The 200-peso bill with an overprint of the Quadricentennial logo and the commemorarive postage stamps featuring key UST landmarks. These were unveiled last January 21 by central bank and Philippine Postal Corporation officials at the Main Building

HERE come the UST collectibles.

UST’s Quadricentennial is being celebrated on a national level with the release of commemorative bills, coins, and postage stamps.

Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of UST, together with officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) unveiled the commemorative items before the press last January 21 at the Main Building lobby.

The BSP is releasing P2 billion worth of P200 bills with an overprint of the Quadricentennial logo, and gold and silver medals with the image of Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P., founder of UST and the third archbishop of Manila.

The bills are legal tender but the medals have no value, the central bank said.

The BSP will also release 400 special copies of two uncut P200 bills equal to P400, matching UST’s years of existence.

Fe de la Cruz, BSP director for corporate affairs, told the Varsitarian that currency overprints are rare and only events of great importance are allowed to have an overprint on Philippine bills.

“It has to be very special on a national level. This [currency overprint] symbolizes BSP’s recognition of the significance of UST as an educational institution,” De la Cruz said.

Philpost released on January 25 commemorative stamps featuring key landmarks of the campus declared national treasures last year, including the Main Building and the Arch of the Centuries.

Elenita San Diego, manager of the postage and philatelic department of Philpost, said post offices nationwide will soon begin using the stamps. “We will also ask the members of the Universal Postal Union to use the stamps,” San Diego said.

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Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed Resolution No. 51 last January 18, acknowledging the University’s achievements on its 400th year.

“Its reputation has reached global proportions, and is one of the most venerable institutions of higher learning in the world with its distinguished roster of alumni including four Philippine Presidents, six Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, heroes, national artists, saints and professionals in various fields of expertise required in the process of building a nation,” it stated.

The resolution also noted that UST has notched many firsts in Philippine culture and history, having the oldest school of Philosophy (1611), oldest museum in the Philippines (1682), oldest canon law school (1732), oldest school of Medicine and Surgery (1871), and oldest school of Pharmacy (1871).

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Meanwhile, PLDT corporate communications chief Ramon Isberto handed P5 million to an endowment fund intended for the Simbahayan project. Touted as the Quadricentennial centerpiece project, Simbahayan will rehabilitate 400 villages through medical, literacy, housing, and peace “interventions.”

“This is a very unique celebration. It is not usual that an institution is celebrating its 400th anniversary,” Isberto told the Varsitarian in an interview at the sidelines of the press conference last January 21. “That is why Mr. Pangilinan decided to support this community service [project].”

Smart Communications, Inc., a PLDT subsidiary, also launched Smart SIM cards and limited-edition prepaid cell cards with a photograph of the Main Building. They will be available next month.

Smart’s Sweep wireless communication technology, meanwhile, will aid the University’s electronics Engineering program.

“Oftentimes, schools are having difficulties in coping with the latest technology. This will help the engineering program on the latest trend in electronics,” Isberto said.

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“We will first introduce the program, and later on we will build a Sweep laboratory,” he added.

During the press conference, De la Rosa, thanked the UST Medical Alumni Association in America for raising $1 million for the UST Alumni Center, which will be opened in 2012.

De la Rosa also said the inauguration of the new UST Sports Complex will be on August 15. The gym will have a seating capacity of 5,000. with reports from Danalyn T. Lubang

Honor from the House. Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of the University, receives a copy of Resolution No. 51 from Speaker Feliciano Belmonte at the House of Representatives. The Resolution lauds UST for being “one of the most venerable institutions of higher learning in the world.” Photo by Paul Allyson R. Quiambao

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