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A Million and a Half Thanks to You, Batch 1960! Thanks to everyone in Batch 1960 of UST High School for contributing a total of One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P1,500,000.00) to the UST High School-UST High School Alumni Association Inc. joint scholarship program. Thanks to your generosity, you have helped pave for us a million and one steps to a bright future ahead. Thanks to your support, we would further gain more education, enlightenment, confidence and values that have long been inherent in you all as Thomasians. Thanks to your magnanimity, we can become anything from a civil engineer, a CPA-lawyer, an enterpreneur or any other professional who can help contribute to the continued growth of both the nation and the global village. Thanks to you, our possibilities are endless, and for this we are exhilarated. And grateful. We, and future USTHS-USTHSAAI scholars, can never thank you enough. But we hope to do so, little by little, through our growth as Thomasians and as future professionals. On behalf of UST High School and the UST High School Alumni Association Inc., maraming, maraming salamat po!

Respectfully, Rena Lyn G. Marasigan 4th Year, USTHS Ricca Sagezza E. Cuevas 3rd Year, USTHS Kieffer Janio A. Lagnada 2nd Year, USTHS




SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES (All attendees must enter via the Arch of the Centuries) 4 pm — Registration opens: Plaza Mayor & Benavides Garden 5 pm — Thanksgiving Mass: UST Chapel 6 pm — Cocktails: Plaza Mayor & Benavides Garden 7 pm — Dinner 8 pm — Show 10 pm — Dance & Fellowship SHOW National Anthem

Welcome Greetings The USTHSAAI Scholarship Program The Grand Jubilarian Surprise Decade & Batch Roll Calls The Mighty 400 USTHS Graduation Song Thomasian Pledge & Candle Rite UST Hymn



○ ○

30: Orgcom 2011’s 11 Firsts in USTHS GAH History 37: Are You One of the Mighty 400? 38: Kahit Baligtarin, 1961 Pa Rin!

40: USTHS ’71: Big Heart and Mission 46: Laughter & Learning at the Halls of UST High

48: Dakilang Pag-ibig: The Batch ’81 article

54: A Working Directory of USTHS Batch ’86

○ ○

60: Coming Home

62: Am I a Thomasian? 63: USTHS Batch ’99 Alumni Give Back to Alma Mater, Get Prominent Feature in ‘Inquirer’

28: The USTHS Jubilarians of 2011!

26: Paying It Forward: The 2010 Juan Sumulong Outreach

24: The USTHSAAI Financial Statement, January 1-December 31, 2010

50: The 2011 USTHS Silver Jubilarians jUST can’t get enough of HIGH SCHOOL!

20: The USTHSAAI Officers’ Report, FY 2010-2011

16: A Brief History of UST High

14: Happy Quadri, UST!

12: The UST OAR Director’s Message

10: The USTHS Principal’s Message

9: The USTHS Regent’s Message

8: The Immediate Past USTHS Regent’s Message

Page 6: The UST Rector’s Message


64: mUST have loved HIGH SCHOOL after all










More than renewing old memories in an ageless celebration of Thomasian life, the Grand Alumni Homecoming seeks to back the USTHS Alumni Association’s scholarship program, the thrust of which is to send at least one scholar per year level at the UST High School every school year. Such a noble venture for the betterment of others, inspired by God and the ideals of the University, deserves praise and emulation so that more will be blessed with a valuable UST education. Congratulations to the organizers of the UST High School Alumni Association Inc. Grand Alumni Homecoming for staging this advocacy-driven event in honor of UST’s 400th anniversary and its beloved High School alumni. May the Almighty Father guide and bless us all in the name of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Fr. ROLANDO V. DE LA ROSA, O.P. Rector University of Santo Tomas












“So far, the biggest!” It has been the dream so far of the USTHS Alumni Association to have the biggest USTHS alumni homecoming yet, coinciding as it does with the entire University’s 400th year anniversary celebration, expecting 4,000 UST High School alumni from all over the Philippines and around the world, spanning generations and batches from the 1940s to the Batch 2010 graduates. This is so, because in every USTHS’ heart is a feeling of “I JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF HIGH SCHOOL” which incidentally is the theme of the celebration. We congratulate the organizers of this momentous affair for their efforts. May all other organizations cooperate with them to ensure a successful celebration. May it become a call for all USTHS alumni to hereon be counted as witnesses to the University’s unending grace and to experience once more the magic of UST High School. Once again, congratulations.

FR. RODEL E. ALIGAN, O.P. Immediate Past Regent UST High School








Greetings! Tyron Edwards once said, “Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven.” Every alumni homecoming calls for a celebration of thanksgiving, reliving memories and sharing of past experiences. We look back and see the changes—of our former classmates and friends, of our mentors, our teachers and principals, likewise the physical improvement of our former abode. We revisit places where we once stood, studied and played. After years of being away, it is always a nostalgic pleasure to return to our Alma Mater, our second home. This year’s USTHS Grand Alumni Homecoming 2011, entitled “jUST can’t get enough of HIGH SCHOOL,” promises to be the grandest yet, as it coincides with the University of Santo Tomas’ Quadricentennial celebration. Indeed, the University stands proud of its glorious past, merited throughout its 400 years of existence as a foremost breeding ground of intellectuals, finest Filipino and international students; bringing forth countless dedicated professionals, talents, saints, heroes and presidents. As a proud alumnus, it is prudent to say that USTHS is not just a preparatory stage for higher learning in college but indeed an institution which has deeply molded our character, a Thomasian at that, of who we are now and truly proud of. We owe a great deal to our beloved Alma Mater and this is the perfect time to have some sense of gratitude. Now is the moment to give back and contribute something to her. Who would ever forget the UST High School Hymn, as it goes, “Hail, UST High School! By thee we stand, we’ll spread thy glorious name throughout the land. Ne’er shall thy spirit die, thou heaven’s fort; Thou art for Love and Truth, UST High.” USTHS Alumni will forever be living testimonies of the past, inspiration of the present, and guide of the future USTHS students. May this special year bring us closer together, not only in festive gatherings but more to a future collaboration with each other as part of an ever growing USTHS family. May this year lead us to that Unending Grace promised to us by the Lord who generously granted us the privilege of seeing this momentous event happening in our lifetime.








Thomasian Greetings of Peace! Congratulations to the Organizing Committee of the USTHS GAH 2011 for your untiring effort in spearheading and mapping out the details that will culminate with another Grand Alumni Homecoming—befitting the Quadricentennial Celebration of the University of Santo Tomas—this coming February 5, 2011. Once again you are proving to your alma mater your genuine efforts to strengthen the interconnectedness among yourselves as high school classmates, and friends, and also as one solid and integral group that proudly waves the flag of the University on its 400th year. On behalf of your USTHS family, allow me to express my sincerest gratitude for having, as the moving force behind the activity, a scholarship grant for the poor and deserving high school students, an advocacy we share with you. Rest assured that we will assist you in any way we can within our means and capacity to make the grand alumni homecoming a very successful one. Once again, congratulations, and may God in His goodness continue to keep you all inspired by your worthy endeavors.

Master Teacher EDEN G. TOLENTINO, M.A. Principal UST High School












My present post as Director for Alumni Relations enables me to join you, my fellow Thomasians, in your homecomings and reunions. I have had the privilege of being in the company of the High School alumni and witness how nostalgic you become as you rekindle old ties and reminisce about your student life at the University of Santo Tomas. As you gather for your homecoming this year, I extend my warmest congratulations to all of you. Your togetherness is a fitting tribute to the Quadricentennial Anniversary of the University. I also take this opportunity to thank the officers of the High School Alumni Association, Inc. for their dynamism and zeal in advancing the causes of the University in general and the High School in particular. 2011 is our year, the year of Thomasians. Our alma mater’s Quadricentennial Anniversary is both a blessing and a gift. Let us make the most out of this milestone and ensure that the University perpetuates its birthright and destiny of building the Church, the Nation and the Family. A Joyous “Quadri-Anniversary” to you, my fellow Thomasians!

MICHAEL ANGELO E. MALICSI Director UST Office for Alumni Relations





Happy Quadri, UST! The text below, originally entitled “An Event Brief of the 400th-Year Celebration of the University of Santo Tomas,” is published on the UST website ( on the occasion of UST’s Quadricentennial celebration. The University’s yearlong Quadricentennial calendar, which stretches all the way to 2012, and related news can be viewed on the UST website. Historical Background The University of Santo Tomas gratefully looks back to July 24,1605, when Bishop Miguel de Benavides, O.P., the third Archbishop of Manila, bequeathed a modest amount from his personal funds and his personal library collection for use in the establishment of a “seminary-college” to prepare young men for the priesthood. Thus, on April 28, 1611, the Colegio de Nuestra Senora del Santisimo Rosario, later named Colegio de Santo Tomas, was born in its original campus within the walled city called Intramuros. On November 20, 1645, the College was elevated to the rank of a University by Pope Innocent X. King Charles of Spain granted the title “Royal University” to UST in 1785, for the exceptional loyalty shown by its administration and students who volunteered to defend Manila against the British invasion. On September 17, 1902, Pope Leo XIII made UST a “Pontifical University” and in 1947, Pope Pius XII bestowed



upon it the title “The Catholic University of the Philippines.” The continuing increase in enrolment prompted the administration in 1927 to relocate the University to its present site in the Sampaloc district, along España St, Manila, which covers 21.5 hectares. Inspired by its rich history, spurred on to impart wisdom and knowledge, enthused by noteworthy accomplishments, UST has remained steadfastly responsive to the needs and issues of the time as they occur, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world. Today, the University campus is considered a historic site and is a recognizable landmark in Manila and the country. Impact of the Event at the National and/or International Level UST is considered as the oldest university in the Philippines. It enjoys the singular privilege of being the only Pontifical University in Asia. For almost four centuries, it has produced saints and martyrs, national heroes, church leaders, doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, architects, artists, journalists, literary masters, businessmen, accountants and other professionals who have significantly contributed to the shaping of the history of the Philippines and the development not only of the Filipino society and the Church, but of the region and the international community. As an institutional leader in the service of education and values formation, UST has accumulated a wealth of experience and wisdom, a heritage of culture, a host of structures and physical facilities, and most importantly a community of great men and women who have left a mark in the Philippines and in the world. The celebration of UST’s 400th anniversary has a genuine impact on world heritage because it demonstrates men and women’s indomitable yearning for knowledge and unyielding determination to persevere in keeping that mission going for 400 years and more.



