THE UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas was named School of the Year in the second edition of Philippine Student Quill Awards, which recognizes outstanding communication-related works by students nationwide.

UST bagged the most number of recognitions during the awarding ceremonies at the Crowne Plaza Hotel held last Nov. 11, beating other nominees for the top school category: Bataan Peninsula State University, University of the Philippines Manila, Holy Angel University, and last year’s winner Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

The Philippine Student Quill is the junior division of the Philippine Quill Awards, which recognizes private corporations and government organizations that excel in business communication. The annual awarding ceremonies is organized by the 30-year-old Philippine chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

UST garnered nine Awards of Excellence and three Awards of Merit. Thomasian Cable Television's (Tomcat) "Balik-USTe" social media campaign, a 20-day back-to-school countdown that utilized creative graphics, received the Top Student Quill Award after beating other nominees, namely "Kultura Republika" (UST); "Bisyo Bill: Taas Presyo, Bawas Bisyo" (University of the Philippines Diliman); "Kapa: The Guilds Literary Folio 2012-2013" (Bataan Peninsula State University); and "Biodiversity: One Community, One Country" (UST).

Recipients of the Award of Excellence included the 21-minute special report produced by senior UST Journalism students headed by Varsitarian News Editor Reden Madrid and Jonah Mary Mutuc, titled “Kultura Republika.” The entry explored the cultural lineage of UST and how the University could serve as a benchmark for heritage experts in restoring the country's cultural treasures. “Alay ni Inay,” “Breastfeeding is Teamwork: A National Breastfeeding Campaign” and “Biodiversity: One Community, One Country,” all produced by UST Communication Arts seniors, also received Awards of Excellence.

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The Student Quill follows the rigid 7-point scoring system of the International Gold Quill Awards, the worldwide honor given to top corporations across the globe. To obtain an Award of Merit, a student entry must get a score of 4.75 to 5.25. Those with 5.26 to 7 are given the excellence award. The top five winners are automatically nominated for the Top Award.

The Student Quill is divided into six categories: social media, publications, communications campaign, writing, communication creative, and audio-visual.

This year’s Student Quill drew 99 entries from all over the Philippines, 39 of which brought home awards, said Kane Errol Choa, Philippine Quill Awards 2013 chairman and IABC Philippines vice president.

“The winners in the Student Quill only show that students can be at par with those professionals in the communications industry,” Choa told the Varsitarian in an interview.

Meanwhile, UST was named one of the top five schools in this year’s Vision Petron National Student Art Competition, with three Thomasians garnering the top prizes in two categories.

Faculty of Arts and Letters students Efigenio Christopher Toledo IV and Balaram Das Ochangco won the grand prize in the newly-introduced video-making category with their entry titled “Pitik Mulat Sa Maynila.”

College of Fine Arts and Design student Mardale Chu, meanwhile, earned the grand prize in the t-shirt art design category in the competition for his entry titled “Juan’s Ride to Ambition.”

UST submitted the most number of entries for the third straight year, with more than 250 entries out of over 2,000 submitted to the competition.

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Chu’s winning design will be used as one of Petron’s official Christmas t-shirt giveaways, while Toledo and Ochangco’s entry will be posted on the oil company’s official website.

This year’s theme focused on the virtues of determination, discipline and patience that would ultimately lead to success. with reports from John Joseph G. Basijan


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