By Alice Colet-Villadolid
When I was a student, reading the Varsitarian for the first time strikes you as a shining beacon, a guide to where you could go if you are interested in Arts and Letters, or the Fine Arts, or the Law. Next, the Varsitarian beckons you to join its staff by taking the exam and passing it. Having signed up, you then become obsessed with it, you dream at night, you worry during the day, you anticipate the printed issue with bated breath. When you finally see in the new issue what you have written or edited or laid out or photographed, you giggle, laugh, and shout in happiness.
By Anthony Andrew G. Divinagracia
If memory serves right, the only time I wore yellow (or rather gold) as a UST student was when I covered the 2006 UAAP basketball finals between the overachieving Tigers of Pido Jarencio-fame against the Norman Black-led Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Sporting a hue of the University’s tri-colors proved rewarding at the time, with the Tigers upending the heavily-favored Eagles in that pulsating Game 3 clincher, which needed five extra minutes to decide.
You see, in a “marketable” league such as the UAAP, colors wave the unseen hand of commercialism by promoting the anomaly of “school spirit.”
By Ramon ‘Bong’ R. Osorio
I came to UST in 1970 as a freshman in the Faculty of Arts and Letters. I was part of an academic experiment during that school year, where the top 40 entrants---mostly high school valedictorians and salutatorians---were put in one section called 1A9. It was an honors class, and its members were dubbed the A-Niners---driven, competitive, and communicative students, whose hunger for knowledge is overwhelming. To handle this special breed of students, dynamic, talented and engaging professors that include Perla Queyquep, Magdalena Villaba-Cue, Romy Abulad, Mary Joyce Laig, Milagros Tanlayco, Lourdes Bautista, Elena Roco, among others, were assigned.
By Don Robespierre C. Reyes, MD
I wanted to be a journalist when I was younger, but to cut the story short, I am now a cardiologist. Raised in the province and schooled in a private catholic institution run by nuns, I pictured the big city as a jungle of characters and personalities. Initially, I was focused on maintaining myself on the so-called upper class, the cream of the crop, or the homogenous type of professionals who bury themselves in books and researches and get themselves evaluated by written and practical examinations to become successful. Introspecting into what lies ahead for me, I felt something lacking. And then I joined the V.
By Eldric Paul A. Peredo
Memoirs on UST? I could write a book. Maybe even two.
In the beginning
In the beginning was the word that I qualified for the two Manila universities I took the entrance exams to: Ateneo de Manila, and the University of Santo Tomas. They were the only schools I tried out for because they have seminaries, and our high school rector would not sign any application papers for all others. Yes, I was then on the priesthood track since the manly young age of 12.
By F. Sionil Jose
In June 1944, I enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas College of Liberal Arts at its original campus in Intramuros—an ancient stone edifice, with thick wooden floors, and sash windows that could be flung to the farthest corner. Close by was the Santo Domingo Church and farther to the left was the San Juan de Letran College, which was occupied by the Japanese. I was living then in Antipolo street with my cousin, Dr. Eustaquia Alberto, and it was upon her urging that I was to take up preparatory medicine. The times were difficult—I woke up early to take the street car, which was then very crowded and if I couldn’t take it, I would walk all the way from Antipolo street to Intramuros, which took more than an hour. I was 19. I recall my zoology, botany and chemistry classes, the tedious memory work, which I did not like, but which I knew was a prerequisite. And of course, Niponggo—of that class, all I remember now is “korewa hon desu.”
By Francis T. Wakefield
I’ve always wanted to become a Thomasian since my high school days. That was why when I was able to pass the UST entrance exam in the early 90s, I was so full of joy. I was excited to start my school life in the oldest university in Asia.
However, my first few months as a student at the Faculty of Arts and Letters was not that easy because compared to my high school experience, college life is more difficult and stressful.
By Gloria Garchitorena-Goloy
The young and the old (Intro)
First, the vast sprawling grounds spreading sidewards, trim shrubbery defining the long walk from the gate to the building entrance.
Then past the huge doors pushed back to admit the incoming student horde, the visual feast continues: the high ceiling, the formidable columns, the massive stairway defining one’s ascent to the second floor, the tough, smooth woodwork of the side rails enticing further exploration of the second floor. Everything the visitor encounters overwhelms—his senses, his mind, his puny self.
Such is the impact of the centuries-old institution on the new student about to begin his or her quest for learning in the University of Sto. Tomas.
Ni Jun R. Florencio
Mahirap palang magValiktanaw, lalo na kung ang mga eksenang babalikan sa aking buhay ay mahigit 30 years nang nakaraan, he he he (asa ka pa?). Taong 1972 ako nagsimula sa Uste, kainitan ng aktibismo at kalituhang politikal sa bansa. Halos araw-araw ang mga rally at batuhan ng molotov cocktail sa Plaza Miranda at sa kapaligaran ng University Belt. Maraming aktibong student organizations noon, tulad ng “SDK” na para sa mga aktibo at radikal na kasapi ay may kahulugang “Samahang Demokratikong Kabataan”. Meron namang mga kabataan na katulad kong konserbatibo at ayaw makialam sa mga radikal na pagkilos, at binibirong mga kasapi daw ng “Samahang Double Knit.” Di pa gaanong nagtatagal ang first semester ko sa College of Commerce nang maideklara ang Martial Law. Hindi lang naiba ang ihip ng hangin noon, nag-amoy pulbura pa.
By Kane Errol Choa
All my life, I thought I was Filipino until I reached college.
I thought all Filipinos had chinky eyes, ate siomai for snacks, and labored for years studying Chinese history in Mandarin. Not until I met my classmates in first year college did I realize these misconceptions.
After all, I spent 13 years of elementary and high school life in a Chinese school and grew up with friends who had similar cultural backgrounds. My whole world changed when I went to UST to pursue a degree in Communication Arts.