A Brief History of UST High By MICHAEL ANGELO E. MALICSI This article contains excerpts from “Magic into Reality: A History of the University of Santo Tomas” written by Mr. Malicsi when he was still the Executive Secretary of the Office of the Rector. Mr. Malicsi, formerly a faculty member of the USTHS English Department, is presently the Director of UST’s Office for Alumni Relations. Tracing the Roots: The Beginnings of UST High School To look back at the roots of UST High School is to gaze upon the origins of the University of Santo Tomas. Interestingly, USTHS is as old as UST itself since the “Humanities” which was offered in the University from 1611 to 1865 was correspondent to a high school diploma. The same premise was also applied to “Secondary Instruction” in UST from 1865 to 1898. This also solidified the University’s foremost role in secondary education when it supervised the General Secondary Education Programs in the Philippine Islands during the Spanish Period. In 1928, two years after the opening of the College of Education, the University opened the UST High School under the inspiration of Rev. Fr. Silvestre Sancho, O.P., Dean of the College of Education, and the direction of Rev. Fr. Manuel Arellano, O.P., Rector Magnificus of the University. The University opened the High School primarily because of the felt need to provide a training ground to Education students in practice teaching. Akin to UST’s humble beginnings as a school to form men for the priesthood, USTHS’s early incipience was anchored to train prospective educators. Fr. Sancho, whose pioneering vision has undeniably led to noble harvests, planned the organization of USTHS. Others who helped Fr. Sancho in the organization were Jose Hernandez, Mercedes Ocampo, Paz Borja and Pilar Borja. It had Fr. Sancho as its first Director, with Dr. Rafael Acosta as its Principal. The High School opened its doors to 110 male students on June 6, 1928. During its first year of operation (1928 to 1929), the department had only three classes, one of which was assigned each to the first-, second- and third-year levels. Classes were held in the right wing of the ground floor of the Main Building. The following year (1929-1930) saw a growth to four classes since a graduating class was already in place. June 30, 1930 was a significant day for the School as the Government granted it recognition and authority to operate as a secondary school. Expanding Growth and Progression: USTHS’ Rapid Development Following the government-granted recognition, the USTHS progressed rapidly as a learning community. There was an increase in student enrolment; more major courses were offered in the College of Education, and more critic teachers were assigned to the School. The first critic teachers were Paz Reynoso (English), Rosario Delfin (Biology), Cecilia Domantay (Science), Concepcion Leonor (Mathematics) and Mercedes Grau-Santamaria (History). In 1929, Augusto Santamaria (Physics) and Pedro Rivera (Economics) joined the roster of critic teachers. The growth in the student population needed more classrooms; hence, more rooms were made available at the Santa Catalina Girls’ Dormitory in Gov. Forbes Street (now A.H. Lacson Street), adjacent to the UST campus. Female students occupied the rooms in Santa Catalina while the male students stayed in the right wing of the Ground Floor of the



Main Building. In 1930, the Girls’ High School Department was established with Dr. Mercedes Grau-Santamaria as its Principal with Mercedes Gonzales as her Assistant. Later, Dr. Socorro Llanderal became the Assistant and was promoted to the position of Principal in 1941. Dr. Acosta as appointed Principal of the Boys’ Department. He was then succeeded by Dr. Concepcion Gil, who held the position until 1935 when Dr. Ricardo Sian took over. In 1941, Dr. Fidel Colminar succeeded Dr. Sian. In those early years of the School, the Dean of the College of Education was also the Director of the High School. When Fr. Sancho took over the reins of UST as its Rector Magnificus in 1936, Fr. Eugenio Jordan, O.P. succeeded Fr. Sancho as the Director. In 1937, Fr. Tomas Martinez, O.P. was appointed fulltime Director. The following year paved way for the School’s reorganization in 1938 when the Girls’ and Boys’ Departments were integrated under a central administration. Fr. Martinez devoted himself zealously to the development and advancement of the School. New books for the library and additional equipment for the laboratory were acquired. Closer faculty supervision of students was also facilitated. Fr. Martinez pursued plans to make the School self-supporting. In 1940, classes, both girls and boys, were transferred to what later came to be known as the Anatomy Building. The non coeducational classes were still held at the Main Building. Rising from the Rubble: The UST High School’s Recovery from Upheavals When World War II broke out in Manila in December 1941, classes were forcibly closed. The School did not reopen until 1946. The task of resuming operations was difficult and challenging. The School occupied only a small building in front of the UST Hospital. The said building, which was used as a mess hall by the internees of war in Santo Tomas, underwent refurbishment and remodeling for the School. Fr. Martinez stayed on as Director when the School reopened. However, to help him restore normalcy after the reeling effects of the war and direct the School’s affairs, Fr. Pablo Fernandez, O.P. was appointed Assistant Director. Dr. Socorro Llanderal remained Principal of the Girls’ Department while Dominador Perez was Principal of the Boys’ Department. A year after, Amador Jorge took the place of Mr. Perez, with Sixto Blanco and Apolinar Matias as Assistants to the Principal. Later, Dr. Bienvenido Sison was appointed General Principal. June 2, 1975 was marked with an ill-fated incident in the life of the School: Its building was razed to the ground and gutted down by fire. Classes resumed after a week at the Fathers’ Residence and the Central Seminary. Realizing this tragic episode, the University, through the initiative of Msgr. Leonardo Legaspi, O.P., first Filipino Rector of UST, embarked on the construction of a new building. On June 14, 1976, the new edifice, named the Benavides Building, was blessed and inaugurated by Msgr. Bruno Torpigliani, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines at that time. >>



Celebrating Milestones: USTHS’ Independence and Expansion A milestone for UST High School was unraveled in 1950 as the School became independent from the College of Education. This was a result of the swelling tide of students that pursued education at the School. However, it continued to give classes for the course in practice teaching of Education students. Enrolment surged to an all-time high and successive improvements were being undertaken to address the booming population of the School. At the same time, the Education High School was opened as a training department, taking over the preceding role of USTHS in its earlier years. Its prestige was also soaring, thereby attracting more students. An affirmation to its heightening quality and reputation was a recognition granted to the School in 1951 by the Bureau of Private Education, as a school offering complete secondary education subjects. The following year, 1952, UST, seeing the whopping size of the School, gave it a larger building of its own which was known as the High School Building which was located behind the Main Building and adjacent to the Pharmacy Garden. Five years later, in 1957, Fr. Isidro Katigbak, O.P., became the first Filipino Director. Fr. Manuel Piñon, O.P. succeeded him in 1959. The Assistant Directors then were Fr. Candido Garcia, O.P. and Fr. Benjamin San Juan, O.P. In 1963, Fr. Maximilian Rebollo, O.P., was appointed Assistant Director while Araceli Murillo and Francisco Torres were appointed Principals of the Girls’ Session and Boys’ Session, respectively. In 1972, Ms. Murillo and Mr. Torres were elevated to the rank of Principal. Two years after, in 1974, Fr. Rebollo was named Director. Sustaining Growth, Transcending Time: USTHS’ Endeavors for Reform Constantly responding to the changing times, the UST High School geared itself for restructuring and reorganization. Significantly, during the Academic Year 1976 to 1977, a lay person became the head of the School: Ms. Evangelina R. Teodoro. She was appointed Acting Director on April 23, 1976. The Office of the Regent, which is structurally part of UST’s



faculties, colleges and institutes, was added to the organization of the School. Fr. Rebollo became the School’s first Father Regent. From then on, Dominican priests assigned to USTHS have served as either Director or Regent or its assistant. The next academic year, the administrative structure of the School was revamped. The head of the School was changed from director to principal. Administrative assistants for boys and for girls were likewise appointed. Francisco Torres served as the administrative assistant for the boys while Jacinta Constantino was for the girls. In 1978, at the retirement of Mr. Torres, Alexander Tagaro was appointed administrative assistant for boys. The academic year 1979 to 1980 marked yet another new beginning in the School when it adopted the co-educational policy in the first year level. Every year after 1982, the new system was carried out until its full implementation from the first to the fourth year levels. The co-educational policy and the Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) went full swing in its implementation in 1992. In April 1980, Fr. Pedro Escudero, O.P. replaced Fr. Rebollo as Regent, for the latter was appointed Regent of the College of Education. In January 1981, Fr. Ezequiel del Pino, O.P. was appointed Assistant Regent. The regents that were appointed thereafter were Fr. Braulio Peña, O.P. (1982), Fr. Bonifacio Garcia Solis, O.P. (1984), Fr. Pablo Encinas, O.P. (1986), Fr. Ruben Corpuz, O.P. (1987), Fr. Javier Gonzalez, O.P. (1990), Fr. John Funelas (1999), and Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P. (2005). In 1987, Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P. was designated as Officerin-charge while Mr. Tagaro was appointed as Acting Principal. Mr. Tagaro remained as Principal in 1988 while Editha Fernandez became the administrative assistant of the boys’ session. Three years later, in 1991, Ms. Fernandez was appointed Principal. In 1993, Fr. de Sagon succeeded Ms. Fernandez as Principal. After Fr. de Sagon’s tenure as Principal, he was designated as Director in 1997 while Mariano Carpio was appointed Principal. In 1998, Ms. Fernandez returned as Principal until she finished her term in 2002. Zenaida Roda succeeded Ms. Fernandez in the same year. It was during the administration of Ms. Roda and Fr. Funelas that USTHS commemorated its Diamond Jubilee year of foundation with the theme, “UST High at 75: The Magic Goes On…” It officially opened with a Eucharistic celebration and parade on July 28, 2002. The celebration was also highlighted with a weeklong series of activities from February 10 to 14, 2003. A marker commemorating the occasion was unveiled on March 14, 2003 by His Excellency Most Reverend Archbishop Antonio Franco, D.D., J.C.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. The Diamond Jubilee also provided the opportunity for USTHS to undergo curricular experimentation, leading to an implementation of a more innovative upgraded secondary education curriculum. In 2005, Eden Tolentino, formerly the School’s Assistant Principal from 2003, succeeded Ms. Roda as Principal. Conclusion “Its song will be nostalgic sigh, but its thrill is mine forever more,” goes the USTHS Graduation Song. True enough, the magic of the University of Santo Tomas High School lingers in those who hold her dearly. Her song forever resonates with awe and splendor as she carries on to turn that magic into a reality that perpetuates God’s unending grace among Thomasians. The continued existence of UST High School shall pervade in the formation of young men and women who shall immortalize the magic of UST High.




