[bg|quadricentennial_parade|4|110|sort|12|#FFF|1|Quadricentennial Parade. Photos by THE PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM]

JANUARY 26 weather forecast: Luzon would experience cloudy skies accompanied by scattered and isolated light rains.

But the rain clouds gave way to a sunny weather in order to salute the University as it mounted a grand parade around the University Belt as part of its Quadricentennial celebration.

“We just believed that it would not rain. We had no ‘Plan B’ in case of rain because whatever happened, this parade would push through,” said Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs Evelyn Songco.

Around 7, 200 members of the Thomasian community excitedly lined up for the parade while hoisting their college colors.

Participants were dressed in colorful costumes representing the different historical periods that the University has undergone.

Five colossal floats were prepared by the Office for Quadricentennial Activities and Highlights that represented UST’s four centuries of existence. The floats also featured reigning Thomasian Personalities Ralph Bejar and Janine Tugonon, Ms. Philippines Eco-Tourism 2009 Angela Fernando, perfume businessman Joel Cruz, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2008 Jenifer Barrientos, Bb. Pilipinas International 1995 Gladys Duena, and this year’s The Search for the Ideal Thomasian Personality (TSITP) candidates.

A roaring beat from the UST Yellow Jackets (YJ) signaled the start of the two-hour parade. School spirit enveloped the bustling España Boulevard as the parade proceeded along the streets of Morayta, Recto and Earnshaw, accompanied by dance and music.

The parade was led by 20 motorcycle riders wearing UST jackets, marshals from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Department, and the YJ.

The first float, representing the first century of UST, featured the facades of the original UST building and Sto. Domingo Church in Intramuros, with a replica of the statue of founder Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P. in front.

The Making and Unveiling of a Masterpiece

The second float represented the second century of UST and featured a model of the Arch of the Centuries. The third float, covering the period 1811-1911, featured the Main Building, athough the edifice was only erected in 1927.

The fourth float, representing the 20th century, was patterned after the UST Central Seminary building and had the replica of the Fountains of Wisdom and Knowledge.

The ‘Q’ float showcased models of the QuattroMondial, the yet to be erected Martyrs’ Monument, and the Tria Haec, the statues representing the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love atop the Main Building.

According to Songco, all UST academic offices prepared well for the parade.

“But the Office of the Secretary General, Student Organizations Coordinating Council, Central Student Council, and Office for Student Affairs have already started preparing even before the year opened just to make this parade as beautiful as it has turned out to be,” she said.

As a measure to ensure the safety of the participants of the parade, UST’s Red Cross Youth Council deployed health officers, while the UST Health Service positioned three ambulances along the parade’s route.

“The Office for Quadricentennial Activities and Highlights also coordinated with the City Mayor’s Office and the Manila Police Department to maintain a smooth flow of the parade without clogging the streets that we will be passing over,” Songco said.

No security breach marred the parade, except for two students who had asthma attacks, Songco said.

Thousands of spectators lined up on the sides of the streets as the floats passed by, all of them waving, smiling, and celebrating with the only Pontifical University in Asia.

400 Books at 400

Even the University of the East (UE) welcomed the parade as its own Pep Squad cheered when the parade passed by Recto. A streamer also expressed UE’s greeting for UST’s 400th year.

“Perhaps, one of the purposes of this parade is for us to show how grateful we are that we’ve survived 400 years through God’s unending grace and to describe that what we’ve become at present is a result of the different cultures that influenced us through these centuries,” Songco said. “Also, through this parade, we will be able to celebrate the bountiful blessings the University has received with the community and neighboring schools.”

Pride onboard

For those aboard the floats, it was one unique and unforgettable experience to represent the University’s 19 faculties and colleges on this momentous event.

“More than acknowledging the University and its previous feats, this parade made us connect with our community. After all, it is with them that we made and can make history,” said Ms. Faculty of Arts and Letters Jintana Yantakosol.

“UST has consistently been producing excellent personalities in different fields and it has already made a mark in Philippine history. It brings pride not only to itself, but to the country as a whole,” said Mr. Faculty of Civil Law Don Saul Lazo.


The College of Commerce defended their title as champions with their Chinese-themed routine during the 16th UST-Cheermania competition held at the Plaza Mayor simultaneously with the grand parade.

“Although the pressure was doubled because we have a title to defend, all efforts and exhaustion paid off after the competition,” said coach Ajji Mendelebarr, a Salinggawi Dance Troupe (SDT) alumnus.

UST in numbers

Coming in second was the Vietnamese-clothed dancers from Science, coached by Marvin Wynant, a Biology graduate and an alumnus of SDT, followed by the ‘50s American-themed AMV-College of Accountancy.

“We only had two weeks of practice so we did not expect to win,” said Accountancy coach Dwight Agosica.

“Our only aim was to perform for our college and for UST and to execute our routine cleanly. We were surprised for bagging a place. We are very thankful for it,” he added.

Other participants and their themes for this year’s competition were the Faculties of Medicine and Surgery (‘20s American), Arts and Letters (Thai), Pharmacy (Korean), Civil Law (‘80s American), and Engineering (Mexican); Colleges of Nursing (‘90s American), Fine Arts and Design (Greek), Education (Indian), Tourism and Hospitality Management (Victorian), Architecture (Japanese), Rehabilitation Sciences (‘70s American); and the Conservatory of Music (‘60s American).

Judges were Douglas Nieras of Power Dance, chairman of the board of judges; Leo Lorilla, Bayanihan Dance Company choreographer; Erick Tajanlangit of GMA Network; Julie Ann Lopez, Salinggawi Alumni Association president; and Larry Gabao, vice chairman of the National Commission on Dance.

For the Festival Dance category, the Far Eastern University won first place with its Moriones theme, followed by Mapua Institute of Technology and the Lyceum of the Philippines University, whose themes were the Pahiyas of Lucban, Quezon and the Panagbenga of Baguio City.

Adamson and UE also participated in the same category. Justinne Chynna V. Garcia and Alexis Ailex C. Villamor Jr.


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