After the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, the University of Santo Tomas, through the offices of the Vice-Rector for Religious Affairs and the UST-SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office, initiated the basic food and medical support for its partner communities on November 13, 2020.
The first was Phase 1K Kasiglahan Village, Barangay San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal, which was affected by the strong typhoon from November 11 to 12, 2020 has its community-based organization called Samahang Kamanlalakbay-Kasiglahan Village, mostly composed of women and youth. SIMBAHAYAN Director Asst. Prof. Froilan A. Alipao, Acting Assistant Vice-Rector for Finance Rev. Fr. Rodel S. Cansancio, O.P., College of Science mentor Asst. Prof. Ezra Aguilar, Ph.D., among others, directly met them and delivered aid and relief goods such as sacks of rice, boxes of canned goods, and other necessities.
Another UST partner community and their organization called Samahang Kamanlalakbay-North Triangle Alliance (NTA) of Barangay San Jose, located a few kilometers away from Kasiglahan Village, was able to mobilize support like clothes, food, and basic medicines for Kasiglahan 1K Village and other community members.
As a follow-up to that initial food and medical support, Tulong Tomasino also supplied relief goods for the Typhoon Ulysses survivors in San Jose Manggagawa Parish in Marikina on November 18. Through the in-kind donations received from administrators, faculty members, support staff, alumni, parents, and students, the parish distributed seven boxes of noodles, six sacks of rice, 96 pieces of bottled water, six boxes of sardines, and one box of instant coffee to the affected families.
The University also partnered with Colegio de San Juan de Letran, UST Angelicum College, and Santo Domingo Convent to send relief goods to affected families in Bicol. On November 25, the donations were turned over to UST-Legazpi, which facilitated the distribution.
Outside of these initiatives, Thomasians also conducted their private efforts to help, one of which was Ms. Corazon Dulce Bayaton, Subject Area Lead Teacher of the Fundamentals of Faith learning area of the University of Santo Tomas – Senior High School. She held a donation drive for residents of Brookside, Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, which provided 350 families with relief packs that contained canned goods, noodles, bottled water, and rice.
Legal Management junior Alyssa Marie V. Santos of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, helped the affected residents of Isabela by distributing food packs and other relief items with her family and friends. The relief drive she initiated has so far has benefitted three villages to date. On November 14, 250 bags of relief goods were distributed, with priority given to affected farmers in Isabela.
Accountancy junior Patricia Claire Cruz similarly led a donation drive for the benefit of affected families in Montalban, Rizal. In collaboration with Grade 12 Senior High School students Janine Maye Antonio and Claudette Anne Santos, they were able to donate clothes, face masks, face shields, toiletries, canned goods, medicine, ready-to-eat food, hygiene kits, bottled water, and blankets to 100 families in Montalban.
Faculty of Civil Law student Joshua Urolaza and his family used their water-refilling station
as a way to help their fellow residents in Cagayan by offering free refills of clean drinking water. Urolaza also participated in a fundraising initiative that turned over relief goods and personal protective equipment for those severely affected by the typhoon.