HE USTHSAAI HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN ACTIVE and dynamic association. Yet it seems that we have never been busier than we have been this past year. Owing to the Quadricentennial celebration of the University of Santo Tomas itself, the USTHSAAI has found itself taking part and supporting a host of projects and events at the University level—these on top of its established support areas at the UST High School. For starters, even before the kickoff of Fiscal Year 20102011, the HSAAI bore witness to UST’s “3 for Quadri” events on-campus on February 4, 2010, whereby the University unveiled the marble marker/ signage near the Arch of the Centuries that now welcomes all who enter via the central España gate; undertook a symbolic groundbreaking right outside the Gymnasium, to launch the conversion of the Gym into the Thomasian Alumni Center (the Gym would be replaced by the UST Sports Complex, which is being constructed across the Engineering Building); and launched Simbahayan 400, a housing project in tandem with Gawad Kalinga. In March 2010, your USTHSAA, through its general fund, provided USTHS with several brand-new equipment: an oxygen tank, a medical regulator, an examining table with cushion and a drawer, and an aneroid sphygmomanometer for the High School office’s miniclinic, and a digital camera for the Glee Club. The medical equipment, per the joint letter of appreciation of the then Regent, Rev. Fr. Rodel E. Aligan, O.P., and Principal Eden G. Tolentino, “may jumpstart the initial stages of the provision of a complete satellite clinic [to] address the minor medical concerns of [USTHS] students,” while the camera serves to aid the members of USTHS’ musical ensemble in the documentation of their activities, especially their participation in competitions within and beyond the Campus. Shortly thereafter, the USTHSAAI provided financial and moral support to a USTHS faculty outreach visit to Hospicio De San Jose on April 8, 2010, where HS teachers of several generations treated the Hospicio’s wards to an afternoon of hearty games and entertainment, laughter and merienda. Still for the USTHS, the HSAAI officers took part in inviting and being among the guest speakers of the series of career talks billed as Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE)—a project of the High School’s Social Studies Circle (SSC) held on September 14 and 15, 2010, in celebration of Social Studies Circle Week. With “Galing Tomasino…Ipinagmamalaki Ko!” as theme, this SSC project aimed to bring real-world expertise into the consciousness of the present crop of USTHS students.

Likewise within September, Batch 1960 added P.5 Million to their earlier donation—prior to the USTHS GAH 2010, of which they were the Golden Jubilarians—of P1 Million to the USTHS-USTHSAAI joint scholarship program. Batch ’60’s P1.5 Million endowment marks the single biggest contribution by a single USTHS batch to our humble scholarship program. A practice of ours for many school years now, the USTHSAAI also provided this year’s team of UST Tiger Cubs with, among others, moral support—adding to the cheering sea of yellow at their 2010 UAAP games—and gustatory support—by way of post-game meals for the entire team. And that is more than ever this time, given that the Cubs made it all the way to the final round of the UAAP’s Boys’ Basketball Tournament. That the team yielded to their counterparts in Ateneo De Manila University in that memorable Game 3 at the Araneta Coliseum on September 19, 2010, does not change the fact that our USTHS b-boys gave more than their all and we in the USTHSAAI and our fellow alumni were right there to support them. A few weeks later, the USTHSAAI made itself available for the visit to the High School by accreditors representing the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities. Specifically on October 3, 2010, the first of PAASCU’s two-day visit to USTHS, the accreditors conducted a panel interview of a joint contingent of USTHSAAI officers and officers of the USTHS Parents Association, which itself includes several HS alumni, to talk about various aspects of our Alma Mater that directly or indirectly concern or involve both Associations. Shortly thereafter came the Thomasian Global Trade Expo (TGTE), a three-day extravaganza held at the SMX Convention Center from October 15 to 17, 2010, which featured booths and kiosks that showcased businesses by UST alumni. Spearheaded by the UST Thomasian Alumni Leaders Association Inc., the UST Alumni Association Inc. and UST itself, the TGTE was a massive undertaking that was months in the making, and it counted on the support of 20 UST alumni associations or foundations, the USTHSAAI included. For this, your HSAAI provided the organizers with prospective participants-booth tenants; and via the complementary onsite booth provided by the organizers, we prepared an array of posters and other paraphernalia, and manned the booth itself, to announce and promote the 2011 USTHS Grand Alumni Homecoming (USTHS GAH) and to invite USTHS alumni-cum-TGTE visitors to provide their contact details for inclusion in the growing HSAAI database. During the TGTE’s second day, October 16, the HSAAI

The Officers’ Report

FY 2010-2011





welcomed a new member to its Board of Trustees: Tricia “Trx” Pariño of Batch ’87, who took the place of Laureen “Oyette” Morales B’73, who had resigned for personal reasons. On a related note: Another Board member, Atty. Enrique “Eking” Galvez, later on resigned as well for personal reasons. In light of this, the USTHSAAI Board has adopted the thrust of involving younger alumni by reaching out and inviting them to be junior observers at a number of our Board meetings. A month later, on November 28, 2010, the HSAAI supported and joined the USTHS faculty in its latest outreach effort: a medical-dental mission at its adopted school, the Juan Sumulong Elementary School in Sampaloc, Manila. (More on this on page 22, in a report by USTHSAAI Auditor Emil Padilla B’82.) And as its deadline drew near last December, the USTHSAAI supported nominations of USTHS alumni to the Quadricentennial edition of the University’s Thomasian Outstanding Alumni (TOTAL) Awards—the nominees being USTHS alumni who, incidentally, also went on to undertake their collegiate studies at UST. (The Quadricentennial TOTAL Awardees, which cover 19 fields of endeavor, would be known in March 2011.) All of these are on top of three major undertakings or involvements of the USTHSAAI this past year: UST’s Quadricentennial celebration, the USTHS-USTHSAAI joint scholarship program and the USTHS GAH 2011. Regarding the Quadricentennial—a historic event for which we are grateful to witness in our lifetime—the HSAAI was very active in disseminating, on behalf of the University and its Office for Alumni Relations (OAR), any news, developments, calendar of activities, promotional offerings (such as discounts by Philippine Airlines and The Manila Hotel) and other vital information about this celebration of UST’s 400th year; this to the HSAAI database and network of thousands of USTHS alumni throughout the Philippines and around the world. Of course, the USTHSAAI was no less present in the major events of the Quadricentennial, including the Grand Alumni Homecoming dinner on January 28, 2011, at the Plaza Mayor, which was preceded by a landmark Quadricentennial



Thanksgiving Mass at the Grandstand and Football Field. There, through a prerecorded video, Pope Benedict XVI granted the rare apostolic blessing of plenary indulgence to all attendees. The USTHS GAH 2011, meanwhile, is such a mammoth event that has been two years in the making. Our preparation and work for it, in tandem with the 2011 Organizing Committee comprised by 2011 jubilarians and non-jubilarians, has been so full-on as we intend for it to be the biggest alumni homecoming in USTHS history, and one of the biggest UST homecomings ever. (More on Orgcom 2011 on pages 28 and 29.) All told, however, the USTHS GAH is for the benefit of the USTHS-USTHSAAI joint scholarship program. Speaking of which: to date, we have three scholars in our roster this school year. They are senior student Rena Lyn G. Marasigan, who would like to become a civil engineer; sophomore Kieffer Janio A. Lagnada, who intends to become a CPA-lawyer; and the latest addition this school year, junior Ricca Sagezza E. Cuevas, who just might follow her mother ’s footsteps and become an entrepreneur. Through the scholarship program, everyone who has contributed, and will contribute still, to the scholarship fund—be it via direct donations and/or efforts for and/or presence at the USTHS GAHs—has helped pave the way to a brighter future for these three bright young students, and even for their counterparts in school years to come. All of these and more continually cover the support areas of the USTHSAAI, namely the Scholarship Program, Outreach (a.k.a. the Community Development Program), Sports (via the Tiger Cubs), Culture (via the Glee Club), and Property (building, grounds and equipment). And these and more could not have been done without the boundless support of the USTHS and UST administrations, and to our legion of fellow Tomasino alumni. Our sincerest thanks to all of you who share in our vision and fervor for our dear Alma Mater. Truly, we all jUST can’t get enough of HIGH SCHOOL! LEEBAI ESQUIVIAS-GAMBOA President, USTHSAAI 2009-2011

The USTHSAAI Board of Trustees FY 2010-2011 Leebai EsquiviasGamboa B’78 President Quiel Delgado B’81 Vice President and Treasurer Aped Santos B’77 Corporate Secretary Emil Padilla B’82 Auditor Member, Committee on Causes & Charity Trx Pariño B’87 Trustee Head, Committee on Causes & Charity Bert Sulat Jr. B’86 Trustee Advisers (in alphabetical order):

