TALK about turning misery into opportunity.

Two Thomasians didn’t fret when school officials required students to wear their IDs on campus all the time.

Dominick Galauran of Engineering and Vincent Chua of Fine Arts knew they didn’t have to sacrifice their fashion style—their “porma”—over it. So they came up with something not exactly novel: UST lanyards.

The strings were not their inventions, but the uniquely Thomasian character of their designs—the black-gold, black-white colors—made their “GoUste” lanyards a fashion must-have these days.

“Why not we make the wearing of IDs more fun?” Galauran argued.

Crossing to the mainstream

In 2007, Galauran and Chua created the lanyards initially for members of GoUste.com forum, a social networking site for Thomasians. Back then, the vibrant lanyards were originally not for sale but were simply used to help promote the site.

To the duo’s surprise, the lanyards suddenly became a hit to students.

“The business boomed, a lot of students were attracted to our designs, even those from the other colleges and universities,” Chua said.

This positive reaction prompted Galauran and Chua to toy with the idea of creating personalized lanyards for the different colleges.

Initial designs were made together with GoUste.com founders Jasper Wamar, Nico Orellano, and Allan Paul Valera, who funded the first batch of exclusive lanyards.

By 2008, Galauran and Chua were all set to sell their lanyards, in a cozy booth during the Engineering Week. The first college lanyard, which is also from Engineering, only consisted of the words “Faculty of Engineering” printed next to the University’s name.

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“Lanyards have already made their way to the campus, but lacked the life and the color,” Galauran said.

Not surprisingly, the duo sold as many as 1,000 pieces of lanyards a week, at P100 each.

“The vibrant [lanyard] designs keep the students from getting tired of wearing their IDs,” Chua said. He added that these lanyards make the students noticeable both in and out of the campus.

They’re lanyards are also durable enough to support flash drives, cell phones, and even a PSP.

Chua and Galauran’s initial success sparked a demand for lanyards catering to different colleges such as Tourism and Hospitality Management, Fine Arts, and Engineering. The University also ordered for 15,000 plain lanyards along with the freshmen IDs. However, the task of creating corporate-looking designs proved to be an arduous task for both since they were more comfortable with wacky designs.

Lanyard revolution

With students hanging these colorful laces around their necks, one glance could easily reveal which college, course, and even organization the student belongs to.

According to Prof. Lucila Bance, director of the UST Guidance Department, lanyards were initially used in promoting different companies before they became a fad in UST.

Wearing lanyards spread like wildfire inside the campus since students are required to wear their IDs at all times.

Quite unexpectedly, the lanyard revolution had positive effects on the University’s image as well.

“By wearing UST lanyards, students also advertise the University,” said Bance. “It is an indication of their loyalty and it encourages proper behavior especially when one wears it outside the campus.”

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Apart from advertising the University, a lanyard can also be an effective tool for promoting an event.

For instance, Nikko Gomez, president of the Commerce student council, used the lanyards to advertise the college’s 75th anniversary last year.

Marice Cruz, president of the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC), proudly wears her organization’s slogan on her lanyard. The thick surface apparently allows for bigger texts.

Pauline Chosa, president of the Nursing Student Council, wears hers for a special reason: “we affixed the University’s name in our lanyards so that we will be identified as students from a center of excellence.”

Others like Catherine Mae Mendoza, president of Fine Arts student council, want to sell new lanyards to raise money for charity.

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