Photo by Sherwin Marion T. Vardeleon

06 July 2012, 03:36 p.m. – QUEEN Sofia of Spain visited the University this morning to renew ties and look back at UST’s history as a “royal” and “pontifical” institution.

Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P., Vice Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., and Secretary General Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P. welcomed the queen ahead of a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of the founder, Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P.

A marker was unveiled at the Museum of Arts and Sciences to commemorate Queen Sofia’s visit to the University. She also visited the Heritage Museum beside the newly renovated Archives section at the Miguel de Benavides Library.

University archivist and historian Regalado Trota-Jose said the queen was overwhelmed with UST’s archival collection.

“We were only able to present six books that serve as ‘gems’ of the archives section,” he said. “She (Queen Sofia) was very much interested with what she saw especially our ‘Baybayin’ book which is somehow similar to the Indian Sanskrit.”

Among the historic documents shown to the queen were the Foundation Act of 1611 and the 1624 and 1785 Royal Decrees, he said. UST was under the patronage of the Spanish monarchy during Spanish colonial rule, having obtained “royal” status in 1785.

Father Cabading said the queen’s visit was proof of the historical and cultural ties between the University and Spain.

“[The purpose of the visit is] to renew ties with the University, understanding that the University had been part of the patronage of the Spanish crown,” Cabading said.

This was the second visit of Queen Sofia to UST, after her visit in 1974 when she was still the Princess of Asturias.

The Spanish queen is on a five-day visit to the Philippines, her longest visit to the country. Maria Luisa A. Mamaradlo with reports from Bernadette D. Nicolas and Nikka Lavinia G. Valenzuela


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