THE SYMBOLIC wreath-laying rite at the University’s original campus in Intramuros has been moved to next year, with UST officials taking steps to rehabilitate the old Plaza Santo Tomas in Intamuros.

The ceremony at Plaza Santo Tomas—which hosts a replica of the statue of the founder, Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P.—was earlier scheduled last February. But because of the flurry of events last January for the Quadricentennial Week, UST officials have decided to reschedule it to January 12 next year for a “more meaningful celebration.”

“It has been realized that there had already been enough big-scale activities that marked the ‘Q’ Week of 2011, and that the wreath-laying may be given better significance and appreciation if done during the closing in January 2012,” Secretary General Fr. Florentino Bolo, O.P. said in an interview.

This was a suggestion of Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P., assistant to the Rector for Quadricentennial Activities and Highlights, and was approved by the members of the Quadricentennial Commission headed by Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of the University.

DECAYING.  The replica of the statue of UST founder Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P. at the old Plaza Santo Tomas in Intramuros stands at the center of urbanization as more vendors surround UST’s original site. Photo by Karla Mides C. Toledo

‘Not very decent’

Bolo said Plaza Santo Tomas, rehabilitated by UST nine years ago to honor the founder and the 54 UST alumni who drafted the Malolos constitution, has again fallen into decay.

“The present state of the Plaza Santo Tomas has not been very decent. This is due to the informal settlers that have little by little made their presence in the location,” Bolo said.

The University has brought this matter to the city government, Bolo said.

“We hope for the same [support] as we continue our year-long celebration until its closing in 2012,” he said.

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In July 2005, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Plaza Santo Tomas in celebration of the fourth centenary of Fr. Miguel de Benavides. His monument, now at the UST campus in Sampaloc, Manila, was originally in Intramuros. Kalaine Nikka Kay C. Grafil


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