FILE PHOTO (Photo by Marvin John F. Uy/ The Varsitarian)

MORE THAN 51,000 Thomasians attended this year’s grand Paskuhan concert, which closed the University’s nearly month-long Christmas celebration.

The UST Safety and Security Office said the final crowd estimate was 51,845 at 8:45 p.m., almost half the 2019 Paskuhan’s 105,000 attendees.

This year’s Paskuhan concert was limited to Thomasians.

“It’s been a long time since this happened. To be able to experience this is really heartwarming. I have heard a lot of stories about Paskuhan that a lot of moments were made here, and a lot of great performances were made here. To be able to finally experience this is such a treat,” political science freshman Luis Maynigo told the Varsitarian.

The Paskuhan program on Dec. 19 started at 10 a.m. with the Paskuhan raffle draw.

The Paskuhan concert at the Grandstand and Open Field on Monday started at 2 p.m. and featured artists Kenaniah, Dotty’s World, Soapdish, Earl Generao, Adie, Lola Amour, and Mayonnaise, as well as Thomasian bands Ilumina, Sean Archer, and Lucy.

It also showcased performances from the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, UST Sinag Ballroom, UST Yellow Jackets, UST Prime, 1SHADE, BA Dauncén, College of Science Dance Troupe, Engineering Dance Troupe, Intenzyc-CTHM, the Nursing Dance Troupe, Paci Rhutmos, and the Pharmacy Dance Troupe.

A six-minute Filipino superhero-themed pyromusical show and the singing of the UST Hymn closed the Paskuhan celebration.

Stricter gate rules

The University allowed Thomasians to enter the campus as early as 9 a.m., but some were still queuing outside the gates as the headline performances were underway, prompting complaints from attendees.

“Masaya ako kasi ngayon na lang ulit [itong Paskuhan] after the pandemic… pero natagalan kami sa pagpasok kasi isa or dalawa lang ang naka-assign sa pag-check ng mga belongings mo,” freshman Samantha Lee told the Varsitarian.

Upon entering the University, attendees were required to tap their IDs or scan their QR codes and have their belongings checked by security guards.

However, unlike the entry protocols during the Agape last Dec. 2, Thomasians were allowed to tap their IDs only once and were prohibited from reentering the University if they had exited. Their pinky fingers were marked with indelible ink.

“Ang purpose namin, [pero] hindi naman ganun ang ugali ng Thomasians, para hindi magpahiram ng ID or QR code, so malalaman natin [kapag] binigay niya sa ibang tao, made-detect na agad ‘yun,” UST Campus Security Supervisor Lords Hernandez explained to the Varsitarian

Some guards also asked Thomasians to open gifts brought inside the campus and throw away bottled drinks. Some belongings were also confiscated, such as vapes.

Lines outside University gates were cleared at about 8:30 p.m., 15 minutes before the pyromusical show that closed the concert.

Hernandez said the long queues were due to stricter gate measures after they identified security lapses during Agape.

Hernandez said there were no serious security incidents during the grand Paskuhan concert. 

‘Di bale nang matagalan ‘yung mga estudyante pero sure naman tayo na walang makakapasok na outsiders. Kung hindi man outsider, [possibly] criminals. ’Yun ang mahirap e.” with reports from Hannah Andaya and Mikhail Orozco


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