Bal Endriga B’56 Tony Ereñeta B’58 Bebet Gillera-Gozun B’68 Jun Pascual B’61 Rocky Siasoco B’77



USTHSAAI FINANCIAL STATEMENT for the period covering

January 1 – December 31, 2010 Balance as of end-December 2009


Add: Grand Alumni Homecoming (GAH) Sponsorships P1,391,796.00 Ticket Sales 455,500.00 Less: Food & Production Expenses


P1,847,296.00 919,471.75)

GAH Net Earnings


Donations Alumni Fees Veritas Sales Interest Income

500,000.00 216,500.00 4,000.00 96,501.50




Less: Funds Transferred to Scholarship Program Outreach & Support Programs for USTHS Scholarship Tuition & Misc. Expenses Thomasian Global Trade Expo Meetings and Conferences Bank Charges and Fees Miscellaneous Expenses

P 1,700,000.00 112,622.30 115,475.85 22,446.00 54,717.44 988.50 4,900.00


P1,166,616.10 ===========

Joint Scholarship Program end-Dec. 2009 Add: Donations & GAH Earnings Interest Income

P1,418,751.55 P 2,100,000.00 63,480.68


Total Add: Funds with UST-REFI

P3,582,232.23 2,140,456.77


P5,722,689.00 ===========

EXEQUIEL DELGADO Vice President and Treasurer








Paying It Forward >>> The 2010 Juan Sumulong Outreach By EMIL PADILLA, USTHS ’82 Last November 28, 2010, the UST High School Community Development Office, headed by Ms, Ida Rosales, coordinated with the UST High School Alumni Association, Inc. (USTHSAAI) through its Auditor, Mr. Emil Padilla B82, to conduct an outreach activity—specifically a free medical and dental mission—at its adopted public school, the Juan Sumulong Elementary School on Aragon Street near SM San Lazaro in Manila (a short jeepney ride away from the USTHS Building). The USTHSAAI and some USTHS alumni-doctors



donated thousands of pesos worth of generic medicine. The USTHSAAI—through Mr. Padilla who is this project’s designated Director in Charge, and Ms. Trx Pariño, the Association’s Chairperson for Causes and Charity—were able to contact medical practitioners, USTHS alumni and otherwise, to extend their unselfish service. The outreach benefited almost a thousand patients from the school as well as nearby barangays. The Association, guided by the Thomasian Pledge, will live and die as a true Thomasians. Hail UST HIGH SCHOOL!



The USTHS JUBILARIANS of 2011! The Diamond Jubilarians: Batch 1951 (60 Years!)

The Pearl Jubilarians: Batch 1981 (30 years!)

1956 (55 years!) The Gold Jubilarians: Batch 1961 (50 years!) The Sapphire Jubilarians: Batch 1966 (45 years!) The Ruby Jubilarians: Batch 1971 (40 years!) The Coral Jubilarians: Batch 1976 (35 years!)

The Silver Jubilarians: Batch 1986 (25 years!)

The Emerald Jubilarians: Batch



The China Jubilarians: Batch 1991 (20 years!) The Crystal Jubilarians: Batch 1996 (15 years!) The Tin Jubilarians: Batch 2001 (10 years!) The Wood Jubilarians: Batch 2006 (5 years!)



Orgcom 2011’s 11 Firsts


Early, Instead of Mid-February. Ours marks the first USTHS GAH to be held before USTHS Week (which is typically on the third February of each year). We in Orgcom 2011 felt that many of our fellow alumni, especially those abroad, would want to be in town for UST’s grand Quadricentennial celebration in the last week of January 2011—so we timed USTHS GAH 2011 for just a week later, i.e., first week of February (the first Saturday of February 2011, to be exact).

2 3

Whopping Presence. Given that this period marks UST’s Quadricentennial, we envisioned a USTHS GAH attendance of 4,000 USTHS alumni— far beyond the usual average attendance of 1,000 or less alumni of homecomings past.

Hello, Young ’uns. We are the first Orgcom to officially recognize USTHS’ junior jubilarians, a.k.a. the jubilarian batches that graduated just five to 20 years ago (Full list on page 26.) As a result, this USTHS GAH will have an even stronger presence not just from as far back as the postWar 1940s but also all the way to Batch 2010!


Extended Environment. Given our expected GAH 2011 attendance, we realized that the Plaza Mayor would not be enough. So we sought an added venue, specifically the Benavides Garden (a.k.a. Plaza Benavides), which is adjacent to



Plaza Mayor and faces the Main Building as well—not to mention being the space of the iconic monument depicting UST founder Fr. Miguel De Benavides, OP, the third Archbishop of Manila.


Ticket, Ticket. To further make this GAH accessible to our alumni, we sought a third party to sell tickets. Enter TicketNet, which has outlets across the metropolis, via the Araneta Coliseum box office and SM Department Stores, as well as in select key cities outside Metro Manila—and these outlets began selling our tickets in early December 2010. That way, attendees can purchase their tickets well ahead of February 5 and right at the TicketNet outlet nearest them.


Social Network-Heavy. We utilized Facebook to the hilt, as evidenced by the USTHS wall ( usthighschool), which has hit over 4,000 friends in January 2011; a USTHS GAH fan page, which has had over 1,500 “likes”; and the event page named The UST High School Grand Alumni Homecoming, where, by early February 2011, over 3,000 USTHS alumni have RSVP’d as Attending!


Video GAH GAH. We made a fullfledged promotional video featuring actual Orgcom members as talking heads, and which was shot within USTHS. Since being uploaded to YouTube in

in USTHS GAH History late November 2010, the video (YouTube keywords: jUST can’t get enough of HIGH SCHOOL) has had over 5,000 views!

8 9 10

In Cooperation With... We are the first USTHS GAH Orgcom to get a media network as co-producer, in this case Mediaquest, via its television (TV5), cable operator (Cignal) and radio (92.3 NewsFM) arms. As a result... We on TV. …We are likewise the first Orgcom to have produced our own TV commercial, a 30-second, graphicsfilled number that aired, on January 9, 2011, during the timeslot of Paparazzi, TV5’s Sunday afternoon talk show. We Want Our, We Want Our MTV. Foregoing the usual format of having jubilarian batches do one live production number each during the GAH show, we opted instead for a grand jubilarian production video (a.k.a. “MTV”) with participants from various jubilarian batches. And it’s one highlight of tonight’s show that you definitely won’t want to miss!


Fireworks, of a Different Kind! What do we mean? You’ll find out only if you check out the show tonight! We hope you’ll like it, and we hope you’ll have a grand time at the USTHS GAH 2011!

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD? The photo collage on this spread features some of the members of Orgcom 2011: (clockwise from bottom right) Leebai Esquivias-Gamboa B78 • Marlon Gregory Peña B86 • Yoly Guevara-Reyno B61 • Aileen Rea-Garcia B81 • Edna Mercado-Chi B86 (she took these shots) • Jojo Nono-Santos B81 • Alex Costales B61 • Aida Castañeda-De La Rosa B61 • Lito Garcia B81 • Aped Santos B77 • Gina Abando-Abando B81 • Jomar Nebriaga B86 • Jun Sibug B71 • Be Magnaye-Fojas B86 • Anjoy Hipolito B81 • Miroan Sison-Sy B61 • Quiel Delgado B81, Rommel Francisco B86 • Nina Manlutac-Rigor B80 • Gerry Catama B78 • Terryben Pizarro-Pulmano B86 • Jun Pascual B61 • Jeanne Lainez-Bayon B86 • Emil Padilla B82 • Julius Draculan B81 • Mylene Cipriano B81 • Doris Erestain-Reytas B61 • Bert Sulat Jr. B86 • Racquel Nuguid-Rey B61 • Riette Callos-Silao B86 • Trx Pariño B87 • Sonny Marquez B71 • Beth Dadivas-Odulio B81 • and Tony Ereñeta B58. Other USTHS alumni who have joined or supported Orgcom 2011 include Bal Endriga B56; Evelina Ragaza-Valencia & Rochie Laparan-De Guzman B61 • Cecile HerraduraAgobian, Benjo Reyes & Lydia Bañas-Malvar B71 • Nelson Obach B80 • Boyette San Diego & Henry Herrera B76 • Dona Mendoza, Jon Abaquin & Eric Pineda B81 • and Beth Angeles, Tess Mata-Caudal, Jing Sotelo, Don Sarmiento & Vic Flores B86. (It was Vic who came up with the finalized GAH 2011 theme.) Apologies to anyone whom we may have inadvertently not mentioned. Cheers!













Are YOU One of

the Mighty 400? TONIGHT IS GOING TO BE A NIGHT LIKE NO OTHER. A day that will be remembered in the future annals of history as the night of the Mighty 400; a coming together of 400 strong UST High School alumni whose names will be etched forever in the walls of the Thomasian Alumni Center. What was once only a dream will now become a reality! For the time has already come for all HS graduates to join together as one, to help build a lasting legacy that will stand for the ages; a structure that will become the future haven for all of UST’s alumni. Today will be the greatest night of our lives. We who are gathering in front of this Main Building are going to make it happen. And we guarantee that a day won’t go by in our lives without realizing how amazing this day is going to be. This is the day when we, as a group, will move forward. We could not have gone this far if we retreated from past challenges. We are going to march on; right here, right now, and unite for this noble endeavor. There may be some amongst us who might be unbelievers of the cause. But this day will prove that when other people’s courage fails, there will be a Mighty 400 who will step up to the plate and carry the torch. For to the mighty ones, failure is never an option. This is not going to be easy! We will have to work harder than we have ever worked before and dream higher than we have ever dreamed. But that’s fine. For this is how winners are born. Believe us when we say tonight that we will win and win this one for our beloved UST High School. For if we are to become the winners that we have always wanted to be, then we must all unite to fulfill this promise and dream, one step at a time. Let no man forget how relentless and driven the Mighty 400 truly are! This is your time! This is our time! Let us seize the day and be counted as one of the Mighty 400. In victory or death, we will never surrender. Who’s with us? Who will rise up to the challenge? The day is today and the time is now. For to dust shall we return when the days of our lives would end, but future Thomasian generations will always remember the night of the Mighty 400!!! JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF HIGH SCHOOL!


