I was there…(Part 1)

It’s January 08, 2012 and here I am, attempting to count down my amazing 2011 experiences. Well as they say, better late than never. I’m actually feeling lazy about this, but hey, my mind is working better than well. I guess it wants me to jot down all those memories, as in right now. Now it is then.

When 2011 came, I was in 3rd year college. I enjoyed my Christmas vacation pretty well. The celebration was sad because it was our first time to celebrate without our grand mom; but we tried our best to spend it as happily as we usually do. When January came, we got really busy in school. There was this very big project in our college that we (my college block and batchmates) had to manage. It’s called the AB Faculty Show. It is a show where the professors in our faculty perform full-time for the students to watch. It was our preliminary examination for our major subject Theater Arts. Thought it will happen February 08, of course plenty of rehearsals should be done prior to it. Imagine the trouble we’ve been through getting all these professors to practice when they’re all busy with their classes and other stuff. I guess it was also unlucky of us that the university is celebrating its 400TH YEAR right before the week of the faculty show. Everyone’s in party mode and damn, we have to produce. So, the Quadricentennial Celebration served as a short break for us before the actual hell week came.

★ January 2011 ★

January was totally amazing. I have to say it is thanks to The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines (that’s the whole name of our university, but it is also known as UST or Us-Te in our country) that it was all awesome. January 26, I was on my way to school, it was traffic. There were cops and mobiles. Damn, there was a long queue by the university’s field. Extravagant floats were also lined-up. Tomasians in costumes were set to make the UST Quadricentennial Parade happen.

UST Quadricentennial Parade || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

Simultaneous to this was the UST Quadricentennial Cheer Mania taking place by the Plaza Mayor.

UST Quadricentennial Cheer Mania || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

Loud music were playing, and everyone in the crowd was cheering. Cheering for their respective colleges, cheering for our university. Man, that moment really made me proud. I got goosebumps all over my body, I really felt so damn proud that I am a Tomasian. I was there.

Though they say all good things come to an end, ours didn’t end that fast. In the next day came the very momentous and tear-jerking unveiling of the Quattro Mondial.

UST Quattro Mondial || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

Did I say tear-jerking? Until now I still wonder why. For a very long time, I did not really pay attention to that spot where this sculpture was located. I thought it’s no big deal. It’ll be there once it’s done and that’s it. But much to my surprise, I became witness to one historic event that will forever be remembered and studied and talked about in UST and in the whole Philippines and I know, that will never happen again. I was there.

Within the same evening, another lung-tiring, adrenalin-rush-triggering event marked its date on history right before my whole being. The Quadricentennial Concert. I was camping out somewhere at the Benavides Park (populary known as Lover’s Lane to the Tomasian community) with my block mates (and my sister was there too). A long roster of artists were to perform, most of them were Tomasians as well. As it got late, we went nearer and nearer to the Grandstand. The performances I could not forget were Eric Santos’, Sarah Geronimo’s and Gary Valenciano’s. They must have felt honored too for being part of such a historical celebration. We will all fade, but not the memories of this Quadricentennial happening. When everyone had already delivered their production numbers, that epic music played, and then; the rest was history. See for yourself:

Until now as I watch this video (by Dragon Fireworks), I still remember the swag and the infinite count of butterflies that flew through my entire body as we watched and admired the gorgeous pyromusical display. We cheered non-stop. We shouted. We screamed. It was 12 in the morning. I was there.

The third day came, it was actually January 28 – the very much-long-awaited day by the whole Tomasian community. It was time for the Quadricentennial mass. I was part of it because I volunteered to be staff. The beat assigned to me was;

The Bishops (from the entire country)

UST Quadricentennial Mass; The Bishops || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

and the Papal Legate from Vatican City; the Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski;

Papal Legate: Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

I was not able to talk to any of them; but I had to keep track of where they were since they’re important in the mass that was to happen. I’m not that religious myself, but I have my faith. And the moment I saw their crowd; it felt so sacred, so holy. I knew that moment will never happen again. And later that night was the Illumina Pandit.

UST Quadricentennial Mass; Illumina Pandit || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

I was there. 

★ February 2011 ★

The most memorable day of this month in this year has got to be the 8th. The day started early, our call time was 6AM; not to mention we were dismissed 10PM the night before. The stage was so huge, it’s like we didn’t know how to fill it up.

