Thursday, February 03, 2011


The oldest pontifical university in Asia is now 400 years old. The University of Santo Tomas was founded on April 28, 2011. Its massive campus in Espana, Manila has endured through revolutions, wars and natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons. And for four years from 1987 to 1991, I was proud to be called a Tomasian.

My tertiary level education was unremarkable. I was shy, aloof and quite the 'ugly duckling', back then. But I was also a diligent student who excelled in my studies so I guess that makes it even. I had no love life to speak of but had some silly crushes on some guy classmates. Back then, I wasn't into boys yet. Ok wait a second, it doesn't mean I was into girls ha! Geez but you get my drift.

I would wake up at 4 in the morning to get to my 7 am class. From our apartment, I would walk about 5 minutes to the street corner where I boarded a public utility vehicle (jeep) to reach Sta. Mesa. Then I would take a bus and get off at Forbes bus stop to walk or sometimes run (because I was late) to the Commerce building.

For 4 years, I faithfully donned my white uniform to absorb knowledge from erudite 'terror' professors. For our physical education classes, we had to wear black knee length bloomers and golden (yellow) t-shirts. If my memory serves me correctly, we had table tennis, dance, volleyball as our sports activities. Being a sweaty nerd with unruly hair and thick eyeglasses, I was both horrified and terrified of PE because I obviously wasn't the athletic type of person.

I failed my Economics class so I had to re-take it during one hot summer. I remember feeling like a failure for not passing that class. I cried when I got my flunking grade but thankfully my parents were supportive. It's not like they had any choice, did they? :D

I also didn't make the cut so I could enroll for Accounting as my major. That was another low point in my schooling days. So I made do by taking Business Administration. But frankly, I wasn't good with numbers. I didn't really have a clear set plan on my career so I had no idea what to major in. Blah!

Despite my shy nature I was able to form lasting friendships. My barkada was a small group of friends from all walks of life. We would study together and on rare occasions would go out on weekends to enjoy. But basically we were all well behaved and definitely not the wild partying types. Heh! And thanks to Facebook, we still "keep in touch" even though we are now scattered all over the world.

So yes I am mighty proud to be a Tomasian. But mostly I'm eternally grateful to my parents for all their sacrifices in providing for me and my sister's education. In fact, I was teary eyed during my graduation rites which was held at the PICC. A strange gamut of mixed emotions flooded me. I was relieved that I was finally done with school and also quite apprehensive about my future.

Here I am with my sister and my parents during my graduation in 1991. I distinctly remember that abstract printed dress which I bought from Rustan's. It had big shoulders pads and MC Hammer style fringe skirt. It costs us a fortune but the smile on our faces is priceless. =)

Hopefully my sister doesn't kill me for posting that picture. But then, she doesn't read my blog so I'm safe. he he he

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