FOR THE first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University will celebrate the Christmas season with on-site activities starting next month.

“UST Paskuhan 2022: Pananabik. Pagbabalik. Panunumbalik” is the theme of this year’s festivities, which will mostly be limited to the Thomasians and alumni.

The festivities will start with the Panunuluyan, the re-enactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging before the birth of Jesus, at the Plaza Mayor on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. 

On Dec. 2, student organizations will hold a fair along Ceferino Gonzales Drive (in front of the UST Carpark) starting at 10 a.m.

The traditional Agape will be held at 5 p.m. on the same day, followed by the lighting of the Christmas lights and decors on campus and the UST Christmas Gala Concert to be led by the Conservatory of Music at 6 p.m. The Christmas Gala Concert will feature Filipino Christmas carols, Music Dean Assoc. Prof. Antonio Africa said.

Attendees may enter through Gates 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 14 on Dec. 2. The UST Carpark will be open but on a first come, first served basis.

Thomasians must present their school IDs to claim their food. Those who have yet to receive their IDs will be asked to present their printed QR codes, which will be accessible through the MyUSTe online student portal. 

UST alumni must bring their alumni cards to be allowed into the University or present their QR codes from the Thomasian Alumni Portal. Food during the Agape will be exclusively for current students and employees.

“As much as possible, alumni must coordinate with the Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) which is tasked to estimate the expected alumni who will be joining us. That’s very important,” Emmanuel Batulan, executive assistant to the secretary general, told the Varsitarian.

“We need to know the number of students who will be joining through the [Central Student Council] survey and that of the OAR survey so that the committee will have to make some adjustments to its plans,” Batulan added.

The “Tunog Tomasino” battle of the bands will be a virtual event to be held on Dec. 5 at 5 p.m.  Six bands will join the battle, which will determine the three bands that will perform during the grand Paskuhan concert.

On Dec. 7, the University-wide advent recollection will be held via Zoom.

In honor of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Masses will be held at the UST Santisimo Rosario Parish Church on Dec. 8 at 6:15 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7 p.m.

The Paskuhan Mass will be held at the UST Santisimo Rosario Parish Church on Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. The traditional Simbang Gabi Masses will also start on Dec. 16.

The Paskuhan raffle draw will be on Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the UST Plaza Mayor.

At 4 p.m., the grand Paskuhan concert will commence.

Attendees may enter through Gates 1, 2, 7, 10, 11, and 14 on Dec. 19. The link bridge between the main campus and the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Building will also be opened on that day.

Five Thomasian performers will join the concert, comprised of the three bands from the Tunog Tomasino battle of the bands and two dance troupes.

Health and security protocols

Dr. Sheryl Dionisio, the UST Health Service director, said attendees of Paskuhan events would be required to wear face masks and follow other minimum health protocols. 

UST students must accomplish the health declaration form through the Thomasian Online Medical Support and Services (ThOMedSS) before entering the campus.

Alumni must present QR codes from the StaySafe application upon entering the University.

Joseph Badinas, the detachment commander of the UST Safety and Security Office, urged attendees to prepare their identification requirements and discouraged them from bringing big bags to avoid delays when entering the campus.

Attendees are discouraged from bringing motor vehicles during the events, according to Jared Gunting of the Facilities Management Office.

Attendees are also encouraged to wear modest and decent attire during Paskuhan festivities. Logan Kal-el M. Zapanta


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