ON DEC. 14, the Benavides Park will transform into a vast diamond newsroom as members and alumni of the ever-growing Varsitarian family reunite anew for fellowship and thanksgiving during the Valik-Varsi.

Valik-Varsi is the homecoming of all Varsitarian alumni since the publication’s foundation in 1928. A night of dining, dancing and endless conversations, it will bring together former writers, editors, artists, photographers and mentors of the publication.

The V held the grandest homecomings in 1988 and 1998, when the publication celebrated its 60th and 70th anniversary, respectively. And since the Varsitarian is turning 75, this year’s reunion promises to be one momentous event.

The planning stage started as early as summer. Preparations included consultations with the alumni themselves, who were invited to “mini-reunions.”

Valik-Varsi 2002 officially kicked off with the first ever Jose Villa Panganiban-Varsitarian Professorial Chair Lecture in Journalism last Nov. 21 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex auditorium. The lecture was given by Fr. Rolando dela Rosa, O.P., university rector from 1991 to 1998 and himself a Varsitarian alumnus, serving as Witness editor in 1979. His lecture focused on the importance of having a tradition of excellence in campus journalism, as exemplified by the Varsitarian through the years.

The lecture also saw the opening of the Varsitarian Diamond Anniversary Exhibit. Featuring snapshots of past Varsitarian issues as well as interesting facts about the organization’s history, the exhibit is currently towed around in the different building lobbies of the University.

Valik-Varsi night

The homecoming night will gather all former V staffers. A simple program will entertain the guests during dinner, the highlight of which is a video presentation of the paper’s rich history. Socials will follow to allow the alumni — called amihan — to interact with one another and share memories.

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Of course, the 75-year-old Varsitarian, dubbed “the newspaper of destiny” by the late Jose Guevara, former editor in chief, is not without its revolutionary projects.

During the opening night of Inkblots 2002, the UST National Campus journalism Fellowship last October, the Varsitarian officially entered book publishing with Heaven’s Kitchen, a compilation of religious reflections published regularly in the paper’s Witness section, and the Varsitarian Campus Press Stylebook, the first of its kind in the country.

There are plans to put up a Varsitarian foundation that will oversee and manage the paper’s special projects and programs for the improvement of Journalism skills in out of UST.

The Varsitarian has also started the tedious process of microfilming all its past issues. Each issue contains vital historical publications, UST, and the country.

Indeed, this coming edition of Valik-Varsi will not only a mere reunion. It will also be a call to action: to promote anew excellence in campus journalism.

Coming home will never been sweeter and more glorious then on Dec. 14. On that night the call will ring truer: “Once a V staffer, always a V staffer.”


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