Comedienne Dang Cruz (left), singers Jamie Rivera and RJ Jimenez (above), and TV host Winnie Cordero (below) perform at the ‘UST Artist for UST’ last September 18 at the Medicine Auditorium. Photos by Paul Allyson R. Quiambao

WELL-KNOWN artists and celebrities return to their alma mater to pay tribute to Thomasian art in UST Artists for UST, held last September 18 at the St. Martin de Porres Auditorium.

“The show melded the visual and the performing arts and was part of the celebration of the Quadricentennial,” said actress Candy Pangilinan, director of the event.

At the entrance of St. Martin de Porres Building, guests were welcomed by the Science Glee Club and the Faculty of Arts and Letters Chorale, while The Faculty of Engineering’s One Voice, accompanied by the UST Symphony Orchestra, entertained the crowd inside the auditorium before the start of the program.

On exhibit at the lobby of the building were the artworks of Thomasian painters such as Mario Parial, Bienvenido Araw, and Prudencio Villamor “Amor” Lamarroza, among others. Upcycled Art, consisting of functional artworks from recycled materials by third-year Industrial Design students, was also on exhibit.

Vice Rector Fr. Pablo T. Tiong, O.P, opened the event by delivering a speech about St. Thomas Aquinas’ criteria of beauty which are balance, radiance and integrity. The microphone stand where Tiong delivered his message was created by the skillful pose of Teatro Tomasino members who stayed still through the speech.

Beauty queen Miriam Quiambao, a Physical Therapy alumna of UST, and actor Dominic Ochoa (Business Administration) served as the hosts of the event. On the other hand, Communication Arts graduates Eagle Riggs, Jeffrey “Mr. Fu” Espiritu and Winnie Cordero introduced performers after giving trivia about the University and its alumni.

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Jao Mapa (Advertising Arts), together with Public Affairs Director Giovanna Fontanilla and Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs Evelyn Songco, enlightened students about the purpose of the event which was to make students aware of the achievements UST graduates, especially in the field of the arts.

Comedienne Dang Cruz (Hotel and Restaurant Management) and TV host Archie Alemania (Communication Arts) came together in a song-and-dance number with model-actor Will Devaughn and members of Coro Tomasino and Salinggawi Dance Troupe.

TV host Jojo Alejar (Communication Arts) grooved like the late pop icon Michael Jackson while giving away UST shirts to the crowd. He also delivered his version of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Meanwhile, singer RJ Jimenez (Electronic and Communications Engineering) serenaded the audience with his rendition of Cold Play’s “Yellow,” which Jimenez associated with the University’s color. He also performed his hit song with singer Yeng Constantino, “If We Fall in Love.”

Bands who were formed in the UST campus also participated in the event such as Join the Club, Paraluman and Calla Lilly, which are now renowned in the pop music industry.

Ciara Sotto (Conservatory of Music) drove the audience on the edge of their seats with her interpretative pole dance segment to the tune of foreign band Evanescence “Bring Me to Life.”

Thomasians in the field of the literature were also honored by the celebrities through a poetry reading. Matinee idol Piolo Pascual (Sociology) read Amado V. Hernandez’ “Isang Dipang Langit” via an audio visual presentation (AVP).

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Meanwhile, Beverly Salviejo (Mathematics) and Jamie Rivera (Arts and Letters) brought to life “Mayamang babae, Pobreng babae” by Rogelio Sicat.

Finalists of the Q Songwriting contest held last year were also given tribute. “Cheers to 400 Years,” which won first runner-up and written by Faculty of Arts and Letters alumnus Alma Escasa and her husband Ben Escasa was performed by Jenine Desiderio (High School and Psychology). An AVP was also flashed while Desiderio was singing that showed different Thomasian heroes such as Jose Rizal and Claro M. Recto.

Singing Bee’s Apple Chiu (Interior Design) sang “Beyond This Arch,” the fourth runner-up piece by Conservatory of Music faculty secretary Antonio Africa. During the song number, Thomasians in multimedia arts were highlighted.

The night ended with the triumphant singing of the Quadricentennial song, “Ako’y Isang Tomasino,” written by alumnus Gerry de Leon, which was performed by all the celebrities and the University’s choral groups. The night ended with a pyrotechnic display and a shower of confetti. Maria Joanna Angela D. Cruz

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