Wednesday, November 3, 2010


While the Blue Eagles are soaring high with their first three-peat, the Golden Tigers are silent as ever, in devouring its upcoming bigger and better prey – the 13th overall University Athletic Assocition of the Philippines overall crown!

Like the athletes, the artists from the University of Santo Tomas are quite quiet in helping not only themselves but others as well.

Typical Thomasian trademark, right?

Through Inkblots 2008: the UST National Journalism Fellowship, we once again will get the chance to see ourselves in those aspiring writers.

This series of journalism seminars and workshops conducted by so-called country’s veteran journalists was organized by the Varsitarian, UST's 82-year-old official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas, from October 20 to 22 at the UST Thomas Aquinas Research Complex.

Open to all campus journalists, campus press advisers and journalism enthusiasts, it will tackle news writing, opinion writing, lifestyle writing, sports writing, feature writing, cartooning and campus paper management.

We were asked to talk about opinion/editorial writing with such distinguished roster of lecturers.

Today, Day 1, its founder, Christian Esguerra, will do the opening salvo at 10 a.m. through News Writing to be followed by our contemporary (with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle editor Isabel de Leon), sports editor turned priest, Fr. Nick Lalog (Catholic Journalism) and Manila Bulletin's Mr. Moviegoer himself, Nestor Cuartero (Feature Writing), both in the afternoon. Tomorrow will be the feast for the eye with GMA 7's Cesar Apolinario (Broadcast Journalism) and Jun Veneracion (Investigative Journalism) in the morning and then, after lunch, it will the visual artists and literari's turn in a parallel session with Manix Abrera (Cartooning); Rebecca Anonuevo (Literary); Ruel de Vera (Lifestyle); and Dominik Dumaraos (Layout). For the day's finale will be no less than Quinito Henson (Sports), first-ever Olympism Award from the Philippine Olympic Committee for excellence in journalism in 2004 and the first-ever Philippine Catholic Mass Media Award in the sports column category in 2005! On its last day, we will take the first hot seat right before Felipe Salvosa (Campus Paper Management) and Michael Coroza (Filipino Writing).

Mike -- who took over from us as speaker for National Book Development Board's Booklatang Bayan from October 27 to 29 in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental -- will do a balagtasan with Teo Antonio and us during the reunion of all the Varsitarian staff on the UST grounds on the night of December 11.

More popularly known as Valik Varsi, it began during our term as its editor-in-chief when the Varsitarian turned 60 in 1988. (And we celebrated its 80th anniversary exactly on our 44th birthday two years ago with National Artist Francisco Sionil Jose as our guest of honor!) What made this reunion memorable was not only the post-event party in Goodah but also the phenomenon when UST pool turned gold -- all because a former Varsitarian art editor, who probably thought he was already a drunken master -- pissed on it.

Perhaps that is our Tigersharks' secret for success!

Anyway, the venue where we used to meet and greet our Varsitarian ancestors, will be the right on the site of the dream UST Alumni Center to be inaugurated in 2011, the 400th year of UST celebration.

We discovered that upcoming project last Friday, October 15, during the opening of first Thomasian Global Trade Expo (TGTE) that ran until yesterday.

At the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, proud UST students, professors, and alumni gathered together under the leadership of our Rector, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, who proposed a toast of what is called the Quadricentennial Drink.

TGTE was supposed to be a showcase of the outstanding ventures UST alumni have made in the fields of science, business, sports, and culture and the arts but we were there doing our job as one of The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) awardees in 2007.Coming from the field of arts and letters, though we graduated from the College of Science with a B.S. in Psychology degree in 1984, we felt like lost in space at first. Until we were remind ourselves that only last month, we were there as master of ceremonies who performed our poetry for the Manila International Book Fair 2010 opening. Last week, we found ourselves in the midst of an equally wide yet totally different range of industries such as food , franchising, information technology, pharmaceutical, retail, and tourism with over 50,000 business contacts and visitors expected.

Aside from lectures by outstanding UST alumni and performances by Thomasian talents, there were pre-Christmas bazaar; jobs fair; IT and trade services; food, health and wellness festival; arts, design and construction show, to name a few.

But the highlight happened last Friday when our beloved Alma Mater recognized

its Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Business Leaders.

Among them are Andres Ang (Nutri Health); Jenny Ang Chan (Sanyo Seiki Stainless Steel Corporation); Clarence Aytona (Skynet Travel Corporation); Vivian Que Azcona (Mercury Drug Corporation); Judy Kiu Bactat (Mossimo Philippines); Dr. Carl Balita (Dr. Carl Balita Review Center); Charlie Ching (CLC Marketing Ventures Corporation); Ma. Cristina Coronel (Poinwest Technologies); Engr. Florante Cruz (BC Net Inc.); Joel Cruz (Aficionado/Joel Cruz Signatures); Juanito de Asis (IBC 13); Jose de Jesus (DSP Advantage);Jonathan Dee (Netessentials); Gabriel Dominguez (Green Circle Realty Sales Inc.); Hassan Fard (Trends and Technologies); Dr. Ray Gapuz (R.A. Gapuz Review Center); Dr. Miguel Geronimo (Gerry Geronimo Productions); Dr. Mary Jean Guno (Home Health Care); Allan Ibisate (Highrise Rice Ventures); Henry Kho (Omni Petroleum Corporation); Charity Ngui (Goldtech Hyundai Appliances); Henry Steve Olonan (Starand Properties Inc.); Christopher Ong (Baker's Fair); Arch. Felino Palafox (Palafox Associates); Richard Po (Century Pacific Group);Arch. Jose Siao Ling (Jose Siao Ling and Associates); Atty. Robin Sy (Asian Shipping); Dr. Robert Sy (Imageworld); Penk Tan Ching (Pastry Basin), Arch. Edward Co Tan (Edward Co Tan and Architects); Eping Te Ao (Technopark Hotel); Angeli Sobremonte Tuazon (Asia Adproducts Ltd. Co./ Pinnacle Technologies Inc./ JAC Automobiles); Francisco Unson (Albergus Catering); Jacinto Uy (Moldex Group of Companites); Engr. James Velasquez (IBM Philippines); Engr. Norberto Viera (Texas Instrument Philippines); Manuel Villaroman (Villman Computers); Emma Yeung (Greenstone Pharmaceuticals HK Inc.); and Rosemarie Yu (Value Care Health System Inc.). Come to think of it, the list contains less than 40 awardees, which is absolutely too short for 400-year old Alma Mater that gave birth to God-fearing, environment-friendly, law-abiding sons and daughters.

Offhand, we are looking for names of, say, Ma. Regina Bautista-Navarette, the former Varsitarian editor-in-chief who is the president and general manager of Red Ribbon Bakeshop, and the like.

When we say TGTE, we are reminded instantly of ZTE scandal whose whistleblower is also a Thomasian engineer – Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. -- or Jun Lozada.

And our claim to fame is that we both appeared on The Thomasian 1984.

By the way, whatever happened to our reluctant hero?

Isn't that another typical Thomasian trademark?

Again, ask Jose Rizal.


Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey


God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

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