(Cultural performers dancing in the opening of this year’s Pistang Tomas at the Quadricentennial Park. Photo by Alvin Joseph Kasiban)

January 25, 2016, 8:32p.m. – TO CELEBRATE with the University’s partner-communities, the UST-Simbahayan Community Development Office kicked off a week-long trade fair earlier today at the Quadricentennial Park. 

Pistang Tomas 2016, which will run until Jan. 29, features locally made products from UST partner-communities such as Sitios Lambakin, Haduan and Mabilog from Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac, respectively. 

Products also came from barangays Pugad Island, Malitlit and Ariendo from Bulacan, Batangas, and Nueva Ecija respectively, as well as from the Municipality of Samal in Bataan. 

In addition, partners from Manila and Parañaque city jails, the Holy Spirit Social Action Center, and Tuklas Katutubo also took part in the event. 

According to Simbahayan director Mark Abenir, this year’s “concept of culture” was a first since the trade fair began in 2002. 

“Para sa mga estyudante naman, [ang purpose nitong fair] ay para maging aware sila na mayroon tayong partner communities, [at] mga programang pangkabuhayan sa ating mga pamayanan,” he told the Varsitarian. “Dito sila nakakakita ng ideas on how they can help their partner communities with the selling of their products.”

The event is spearheaded by Simbahayan, in partnership with the Colleges of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Commerce and Business Administration, Fine Arts and Design, the UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy, Conservatory of Music, and the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics. 

Aside from the week-long trade fair, Pistang Tomas will also feature a three day-livelihood training, industry partner meeting, a cooking showdown, an advocacy forum and a research colloquium. 

Formed in 2012, the Simbahayan office is tasked to develop, implement and manage University community development programs for the formation of the core values of a Thomasian. Clarence I. Hormachuelos


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