THE COUNTDOWN to UST’s 400th year officially began December 18, with the annual Paskuhan program launching four "quadricentennial symbols" before a record crowd of Thomasians and outsiders that flocked to the Pontifical and the Royal University’s “most memorable” Christmas celebration.
With the theme “4 horas, 4 dias, 400 days, 400 taon,” which represented the three cultures — Spanish, American, and Filipino — that defined UST's history, the four-hour Paskuhan started with a parade of costumes from the Spanish colonial era to the 21st century.
The recitation of the quadricentennial prayer by Fr. Pompeyo de Mesa, O.P. over a candle-lighting ceremony followed, along with the lighting of the 80-foot Christmas tree and the UST grounds.
The raising of the quadricentennial flag embroidered with “2011,” and featuring the sun and the colors “yellow” and “blue” taken from the UST logo, coincided with an exhibition at the Main Building, drum rolls from the Yellow Jackets, and a dance number from the Salinggawi Dance Troupe.
Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. gave a message to the more than 50,000 people gathered at the UST open field.
“Tonight, we are not just Thomasians. We are the University of Santo Tomas,” the Rector said.
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