Kahit Baligtarin By AGNES B. PAULINO, Class IV-A1, USTHS ’61


FTER MARCH 23, 1961, OUR high school graduation, each one of us went our separate ways in pursuit of our lifetime dreams. The ones who remained in touch were the ones who took the same college courses in UST or in some other universities. There were no formal reunions to speak of for our batch. It was only 40 years after graduation that the process of reconnecting began and we got an inkling of how Batch ’61 fared. After college, a good number of us migrated, mostly to the United States. At that time, it was rather easy to apply and get a visa to pursue a career in the “land of milk and honey.” Those who followed this path included Susie, Cora, Mina, Lettie, Lita, Leony, Delia, Eve, Lu, Jinx, Noah, Efren, Tito, Doug, Bert, Orville, Vance, Joel, Ben, Logy, Edwin, Corky, and Lydia, among others. They landed good paying jobs in the wellknown US companies such as Boeing, Citibank, Bank of America and Chevron. The likes of Mita, Grace, Rose and Edwina found their niches in the United Nations headquarters in New York City. However, it was Romelio, the boys’ valedictorian, who went ahead of them when he pursued his college course at the University of San Francisco. These photos (from top right) show USTHS ’61 members at a batch meeting at City Best Resto; at a batch meeting at Jade Palace restaurant; at the election of B61’s 20102011 officers at the San Lazaro Racing Club; and at the Batch Reunion in Las Vegas, Nevada, in April 2001.



Linda earned her degree in chemistry but along the way managed to finish an unrelated law degree, specializing in patents. Yoly also became a lawyer and married one, too; the conference room of their law firm is now our regular meeting venue. Arabella went full-time into Public Speaking, among other things. Tish, as expected, stayed in academe after postgraduate studies in the United States. She came back and shared her skills as English Department Chair and Liberal Arts Dean in De La Salle University. Joe finished his computer science degree at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Despite tempting job offers, he came home to tend to his first farm and later went into other business ventures. Miroan took up chemistry, got married to a batchmate, Danny, and taught in UST for 15 years. Later, she joined Danny in their various family business ventures. Ed of IV-A2 married Aida from IV-A1. Both were into banking until Aida decided to be a full-time mom and pursued other business interests. Another couple from our batch was Doris and the late Ernie, who hosted informal mini-reunions with the boys. Alex retired as a general of the

Philippine Army. He now heads our group and runs the meetings with the firm but gentle hand of a true-blue general. Flavio, who was past president of our local group, was a former mayor in Nueva Ecija. Handling people and their concerns has always been the forte of Perla. She is now looking forward to her retirement after their forthcoming CBA. Boy has his own accounting firm while he also teaches at the De La Salle Graduate School. Rochie, Tess, Raquel, Sonny and Vic are kept busy by their own businesses and advocacies. In the field of nursing, Olivia has a kilometric list of accomplishments that leaves one breathless. Denny is not far behind when it comes to his business and finance ventures plus his dancing prowess. Vilma is very passionate in everything she does, including her theme parties. Winnie is enjoying the fruits of her retirement playing bridge in Canada, where we also found Norma. We have two “pray-ers” in our class: Mercedes took the name Sr. Maria Fe, OCD, while Emilie is now Sr. Fidel Marie, SFCC. Sr. Fidel Marie became a doctor of medicine after making her vows. Rosalie became a Commercial Attaché, which enabled her to see much

1961 Pa Rin! of the world. Her last posting was in Berlin, Germany. She is coming home after more than 40 years of public service. On the other hand, our photo-journalist, Noli, does not have the word “retirement” in his vocabulary. Noli served as the close-in photographer of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin and was a veteran of EDSA I in terms of photo coverage. Most of us are now retired and we now have the time to join hands and make plans on how we are to celebrate our Golden Jubilee as UST High School graduates on the Quadricentennial of UST. Foremost in our agenda is to maximize our gatherings to fill in the 50-year gaps in our friendship links and enjoy each other ’s company. This time, we shall all be free to speak in whatever language or dialect we want. There will be no English Campaign and I won’t be there to fine anyone speaking Tagalog. I shall leave to the history book my title: Public Enemy # 1.



USTHS’71 Philippines

USTHS’71 Overseas

Meetings at Sangkalan

Bingo Socials at Sangkalan

Gawad Kalinga Advocacy

Cottolengo Advocacy

Pages Created by Evie Reyes-Laurito










Laughter & Learning at the Halls of UST High

OW DOES ONE POOL THE We used chalks for writing onto blackcollective memories of 644 boards. Classrooms had high ceilings, with batchmates who learned and large-blade ceiling fans providing laughed together through four years of ventilation. There was a public address high school life, into an essay of two pages? system from where emerged With great difficulty, to say the least. announcements from office secretary Mr. This recollection, therefore—reader be Urbano Agalabia (English) or alerts to the cautioned—will be selective and incomplete praying of the Angelus. as it goes through my personal viewing lens. On to the lessons. Turmoil Outside, Learning Inside “Nasa loob ang Dividend-azo, nasa Batch 1976 entered the halls of the Old labas ang Divisor-ia.” Miss Lourdes High School Building in June 1972. The Meneses would tell us, helping us through building was a one-storey structure, with the occasional confusion in Modern Math. an auditorium, library, administration office, We would smile at the funny mnemonic, the classrooms and laboratories, a canteen especially those of us who were familiar and a small patio where Rector Fr. Manuel with the guide to the horseraces in the San Piñon’s pet, a monkey named George, Lazaro Hippodrome. provided us ogling teens with moments of “If you want to learn how to write, amusement during class breaks. you have to read and read and read and Year 1972 was an intense period in our read and read…” Religion teacher Mr. country’s history. Newspapers of the day Mariano Carpio would challenge us. like The Manila Times regularly carried “Try to learn something new every day,” stories of public discontent expressed advised Mrs. Angela Angeles, as she through rallies and demonstrations. wrapped up a lesson for the day proving President Aquino’s father, Sen. Benigno theorems in Geometry. “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., and his colleagues in And then there was Mrs. Victoria By BOYETTE SAN DIEGO, Congress, were regular front-page newsCachola, whose zeal for the teaching of USTHS 1976 item subjects, challenging the government History was matched by her admiration of President Ferdinand Marcos. for teen idol Vilma Santos. From the classrooms that faced Dapitan St., we could see the Our teachers were serious and funny—some more banners of demonstrators marching to rally venues such as Plaza serious than funny—but everyone left deep and lasting Miranda in nearby Quiapo. We were close to the nerve center. impressions that continue to serve us well 35 years later. “Nothing to worry about,” Mrs. Josefina Cuasay (Literature) There was one particular teacher who stood out in the funny would reassure us as the demonstrators marched past Dapitan. department and would often leave his students in stitches. He Inside the High School Building, we busied ourselves with was Mr. Edilberto Balingit (Social Science). A sampler: our lessons under the guidance of our unforgettable teachers. We all know the circumstances that led to the breakout Maestras y Maestros of the Philippine-American War—the Philippine campaign High school learning was mainly about our teachers. It for independence and the American colonial expansion. is they who opened new doors to the vast and fascinating But there was an inside story to how the war actually world of knowledge. started, reveals Mr. Balingit. “The night the war broke out,” he begins in a serious tone, “a Filipino civilian was walking along San Juan Bridge when an American sentry suddenly called out: ‘Halt! Who goes there?!’“ The Filipino civilian—whose name, by the way, was Hugo—was caught by surprise. The sentry just called out my name, he said to himself. [Actually, what he thought he heard was “Hugo’s there?!”] The sentry repeated his warning: “Halt! Who goes there?!” So instead of stopping and identifying himself, the curious Hugo hurried up to the sentry, who by then had become very agitated. Seconds later, shots rang out. And the rest is, well, “History According to Mr. Balingit.” Mr. Balingit also taught Economics. One way to save on water, he said, was to dip one’s fingers into a tabo of water and sprinkle water onto one’s face. “That’s economics,” he would say with a grin that was as wide as España Boulevard. Mr. Balingit certainly made us