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

This was me being busy, quite panicking actually, it wasn’t just apparent.

Your Snowy Bunny || © Lean Manalo on Facebook

I remember, I was sick days before and even until that very day. Asthma was really bugging me. But I had work to do so I managed to run back and forth (wherever I needed to be). I was talent coordinator/personal assistant to different professors that day. We started the program an hour late, or maybe two? And when the house was opened to the audiences, my nerves wracked from that moment, and on.

Our professors are indeed talented. One showcased her great dancing, we call her Ms. G;

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

A pair sang and danced to the PSD’s Jai Ho;

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

Dr. Park and his Korean students danced to the tune of various KPOP songs;

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

One of his Korean students (I don’t know if it was a joke or what) suddenly told me “I like you” while they were passing through the door where I was standing. It was like in a drama or something ‘coz he dashed off right after he said that. Whether he was serious or not, none of the same case happened after, so I let it go right there and then.

Anyway, this professor sang an Italian song, if I’m remembering right. He is from the College of Architecture, but he’s got some loads in the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) too.

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

These professors did a Spanish dance. Two of them were our professors during the first and second semester of the academic year 2010-2011. Si, tengo entendido Español. Is that even correct? Forgive my erroneous grammar.

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

I didn’t know sir Jimenez can play the guitar (well now I do).

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

Sir Galan did Fireworks by Katy Perry. I was singing this song for weeks after this event.

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

Sir Ferddie with the other sisters; I was PA to him most that entire day. It was tiring, but I had fun.

© Lean Manalo on Facebook

Our batch with our Theater Arts professor, Ma’am Faye Abugan (the one in gray at the middle);

UST-AB Junior Communication Arts Batch 2012 || © Miko De Vera on Facebook

I couldn’t believe I could still smile after that long exhausting day. I mentioned I had asthma that day, right? But true enough, it was all worth the run. Our professor ended the night with a “congratulations” and a couple of praises. I guess we really did great, not to mention the sections from the previous years who did the same amount of work as we did, there were five of them. There were two of us. Big difference, yes?

This show, I can say, has influenced me so much. It was through my experience in this production that I realized, I wanna do events. Though it’s completely leaving me breathless (literally), I loved it. And I know I will love it if I continue to do more of this in the future. To conclude this, I’m thankful until today (January 09, 2012) that this exam happened. I enjoyed every bit of it. It transcended me. I’m more than happy I was there.

– The Next Seminar –

This happened February 10, 2011 sometime at noon. It was an orientation regarding the Junior CA students’ Internship course. It took place at the Tomas Aquinas Research Center (TARC). We were required to wear something “corporate.” Well, I was never into corporate attires, so I made mine quite casual. Anyway, what brought this day in this list is the fact that; a woman by the name of Kring Elenzano was one of the speakers of the seminar and that, I’m her big fan. I first encountered her during the Cassiopeia Philippines’ 7th Gathering (which happened on May 01 of 2010). She is the founder of that fan club where I’m a member so that makes her my sunbae (Korean term for senior), and guess what? She’s our senior in CA too. I’m a very shy person, but when I recognized her and her blonde hair, I approached her and then I introduced myself.

The whole time she was talking, I enjoyed listening and I know the others did too. You know that childish feeling when you’ve been following a celebrity for quite a long time and then a newbie comes in then you feel proud and excited; that was how I felt that instant. She gave us tips about the “real world” and they were helpful. Eye-opener in fact. Till this day, she is still one of the many inspirations that (who) encourage me to do well in many aspects of life and you know, be awkward no more. Because really, if I want to make it big and good out there, I’ve got to be as daring and as lovely as the funnysexy. Oh I forgot to mention, she’s my idol in blogging too. I told you, I’m a big fan.

★ March 2011 ★

Aside from the memory of losing my precious Samsung e-250i phone named HoNey on the 5th day of March right in front of my mom’s office; this another school event made  my March really unforgettable.

This was the promotion;

Poster || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

And this was the execution;

The UST Human Cross || Disclaimer: this picture is not mine.

There you have it, the largest human cross there had ever been. My university has a thing for history you know. It should be pretty obvious by now. This was even televised. Why not? It must have made the country proud. Stuff like this happens only in UST. And I was there.

– To Be Continued –

Love and peace to you,

The Snowy Bunny


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