THE PYROMUSICAL display at this year’s grand Paskuhan concert was an homage to peace amid worldwide tensions, incorporating popular antiwar songs in the seven-minute show.

What started as a Super Mario-themed display turned into an emotional show, featuring well-known antiwar songs like John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Lennon and Plastic Ono Band’s “Give Peace a Chance,” and Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.”

Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P., from the Facilities and Management Office, had said that this year’s Paskuhan, themed “Witnessing the Joy of Christmas,” would carry a deeper significance due to conflicts in various parts of the world.

“Our pyromusical will revolve around joy and peace [because] the Christmas season is all about joy and peace–that’s what we are looking forward to,” Austria told the Varsitarian prior to the event. “That joy will bring about peace in our heart because it’s chaotic, the world is chaotic.”

“Right now, since there is war, we need to look for the significance of our Paskuhan–it’s not just merrymaking, happiness, shouting and celebrating, but more.”  

The Grandstand and Open Field hosted performances by BINI, Lola Amour, Cup of Joe, Lily, Adie and Janine Berdin.

The concert featured winning bands from the Tunog Tomasino 2023 battle of the bands, Kler, Benchfly, and Mimosa.

There were also performances by the Sinag Ballroom Dance Company, 1Shade, Archetypes, UST Prime, Salinggawi, UST Yellow Jackets, Benchfly, Salinggawi, Mimosa, and BA Dauncen, Pharmacy Dance Troupe, College of Science Dance Troupe, Oh Stella, and Intenzyc. 

Security protocols 

For the second consecutive year, the concert was restricted to Thomasians and UST alumni. Upon entry, attendees were provided with a wristband signifying their admission, and separate gates were assigned for students and alumni.

Theresa Venturina, a medical technology freshman, said the entry protocols this year were more organized than last year’s.

“This year it was not disorganized in terms of the tapping of IDs, and it was just one-way with entry and exit points and wristbands,” Venturina said.

Like Venturina, senior accountancy student Gouhld Galliguez remarked that the crowd control at the gates was “better,” and the process of entering the campus was “very easy.”

Campus gates were closed at 7 p.m., leaving several individuals, including students and faculty members, waiting outside the entrance gates.

Assoc Prof. Juliano Parena Jr., the director for Campus Safety and Security, told the Varsitarian that the University gates were closed to ensure the safety of the attendees.

“We reserve the right as the venue din na i-close natin ng 7 [p.m.]. Sa sobrang dami na ng nasa loob na safe ‘yung occupants, we can actually decide to close, diba? ‘Yun kasi nga, consideration pa rin ng security,” he said.

A total of 39,638 attendees flocked to this year’s Grand Paskuhan Concert. This was not even half of 2019 Paskuhan’s 105,000. with reports from Fernando Pierre Marcel B. de la Cruz and Hannah Joyce V. Andaya


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