feel at ease and ready for the next learning assignment. Incidentally, Mr. Balingit and many of his contemporaries— among them Mr. Benjamin Roda (World Literature), Mrs. Evangeline Teodoro and Dr. Conrado Reyes (Pilipino), Mr. Felicisimo Velasco (English), and Mrs. Cipriana Yu (Social Studies)—also had concurrent teaching loads at the UST college level. Mr. Serafin Patawaran, meanwhile, also taught at Colegio de San Juan de Letran, making the USTHS faculty a powerhouse of Maestras and Maestros of wide training and experience. The Principals No recollection of high school life would be complete without mention of our Principals. When we graduated, our sister sections were under the care of Mrs. Araceli Murillo. Particularly memorable for us boys was our Principal, Mr. Francisco Torres. Mr. Torres—or “Turing,” as we fondly called him— was a disciplinarian of a few words. It was enough that he looked at a student or a whole class straight in the eye for everyone to get the message and toe the line. The quintessence of tough love, his was a firm handshake that congratulated us and bid us well as he handed our diplomas during graduation day in 1976. Be Fit. Be Prepared. Do a Good Turn Daily. Part of our routines in high school was the weekly Physical Education and Health lessons at the Athletic Field, where Instructors like Mr. Cordero, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Viray and a host of others would have us jog, walk and play a number of sports that included football, softball, basketball, volleyball and swimming. As we golden boys and girls of Batch ’76 grow wiser and a little heavier, the memories of PE days constantly remind us that a little exercise each day will keep the doctor away. Saturdays, meanwhile, would be devoted to Scouting and, in the senior year, Citizens Army Training (CAT). During Scouting days, the Athletic Field would be an eye-catching sea of colors as we wore green (Land Scouts), white (Sea Scouts) and Blue (Air Scouts). Some of our batchmates, like Cecil Saguisag and the late Ray Alfabeto, would be so inspired by their CAT training that they would go on and pursue careers in military service. Jive and the Holidays December would be fun days as each section would prepare for the group singing competition, simply called “Jive.” Freshman year 1972 was particularly memorable for the boys’ session as batchmate Raul Mercado led section 122 to victory over the older schoolmates with his inspired version of the Jackson 5’s “Give Love on Christmas Day.” If we already had YouTube then, Raul would have pre-dated Arnel Pineda and Charice Pempengco by a generation. Jive also treated us to special guests who also served as judges—performers like Alice Zerrudo, Sylvia La Torre and Jose Mari Chan. The Christmas season was also a time for dance parties that many of us excitedly awaited. The High School wasn’t yet coeducational then, with our sister batchmates attending the morning session. Dance parties were, therefore, one of the few opportunities for socialization. The parties were often held in the homes of classmates or friends. Lights were dimmed, to be turned on full only when dinner was to be served. We danced to the beat of 45

From top photo: Batch ’76 with some of their teachers: Ms. Agripina Manapat, Ms. Ma. Isabel Casas and Ms. Imelda Bernal-Beley, 2008; Holiday get-together of the ladies of Batch ’76, 2010; USTHS ’76ers reunite California, 2006

rpm records of, among others, The Commodores’ “Machine Gun” and “I Feel Sanctified” (a religious song it wasn’t), alternating with Dionne Warwick and The Spinners’ “Just as Long as We Have Love” for slow drag moments. Many batchmates, like Lalan Bautista, were superb dancers, while the rest of us were happy enough to swing the night away with the “Maskipaps.” The Legacy of UST High The lessons and the values learned from four years of Thomasian secondary education continue to resonate well with us 39 years from the time we entered the halls of UST High School and 35 years after we left. We will be forever grateful to our parents and guardians for choosing UST High, which has molded us into models of excellence and disciples of a high moral code, the timeless “Matuwid na Daan.” It’s the same set of values that inspired our TOTAL nominee for the year, Archie Yan, to lend a ship to rescue the hapless victims of a typhoon in Bicol, the same set of timeless community values that inspires Archie to invest in industrial projects that will benefit the greatest number. Archie’s achievements are representative of the quiet achievements of the graduates of 1976, wherever they are in the global village. We raise a glass to our dear Alma Mater, UST High School. May she continue to produce outstanding and compassionate graduates in the service of others, for the greater glory of God, Country and Community. And may she continue to do so with generous doses of humor that feed the soul. JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF HIGH SCHOOL!














A Working Directory of

USTHS Batch ’86 In the four previous pages is a list of members of Batch ’86— including a number of deceased members, for they are eternally our batchmates. In these next three pages are the contact details of just 156—based on voluntary submissions of their contact data via email or Facebook since late December 2010—out of the more than 700 or so batchmates around the world who continue to make their mark in the Philippines and elsewhere in the globe. Yes, this directory holds just a small portion of our huge Silver Jubilarian 2011 batch, but it is a start. That said, Happy Quadricentennial Year, UST! And warm regards to all of our teachers and administrators of UST High School and our fellow USTHS alumni across all batches, from all of us in Batch ’86! > Bert Sulat Jr. Ildemel (“Mel” or “Deng”) Venedem P. Abando Jacksonville, Florida 904-703-8325 Mel Abando on Facebook


Rowena Abraham-Lim Gardena, CA (310) 930-3575 Rowena Abraham-Lim on FB Raymond M. Acal Marikina City, PHL 369-5874 Raymond M. Acal on Facebook Analyn Acampado-Vargas Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia +61 8 89273761; +61 415 557 596 Analyn Vargas on FB Io Medina Aceremo Lilly-NUS Centre for Clinical Pharmacology Pte Ltd Information Technology c/o Fujitsu Pte Ltd; +6593747114 Marisol “Sol” Acosta-Medina Los Angeles, California (562) 991-4111 Marisol Acosta Medina on FB Enrico “Eric” C. Aguila, OTR, OTRP Quezon City, PHL +63918-613-3312; +632384-7287 Enrico C. Aguila on FB Allan Moreno Alfonso Macau S.A.R., China +853-62517766 Allan Alfonso on FB



Jocelyn “Jowee” O. Almendras Mandaluyong City, PHL Jowee Almendras on FB

Rowena “Weng” Bautista California, USA (714) 906-1442; Rowena Bautista on FB

Gilbert C. Castro Meycauayan, Bulacan, PHL Gilbert C. Castro on Facebook

Catherine “Kate” BernabeArkoncel Quezon City, PHL 0920-011-3552

Emmaria “Ria” Velasco Cauton 02 Sunniside, Northshields, Tyne and Wear, UK, NE29 7JJ + 44 191 280 7465 (home) mob. phone +44 7876203215 Ria Velasco Cauton on FB

Jennifer Esguerra-Bouffard Bermuda Dunes, California Cell: 773-551-9285 Jennifer Esguerra Bouffard on FB Leonardo “Leonie” G. Bugayong Laoag City, Ilocos Norte +63927-876-3890 Leonie Bugayong on FB Maria Redencion “Reden” Bukid Abella, MD Quezon City, PHL 0917-6266528 Reden Bukid Abella on Facebook iam1surgeon on Twitter

Sheila M. Andres-Santos Poblacion, Pandi, Bulacan 3014 0917-507-5808

Angelita “Lilit” BulataoLindenmann Antipolo City (02) 696-5172; 0917-812-8563 Lilit Bulatao Lindenmann on FB

Elizabeth “Beth” Angeles Quezon City, PHL 0922-813-6907;

Lani Cabarles-Ramchandani BSB, Brunei Darussalam 673 2340093

Michelle “Trixie” Aquino Ramirez Quezon City, PHL 0906-2708088; 0932-4163328 Michelle Aquino Ramirez on FB

Henrietta “Riette” Callos-Silao, C PA Paco, Manila 0922-863-0695; 0917-620-3251

Gem Ascue VII Manila, PHL 0917-515-7088

Benjamin “Benjie” Cancio III Silang, Cavite 4118 0917-825-1007

Leah “Chiqui” Baguino-Sibug Project 8, Quezon City 0922-898-3999

Pauline Cañizares-Ramos, MD Quezon City, PHL 0917-838-9190 Pauline Cañizares-Ramos on FB

Celerina “Kim” Baisa Viray East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania USA cel no. 201 779 9733 Kim Baisa Viray on FB

Maan M. Capinpin QA/Operations Delfi-Cocoa Specialities Inc. 0917-835-7296 Maan Capinpin on FB


Nerissa “Nerie” BalbasUrbiztondo Quezon City, PHL 0933-654-0229 / 0939-883-2829; Edgar N. Barrozo Katy, TX, USA 713-628-7582; Edgar N. Barrozo on FB


Romel L Carbonell Puerto Princesa City, Palawan 5300 0920-928-0436 Romel Carbonell on FB Maria Cristina Castillo Chua Tandang Sora Ave., QC; Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque Phone: 0927-280-1521

Raquel “Khaye” Cervantes-Anzures Caloocan City Michael Co Austin, Texas Peter M. Co Quezon City, Phils. 0922-8537993; 02-492-5487; Raquel “Judy” Concepcion-Cantre 13745 Francisco Dr. La Mirada, CA 90638; 562.4580346; raqy judes raqz on FB Anne “Len” Concepcion-Kim Los Angeles (more of the valley), California, USA; (818) 469-6792 Anne Concepcion Kim on FB Ma. Carmen Cordis 6916 Rio Tejo Way Elk Grove Ca 95757; Ana Lourdes Cortez-Aseron 50 Lincoln St. SFDM, QC 1105 0917-965-2185; Carina Crisol Talusan Quezon City, PHL 0922-894-2097 Renato “Bong” Cruz New York, NY, USA Renato Cruz on FB


Bernard Dadivas Redwood City, Ca. USA 650 471 5109; Bernard Dadivas on FB Eduardo C. Dantes Cabangan, Zambales Sta.Mesa Gardenville, Manila 0939-717-9504; 02 7143430 Frederic “Eric” De Jesus Edmonton, Alberta Canada 1-780-707-8950 Ares Joseph “Ares” A. Delabahan Masbate City, PHL; 0917-512-1090 Ares Joseph Delabahan on FB


Emmanuel “Manny” C. Delgado Novaliches, Quezon City 0917-272-3653

Jessica Fallurin-Lara Austin, TX

Maria Cecilia “Maricel” or “Cel” Diamzon Amar Dallas, Texas 214 460 4010

Dolores “Dolly” Flores-Esselstyn Kansas USA 66046 Dolly Flores Esselstyn on FB

Denise Diaz-Braza Bellevue, Washington Joaquin Diaz Sydney, Australia Joaquin Diaz on FB Aleli Dizon-Gutierrez Sugar Land, Tx 281-494-0154 Aleli Gutierrez on FB Dol Dizon-Bernardo Manila Dol Dizon-Bernardo on FB Norbert M. Dizon Sta. Rosa, Laguna 0917-892-3721 Norbert Dizon on Facebook Diana “Batchie” N. Dy Institute of Physical Education and Athletics, UST, Manila 0917-8331117


