Photo by Paul Allyson R. Quiambao

TO HER, UST will always be a majestic “castle in the middle of the desert.”

Meet Amadea Medina, one of the few Thomasians who have seen the University back when it was just a lone building in the middle of a lot in Sulucan Hills, where trees stood high and bushy and any interaction between the descendants of Adam and of Eve was forbidden.

This century-old Education alumna endeared herself to the predominantly young Thomasian crowd during the Quadricentennial Grand Program last January 27 at the UST Grandstand.

“I feel proud to be a Thomasian,” Lola Amadea said with a smile.

Her parents wanted to give her a Catholic upbringing so they decided to send her to UST after she graduated from St. Theresa’s College in Manila, an exclusive Catholic girls’ school.

The UST she knew then was but a quiet Main Building where students learned from high-caliber professors, she recalled.

“It was just quiet then and very religious, maybe because of the times,” she told the Varsitarian in Filipino. “I learned a lot from the professors. They were very good teachers.”

Lola Amadea said the Faculties of Philosophy and Letters (now Arts and Letters), Pharmacy, Medicine, and the College of Education were the most popular choices of students at her time. And unlike the present campus, which has parks and benches for friends and lovers, the old UST had none. It was a reflection of one of the University’s main rules—no interaction between members of the opposite sex. Time was when male and female students walked along separate corridors.

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'Classic, timeless, forever timely'

After UST

But the oldest living UST alumna credited this conservative environment for her success later on.

Lola Amadea would become a teacher of non-formal education, sharing the contents of her lesson plans not to a crowd of wide-eyed innocents in the classroom, but to a community that could probably use the vocational training to earn a living.

“I was chief of the division and my lessons cover everything in family life—food presentation, wine-making,” she shared. “One needed to be trained first before being employed.”

Lola Amadea said she was “happy that this was where I studied,” adding that the discipline she learned in UST proved helpful in the “real” world.

This alumna, a living testament to UST’s encompassing excellence in education, advised today’s students to “concentrate on their studies.”

“You must be serious about your studies,” said Lola Amadea, who spoke to an audience of young Thomasians at the Grand Program last January 27. “Have one goal and put all your efforts to reach that goal.”

And asked about her secret for a long life, Lola Amadea told the cheering crowd to “live simply.” “Face life as it is,” she said, “but think positively—be optimistic.” Rose-An Jessica M. Dioquino and Mika Rafaela A. Barrios

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