Sunday, January 30, 2011

One@400: The UST Quadricentennial Celebration

January 28, 2011, early preparations for the Quadricentennial Mass and Grand Alumni Homecoming. But the day not only displays all the hush hush preparations for the big night, but also students, guests and alumnis (young and old) roaming the grounds of the university and reminiscing old times.  At the soccer field, people are having a field day!

A closer look at the Tongues of Fire, the official logo of the UST 400th Anniversary - The Quad. The tongues of fire, emanating from Benavides' finger is a beacon and guiding light as the university makes its way to its fourth century (UST Gears for 2011)

The UST Main Building and the tongues of fire: symbols of the university's unending grace

The church and the seminary. They have a month long alumni welcome inside.  Every corner of the university also displays the 400 years design.  The church welcomes churchgoers with the cascading architecture at the front with a half sun display embedded in the marbled floor at the left.

The door of the UST church. The door bears the wood sculpture of the Tongues of Fire logo.

Inside the UST Church, quiet as can be. Reminiscent of our Baccalaureate mass. Here, the university celebrates the annual Misa de Apertura, a long time tradition of opening the academic year with a mass of the Holy Spirit; the novena to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary for the La Naval celebration; and the Heritage Christmas Concert.

The UST at 400: a creative display of the university logo, the golden globe and circle of pride, proud to be a Thomasian.

The Main Building, recently declared as a national cultural treasure, among other historical sculptures and structures in the university.  The Main building is also the university's contribution to structural architecture and engineering being the first earthquake resistant building in the country. I used to think that the Rector, head of the university administration, held office there at the topmost steeple by the cross....hmmm, gullible me.

Inside the Main Building, are hung some of the oldest and magnificent paintings in the country. Never gave much thought about it when I was a student. But now that they are cleaned and restored, the whole building is indeed itself a museum.

But the Main Building has a museum at the mezzanine, called the Museum for Natural Sciences.  The Quadricentennial Celebration includes the opening of the museum to the public to showcase the museum's collection of old paintings and images.  The Visual Color of Grace: An Exhibition of the UST Visual Art Collection features the prestigious UST Museum painting collection, and showcase important artworks whose recent restorations were funded by the donations of the Museum’s friends and benefactors.

The exhibit is a journey through time.
Inside the Museum you can find the gallery of saints. Images, some of which are dated as early as the 17th century. Most of the images we noticed has no hands and bore holes where it should be.  We guessed that the hands of these images were of ivory and even gold, precious....kept locked or are long gone.

The image of Saint Thomas Aquinas. It was only this time that I noticed that St. Thomas has a sun in his heart...though its meaning escaped me, I'm just guessing that it means enlightenment. St. Thomas is one of two pillars for the search for truth, the foundation of the university's philosophy.

The Quattromondial Monument, which stands at the Quadricentennial square in front of the UST Library. The monument is sculpted by the world renowned Thomasian sculptor, Ramon Orlina.   His sculpture, “Tetraglobal”, is the centerpiece, which signifies the stakeholders of the university represented by four figures: two students, one male and the other, female; a professor; and a Dominican priest.

The Quadricentennial Square now stood where the Colayco park were sprawled before. The square has a vibrant ambience which features classic architecture, an interactive fountain and al fresco sites.

Ready for the big night. The Grand Alumni Homecoming Dinner entitled One@400 to be held at the UST Plaza Mayor & Benavides Park after the Quadricentennial Thanksgiving Mass.  The UST Singers (Choir of the World), UST Symphony Orchestra, alumni artists and personalities will perform in a special program after dinner.

UST Alumnis, from jubilarians to recent graduates are all invited to come home and celebrate the Quad in this grand dinner.
The magnificent cake: featuring the historic Main Building complete with the rector's office there : ) , the statue of Benvaides, the Arc of Centuries, the University logo and the tongues of fire.

Preparations for the Quad Thanksgiving Mass. The Mass will be presided over by the Papal Legate (Special Envoy of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI) at the UST Grandstand and Open Field.

The entrance of the Papal Legate.

The Thanksgiving Mass attended by thousands of students, alumnis and guests.

A gathering of the faithful.  Rome has approved the request of the University to grant apostolic blessing and plenary indulgence to those who will take part in the Thanksgiving Mass.

The Grand Alumni Homecoming Dinner, where thousands gather after mass. The program stretched on till midnight when the pyromusical fireworks flew. 'Twas really a magical night, to last another century. Viva La Fuerza Tigre!

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