Nobel laureate named 'honorary professor' by UST

PERUVIAN-Spanish author Mario Vargas Llosa was named “honorary professor” by the University on Nov. 7 for being a “divinely gifted storyteller.”

The 80-year-old Vargas Llosa, who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, stressed on the role of literature in addressing contemporary social ills.

“Good literature is necessary for a society that wants to be free, that wants to be democratic,” Vargas Llosa said in Spanish during his lecture at the Grand Ballroom of the Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P Building

“Literature has somehow contributed a grain of sand toward civilization and progress,” he added. read more »

Be honest in a 'world full of lies,' Dominican youth told in Adonai 2016

MORE THAN 700 students from Dominican-run schools across the country were urged to be truthful in a “world full of lies,” in the “Adonai 2016” vigil at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila.

Richard Pazcoguin, head of the UST Center for Campus ministry, urged the youth to tell the truth amid a prevailing culture of dishonesty.

Students must forgive and continuously show “Mercy and Compassion,” Pope Francis’ theme for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which ends this month.

“[Kapag] sinabi natin ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,’ we may not be ready to forgive yet. But if you repeat [those words] over and over again, our hearts will follow what the mouths are saying,” Pazcoguin said. read more »

Cultural schools for Aetas proposed

A THOMASIAN anthropologist has stressed the need to establish cultural schools for aetas.

Ma. Carinnes Gonzales of the UST sociology department said establishing a school that teaches culture to younger Aetas will promote cultural preservation.

“Establishing cultural education institutions has been a successful campaign in different indigenous cultures around the Philippines and the goal there is to let indigenous youth learn the folkways and traditions of their elderly,” Gonzales told the Varsitarian during the University’s celebration of the “Araw ng mga Katutubo” in Bamban, Tarlac last Nov. 5. read more »

Medicine okays proposed 6-year program

THE FACULTY of Medicine and Surgery is backing the Department of Health’s (DOH) proposal for a six-year medicine program, which will eliminate the pre-medicine course.

Medicine Dean Jesus Valencia said this would be a “buffer solution” to the expected impact of the K to 12 basic education reform in the faculty by the year 2021, when there would be no graduates of pre-medicine programs such as biology and nursing.

Valencia said the faculty had begun planning for a new two-year program. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to start medicine proper, and graduate after four years.

The six-year program will also allow the faculty to cater to an “elite group of medicine students” since the number of applicants will be fewer. read more »

Duterte showed no mercy during Jubilee Year — bishop

THE ADMINISTRATION of President Rodrigo Duterte failed to show “mercy and compassion” in dealing with suspected drug pushers and users during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, a Catholic bishop has said.

“Hindi niya inunawa ang kalagayan ng mga tao. Hindi niya sila binigyan ng pagkakataong [magbago],” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

An outspoken critic of Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs” that has led to the deaths of some 4,000 drug suspects, Pabillo said the reality was the opposite of the peace and order situation being claimed by the government as an achievement. read more »

Dominican 'saint-maker' Villarroel remembered

ACCLAIMED historian Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P. is known for his intellect and gentle manner, and will always be remembered for giving the University its “institutional history,” former students and colleagues told the Varsitarian.

The prior of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, Fr. Rolando Castro, O.P., once a student of Villarroel, said the Dominican historian’s death was a challenge for budding historians to continue his work.

“There’s only one Father Fidel but if we will do our work well as historians, as Dominicans, then his memory is not wasted,” Castro said in an interview. read more »

Filipino Catholics urged to aid persecuted Christians worldwide

WITH the surge of Christian persecutions and Islamist attacks worldwide, the Aid to Church in Need, a Vatican foundation that provides relief to Christians and non-Christians in conflict areas, opened its Philippine chapter in an inaugural conference last Nov. 12 at Saint Pedro Poveda College in Pasig.

One out of five countries from Sweden in northern Europe to Australia in Oceania including 17 African countries are experiencing violent Islamist attacks, according to their report in the conference.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas was appointed as president and will head its Philippine office at the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines complex in Intramuros. read more »

UST improves in electronics, accountancy, chemistry boards

THOMASIANS emerged as topnotchers in the recent licensure exams for electronics engineers, accountants and chemists, results from the Professional Regulation Commission showed.

UST’s passing rate in the October 2016 electronics engineering board exams went up to 74.66 percent (115 passers out of 154 examinees) from the previous year’s 65.93 percent (120 passers out of 182 examinees).

Leading the new batch of Thomasian electronics engineers was Masaru Nakaegawa who got a score of 92.30 percent. He ranked first on the top 10 list of passers.

The University of the Philippines remained the top-performing school after obtaining a perfect passing rate, with all its 53 examinees passing the test. read more »

Ched to provide scholarships to faculty affected by K to 12

THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (Ched) is set to provide scholarships to teaching and non-teaching staff from higher education institutions (HEIs) affected by the K to12 implementation.

Ched will offer 15,000 graduate education scholarships for five years, starting from academic years 2016 to 2017 until 2020 to 2021.

Karol Yee, head of Ched’s K to 12 transition management program unit, said the scholarships for faculty and staff were initiated to achieve “a higher education sector able to compete with Asean neighbors.”

“Ched has designed the development packages, including scholarships for faculty and staff who will experience a much lower workload during the transition,” Yee said in an email to the Varsitarian. read more »

Pacucoa accredits accountancy, 26 grad school programs

TWENTY-SIX programs of the UST Graduate School received the coveted Level IV accreditation status from the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities’ Commission on Accreditation (Pacucoa) while the Accountancy program of the University has received Level III accreditation.

Pacucoa gave the Level IV status to 15 master of arts programs and 11 master of science programs.

Master’s programs in development studies, economics, educational management and leadership, English language studies, guidance and counseling, history, hospital administration, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology and public administration retained the status. The master of arts in curriculum and instruction program was added to the list. read more »

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