BEYOND the tradition of entering the Arch of Centuries as a welcome rite lies the mission of belonging to the “finest breed of Filipinos.”

In his homily during the annual Thomasian Welcome Walk last Sept. 24, Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. reminded freshmen that being a Thomasian is “a project that has just begun.”

“As students of this institution, you will not only be formed to become men and women but also people responsive to the needs of others,” he said. “You will follow the footsteps of heroes and saints who served others with so much dedication to other people’s lives.”

“I hope that you will say when you have reached the pinnacle of your success, ‘It is time to give back’,” Dagohoy told freshmen students at the Quadricentennial Pavilion.

“Nakalusong na kayo sa baha, at marami sa inyo ang nakatulog na sa eskuwelahan kahit malapit naman ang inyong tirahan. Halos lahat yata ng dapat maranasan ng mga Thomasians ang sabi ninyo, ‘Napagdaanan na naming lahat ‘yan’ maliban sa isa, ang Thomasian Welcome Walk,” he said.

Secretary General Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P. said the Welcome Walk keeps the Thomasian identity and unites Thomasians of all generations.

“The Welcome Walk, especially passing through the Arch of the Centuries, connects us not only to the Thomasians of yesterday but also to the [Thomasians from the] centuries before us,” Cabading told the Varsitarian.

Cabading said UST officials decided to hold the welcome rite—which had been held at the UST Grandstand and open field—at the Quadricentennial Pavilion following rains in the past weeks, which forced the postponement of the event for three times.

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Unlike in previous years, the welcome rite was split into two batches since the venue could only accommodate 5,000 people, Cabading said.

The Welcome Walk was originally scheduled last June 28 but was moved to Aug. 7 due to inclement weather. Heavy rains brought by monsoon winds forced UST officials to reschedule the event anew to Sept. 14.

A Freshmen Welcome Party followed at the Plaza Mayor at 6 p.m., with performances from Ney Dimaculangan of 6Cyclemind and bands Totes, Banda ni Kleggy, and Callalily.

Bands Never the Strangers, Stonefree, Redz in Beats and the UST Yellow jackets also entertained the crowd. Bernadette D. Nicolas and Nikka Lavinia G. Valenzuela

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