Mary Ann Elloso-Arce San Francisco, CA Mary Ann Elloso-Arce on FB Michael Encarnacion Batangas City, PHL 0917-830-1514, 0922-830-1514 Jean Encinas-Franco Cubao, Quezon City 1112 Jean Franco on FB George O. Espera Quezon City, PHL; Singapore +65 82009415 (mobile) & +65 64042615 (landline) George Espera on FB Gilbert S . Esquejo, MD, FPAPRAS Loyola Heights, QC Mobile +63 917-8558942; +632-9758860 Amee Evangelista-Marcayda, MS, CCC-SLP Hercules, CA mobile: 510-499-4309 Amee V. Evangelista-Marcayda on FB Twitter: @Russel_Amee

Victor Manuel “Vic” Flores Quezon City, PHL 0922-880-1414 0917-612-2041 Vic Flores on FB Annaleah (“Anna” or “Leah”) David Forbes-Torres Quezon City, PHL CP # 0999-7234-777; LandLine Plus # 99-888-64 Annaleah Forbes-Torres on FB Joan Francisco Tadeja Foster City, CA USA (650) 341-2175


Ligaya “Yang” Barias Garabiles Neuro-Psychiatry Section, PNP General Hospital, Health Service Camp Crame, Quezon City Mobile: +63923-717-9129; +63915-717-5818 Benjie Garcia Ontario, California Cell 909-229-7708 Francis Gerald V. Garcia, DMD Quezon City, PHL 0919-531-1518 J. Neil C. Garcia Department of English and Comparative Literature UP Diliman, Quezon City, J. Neil C. Garcia on FB Julie Christie Go-De Los Santos Pasco, Washington (509)845-2062 Marlon J. Gomez Trinity University of Asia 275 E. Rodriguez Blvd., QC 02 702-2882 LOC 431 Norman Paul Gonzalez Quezon City, PHL Norman Gonzalez on FB


Pablo G Hicban Jr. Malolos, Bulacan 0920-902-0835; 0922-817-2160


Armando “Archie” A. Inabangan Jr. Quezon City, PHL 911-1020

Minerva “Minie” P. InanuranSantamaria Las Vegas NV Minerva Pua Inanuran Santamaria on FB Christene Rene C. Isidro Quezon City, PHL 0919-8667012 Butch Isidro on Facebook “brownamerican” on Twitter John M. Isidro Sta Cruz, Metro Manila 0917-534-2942; 0922-853-4292


Vincent Jajalla Parañaque, Philippines +63-917-501-8778 Vince Jajalla on Facebook Ma. Theresa Jareno-Bracey Saginaw, Michigan USA Cell # 989/574-6674 Theresa Jareno Bracey on FB Leo Cesare D. Jurado Pasig City 0922-843-7849; Leo Jurado on FB


Wilmer S. Lafuente Bacoor, Cavite 0920-225-2155; Jeanne Lainez-Bayon 0927-538-2056

Maria Clarissa “Aisa” LasamZulueta Las Piñas City, PHL 0915-343-0878 Aisa Lasam Zulueta on FB Michelle “Chie” Layug-Gonzalez Stockton, California USA 209-594-0746; 209-815-2276 (cell) Michelle-Chie Layug Gonzalez on FB Mary Jean “Jean” Legaspi-Sison Manila, PHL 559-3642 / 0916-605-1425 Mary Ann “MeAnn” Lim-Favie Singapore; San Pedro, Laguna, PHL +65-9811-8055 / 0918-9446086 Mary Ann Lim Favie on FB


Dante M. Marcelo Sydney, Australia Dante Marcelo on FB Myrrha Villanueva Mariano Long Beach, CA Andrea “Rhea” Maun-Dacayanan Greater Boston, Massachusetts USA (781) 271-0737 Andrea Dacayanan on FB Twitter: 1Fastbite Edna Mercado-Chi Kaloocan City, Philippines 0906-3034641 Edna Mercado Chi on FB Glenna “Ging” Basa Mercado, MD Olongapo City, PHL 0920-901-0009; 0922-828-3303 Glenna Mercado on FB Glorieli Mistica-Santiago Aylesbury Bucks, England Victorino “Victor” R. Molina Saudi Arabia; Fairview, QC Contact no.: 0500158137 Victorino Molina on FB Miyoshi Muñoz Toronto, Canada 1.905.597.4315


Chris Napiza Piscataway NJ 732 659-0759 Napiza Kids on Facebook “Napizakids” on Twitter Joseph Mario “Jomar” A. Nebriaga Pasig City, PHL +63920 907 9690 Jomar Nebriaga on FB Ronald “Ron” Novera Howell, NJ


Ceferino “Dos” A. Pacio II Las Piñas City, PHL 0922-852-1434, 0917-508-5716 Dos Pacio on FB

Jessica Mandap-Mejia Golden Hills Subd., Marilao Bulacan, Jaye Mandap Mejia on FB

Melanie Pangan-De La Cruz Antipolo City, Rizal 0917-9916358 Melanie Pangan-De La Cruz on FB Twitter: allaboutlani

Marie Joanne Susana R. Marañon, DMD, MS Manila, PHL; +63920-920-0291 Marie Joanne R. Maranon on FB

Vina Paglicawan-Villegas Manila, PHL 0917.851.5233 Vina Paglicawan Villegas on FB



Evelyn Paras-Domingo Mayo Clinic Hospital Jacksonville, Florida

Gary David B.Quizon Antipolo, PHL 0917-855-4454; Gary Quizon on FB

Heidi Paray-Brassett Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Ruel C. Ramirez, MD Quezon City 0928-243-5432;

Sylvia Pascual-Azote Richmond, BC Canada Sylvia Azote on FB

Ferold Rey Michaelo T. Regencia PAREF Southridge School Hellsborough Subdivision Alabang, Muntinlupa City 0920-846-0167

Jomar & Maria Patawaran Dickinson, Texas 832 434-3711 Roberto Manuel “Manny” Payao Jr. San Juan City, PHL 0927-506-1239; 0920-448-6542 Manny Payao on FB Rizvend Pecaña St. Joseph Medical Center Kansas City, MO Tel. (913) 710-0462; Riz Pec on FB Marlon Gregory “Marlon” M. Peña Manila, PHL +63(915) 562-9502 Marlon Gregory M. Peña on FB Lorraine Perez-Callasan Milan, Italy +393731100458; Lorraine Perez Callasan on FB Noemi Angeline “Bingle” Picache-Chuidian Manila, PHL (02) 524-3011 loc. 4622; (0928) 325-9192; Carmen Daria “Mench” PreciosoSanchez San Pedro, Laguna, PHL 847-4699; 0918-928-3371 Carmen Precioso Sanchez in FB Terryben “Pinky” B. PizarroPulmano Quezon City, PHL 0915-854-2557 Terryben Pizarro-Pulmano on FB


Jocelyn “Jodie” Quimpo-Dionisio (044) 693-9866; (0922) 995-8583 Rosemarie “Rose” Quipse-Daus New Jersey, USA Tel. No. 201-985-0259 Rose Quipse-Daus on FB




Teddy Regpala Sacramento, Ca USA Teddy Regpala on FB Rowan M. Rellosa Parañaque City, Philippines 0918-902-9977 Ronald R. Relos Quezon City, PHL 0908-103-9941 Rey Rendor Quezon City, PHL 0917-822-4887; 0922-882-1069 Jennifer Reyes-Salido Orani, Bataan 2112 (920) 909-4898 Jennifer Reyes Salido on FB John Paul Reyes Toronto, Canada 1.416.912.7355 John Paul R on FB Edwin V. Rodriguez, MD UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Department of Pharmacology, Manila 0917-897-6074 Jocelyn “Jay” Reyes Rufin Oak Park, Michigan 248 854 6391 Jocelyn Reyes Rufin on FB Warren M. Roraldo, MD Tagaytay Hospital Medical Center Department of Surgery Tagaytay City 0908-885-1968


Federico Allan Samonte Santa Monica, California, USA (310) 310-3554 Allan Samonte on FB

Jacqueline “Jack” TecsonConcepcion Los Angeles, CA (323) 982-0853 Jack Tecson-Concepcion on FB

Robert Sanchez La Puente, California (626) 991-3186

Ruth U. Texon-Elequin San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan 0917-644-4793

Ronald Theodore J. Sangalang Pittsburg, CA USA (925) 643-5044 Ronald Sangalang on FB

Edgar C. Torres Fernando Air Base, Lipa City 0923-329-6784


Ma. Christine Ventura-Guico Houston, Texas Marichris Ventura-Guico on FB

Edwin Santiago West Hollywood, CA USA 310 980 2697 Edwin Santiago on FB

Raymond “Mon” Villacorta Orange County, California 714.454.0636/714.744.8375

Suzette B. Santos Newark, California (510) 209-0925 Suzette Santos on FB Reynato “Don” C. Sarmiento Jr. Quezon City, PHL 0918-578-1214; 0923-921-5756 Don Cinco Sarmiento on FB Michelle Shodja 340 East Saint Andrews Street Ontario, California 91761 Cell (714) 510-6502 Ma. Flora May Sevilla Quezon City, PHL 0920-946-1484 Ma Flora May Sevilla on FB Sean Sison Flushing, NY Maria Rossana Soto-Datuin Tennessee, USA (731) 660-4442 Rossana Soto-Datuin on FB Rogelio “Jing” M. Sotelo Pasig City, PHL 0917-527-0243; 0917-836-2557 Jing Sotelo on Facebook Willie A. Sugay Union City, California USA 415-860-2133

Lanie Saet-Manlapig b6 l32 Everest Drive, Veraville Fremont, Talon 1, Las Piñas City +63926-689-3066

Edilberto “Bert” B. Sulat Jr. Quezon City, PHL 0917-893-5806 Bert Write on Facebook

Arlene Saludo-Nario Los Angeles, CA (818) 267-0850

Sheryl Tablada Tacto Carson, California, USA (310) 834-9867 Sheryl Tablada Tacto on FB


Frederick A. Villamena, PhD Department of Pharmacology, The Ohio State University Columbus, OH 43205 USA Emmanuel “Manny” Villanueva Jacksonville, Florida Manny Villanueva on FB Samantha Christine “Cham” Villegas-Monfero Quezon City, PHL 0915-437-0695 Cesar Viola Toronto, Canada 1.416.609.9493 (Home) Myra-Cesar Viola on FB Maria Fe Vizcayno-Torres Dubai, UAE +971 55 5521290 Maria Fe Luna Vizcayno on FB


Mylene Yap Southfield, Michigan USA 2488275730 Ma. Theresa “Mathe” I. Yngson Vallejo CA, US 510-432-8877 Judith “Bonbon” M. Zamora Marilao, Bulacan 0917-871-6470 Judith Zamora on FB

Batchmate! Are you not on this list? Then join us and be active online at & on Facebook via the Usths Eightysix wall!







