Dreamer Readers, that’s all for now. Keep visiting my site for more life updates!
You can also follow my Instagram Account, @kathslavie to see more posts from my adventure in UST last week and also the future posts for the next adventure I’ll be having throughout my stay in UST.
Because everything in UST is Instagram worthy *Winks*
God Bless everyone!