UST holds month-long Paskuhan festivities

The University of Santo Tomas held its month-long Paskuhan festivities
which began with a Eucharistic Celebration, a Christmas Concert, and the
lighting of the campus on December 1, with the theme of “King of Kings.”
UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., was the Main Presider of the Paskuhan Opening Mass concelebrated with Dominican priests.

As Advent is the season of waiting for Christ, Fr. Dagohoy urged the community to welcome the Lord with hope in their hearts

Celebrating the Season of Light A familiar sight to many, the UST
campus is well-recognized for its classic and Hispanic façade, reminiscent of Spain’s own Plaza Mayor. But for this occasion, the 406-year old institution of higher learning was transformed into a festive setting as it
lit up while the UST Symphony Orchestra and the Coro Tomasino and Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble performed “O Come All Ye Faithful” as the concert’s opening number of the 2017 UST Christmas Concert.


Capping off the campus lighting was a fireworks display. For a festive twist, the historic Arch of the Centuries was reimagined into a bright Nativity scene, with huge figures of baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. As the gateway
to the University, the Arch display depicts the University’s befitting welcoming of the Holy Family.


The lighting of the 70-foot Christmas tree in the University’s athletic field also delighted participants and provided the attendees with an iconic and memorable place for their selfies and groupfies.


Songs for the Community
The UST Christmas Concert this year was held at the Plaza Mayor. Performers were homegrown talents including a special international performer, tenor Abdul Candao, who is now based in Vienna, Austria. An additional new feature was the inclusion of two choirs whose members are
children from the partner communities of UST in Tarlac, the PAVIC Children’s Choir and the Sitio Buok Children’s Choir. Some members of the PAVIC Children’s Choir are visually impaired.


The Thomasian Christmas feast, also called Agape, gathered the Thomasians as one family as they shared traditional Filipino food, such as lechon, bibingka, puto-bumbong, and many others that filled the tables in a festive
feast.

The concert that began with the campus lighting ended with an original
song titled “Pasko sa UST” performed under the baton of internationallyrenowned conductor Professor Herminigildo G. Ranera, and composed and arranged by Conservatory of Music Dean Antonio P. Africa.
Proceeds from the offertory were earmarked as the contribution of the
University of Santo Tomas for the rehabilitation of Marawi.


Christmas showcase
While the initial celebration on December 1 focused on the religious
aspect of Christmas, the second celebration on December 20 provided
the festivities that the Thomasian community has grown accustomed to.
This gathering consisted of a concert with popular local bands alongside
homegrown Thomasian groups. The program also highlighted a cosplay
competition and a performance by the well-lauded UST Salinggawi Dance
Troupe. The night culminated in the much-anticipated annual Christmas
pyromusical, which featured a Coldplay medley of popular rock music.

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