Coming Home By Atty. Jose C. Sison

This was the text of Atty. Sison’s opinion-section column, “A Law Each Day (Keeps Trouble Away),” in The Philippine Star’s January 10, 2011 edition. Reprinted with permission. Atty. Sison is a USTHS Batch ’55 graduate.


N SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011, AN ESTIMATED 4,000 UST High School alumni from various parts of the country and the world will be returning to their Alma Mater as they gather to celebrate what looks to be the biggest homecoming in the High School’s history so far. The grand affair will be held at the UST Plaza Mayor right in front of the historic UST Main Building starting 5 p.m. onwards. My high school class ’55 batch-mates and thousands of other high school alumni are really looking forward to this occasion because it also coincides with the four hundredth anniversary of the famous and legendary school itself, the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST), one of the oldest, if not the oldest University in the world. With a very catchy theme of “jUST can’t get enough of HIGH SCHOOL,” the homecoming is sure to draw unprecedented number of “boys and girls” of yesteryears who would surely want to relive their unforgettable four years of fun and camaraderie within the campus as well as the “blood, sweat and tears” they shed inside the classrooms. Come to think of it, even with the passing of so many years and as we heed the counsel of Max Erhmann in “Desiderata” to “gracefully surrender the things of the youth,” some events of our high school days just keep on coming back and bring pleasant memories that somehow arouse that deep yearning to visit the campus and feel like teenagers again. But over and above reliving and reminiscing those memorable teenage years, our intense desire to return to our Alma Mater really stems from the sense of gratitude that we all feel because of how the school has molded us not only academically but also morally, spiritually, socially and even physically. Indeed those years of secondary schooling are years when first impressions have great and lasting impacts in many other facets of our lives aside from learning the subjects taught inside the classroom that prepare us to pursue higher education. Those are the years when our character and personality are molded, and the basic Christian values of love of God and neighbor are formed, which serve as the solid foundations of our life in the outside world after school. Undoubtedly, the primary source of these first and lasting impressions were our high school teachers. Their erudition and extensive knowledge of the subjects they taught and their competence in the art of imparting them to their students were indeed awesome and inspiring. But more impressive and awe-inspiring were their traits and personalities. They all personified the virtues of selfdiscipline, hard work, and dedication to their profession and to truth, justice and fairness which their students have absorbed.



Our high school teachers really have a great influence in our lives so that up to now, even after so many years, we can still remember their names as they have been deeply etched in our hearts. Presumably, most of them may have already been rewarded by God with eternal rest for jobs well done. So on high school reunions, it would be good that we also remember them and thank God for giving them to us. I am sure my classmates can still remember our English teachers Mrs. Araceli Murillo and Mrs. Gloria Hernandez, our teacher in Physics; Mr. Eduardo Molano, Mr. Bonifacio Torres in Biology; Mr. Matias, Mr. Castillanes, in Geometry; Mr. Gregorio Hernandez, in History; Mr. Justino Surla, in Economics; Ms. Villanueva, in Mathematics; Mrs. Emiliana Cruz-Roa, Mrs. Betty Quintos, in Chemistry; Mrs. Jacinta Constantino, in Social Science; Mr. Cenon Rivera, in Arts; our Religion teachers Ms. Benilda Marfori, Ms. Ester Abesamis, and Ms. Josefina Sevilla; also Mrs. Alice Villadolid, Ms. Rebecca Magno, Mrs. Bautista and a few others whose names unfortunately slipped my mind due to advancing age. Another important value in life we acquired during those teen years was derived from the close bonding among classmates. Our relationship then was founded more on compassion than competition such that we developed that strong spirit of brotherhood. Hence up to present or at least in recent years, some of us still regularly see or get in touch with each other to extend any kind of assistance or simply exchange notes about our past and present life. Immediately coming to mind among these classmates are: Aury Abella, Vic Brion, Nonie Castillo, Ding Coronel (deceased), Nardy Custodio, the late Gen. Jun Dumlao, Tito Gelano, Joe Isidro, Mon Nunez, Tony Miranda, Temy Ordinario, Tony Orlina (deceased), Doming Santiago, Rudy Santos, Cholo Syquia, Tony Syyap, Jack Uy and many others whose names I cannot recall right now. One thing these guys have in common is that all of them have excelled in their respective fields of endeavor. Actually, it is in UST where I had most of my schooling. I finished my Elementary, High School and PreLaw course (Associate in Arts) there. My parents served the University as educators. My father, Bienvenido A. Sison, Sr was the high school general principal when it reopened after the war while my mother Natalia CelestialSison was one of the pioneer teachers in the Intermediate school when it opened in the late forties. My family is really a brood of Thomasians as my six sisters and three other brothers also graduated there. Indeed we just can’t get enough of our high school in UST so about 4,000 or more of us are returning on February 5, 2011 starting 5 pm at the Plaza Mayor for the

Grand Alumni Homecoming. This year’s organizing committee for the reunion is again headed by the tireless and indomitable lady, Leebai Esquivias-Gamboa, who have seen to it that tickets are available in accessible outlets like TicketNet at Araneta Coliseum and at all SM

Department Stores. So, all high school alumni who have not yet gotten their tickets better get them now because seats are on a “first come first served” basis. Proceeds of the affair will go to the joint scholarship program of the USTHS and its Alumni Association. JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF HIGH SCHOOL!


Am I a Thomasian? By Bert B. Sulat Jr., USTHS ’86


AM A 41-YEAR-OLD PERSON, A NINE-YEAR-OLD husband and a seven-year-old father. Of that much I am sure. I also spent four years each to earn my high school and college degrees from USTHS and the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, respectively. Yet I have been quite unsure of whether I can be considered a Thomasian. People who know me well enough might point to my being an employee of the University of the East, i.e., another school, another University Belt Consortium member like UST in fact, for the last 15 years—itself six more years, and counting, than my entire time as a “USTudent.” Naysayers may, on the other hand, dismiss me as just being coy or pretentious. (Being a Filipino, at least I put the “-asian” in “Thomasian,” yes?) My doubt, my identity crisis, as it were, goes further. To my mind, being a Thomasian is such a lofty tag, an inestimable reference—a moniker synonymous to being high and mighty enough that others need to look up just to look at you, like those iconic statues atop the Main Building. Perhaps it has to do with the name itself: “Thomasian” smacks of uniqueness and prestige, if not nobility altogether, that elevates one above any sea of humanity. The title carries such auditory weight that, even if I myself had spent eight of my formative years in UST, it seems that being a Thomasian is not an automatic addendum to my biography. Rather, it sounds like a distinction to be earned well after graduation, particularly when one has accomplished



something of such magnitude that it would be worth a booming announcement by, say, UST alumnus Bon Vibar. But then, I suppose such an assumption would not serve UST well. For one thing, if the title of Thomasian would be limited to the “exaltables”—they who would be the career equivalent of valedictorians and summa cum laudes—then the Thomasian headcount through the years might dwindle from millions to mere hundreds. (It would likewise render the TOTAL Awards totally irrelevant.) And, as opposed to being a blow to UST’s pride, such a steep drop in the number of Thomasians through the years would have a direr implication: that after all these 400 years, UST has been remiss in its mission, of instilling the values of St. Thomas Aquinas in every man or woman whose minds got unlocked further thanks to my alma mater. In the end, being a UST alumnus should indeed be the very basis for being a Thomasian. (UST employees are Thomasians, too, but that’s another essay.) Of course, achievements are a perennial barometer to measure any person’s worth. But one thing that makes you and me Thomasians is simple enough: We do good for the good of others. (Yes, even for the likes of me who happen to work in other schools.) While that line might sound like a generic motherhood statement associable with any idealistic institution, what distinguishes us Thomasians who do good for others is that UST showed us the way.

USTHS Batch ’99 Alumni Give Back to Alma Mater, Get Prominent Feature in ‘Inquirer’ A NINE-MEMBER TEAM OF UST HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI from Batch 1999 was featured not too long ago in the Philippine Daily Inquirer as part of the national broadsheet’s ongoing “Tales of the City” series. The feature, written by Julie M. Aurelio and which appeared in the Inquirer’s December 12, 2010, issue— specifically on the Metro section, pages A23 and A24—was about the DX Foundation Inc. and its founding officers and members, who had known each other for the last 15 years ever since they were USTHS students. The Foundation is led by Jelson Capilos, a college instructor and a trained public speaker who is also DX Foundation’s President. With him in the then just-a-month-old Foundation are antivirus computer engineer and Foundation Treasurer Roberto Tayag, high school teacher and Foundation Auditor Paul John Bautista, software engineer Gregory Bacolod, nurses Donnie Ray Aguilar and Myn Aprille Flesche, IT expert Adrienn Apalisoc, high school teacher Frederick Roy Manubay, and Jayson Abdon, who is a hotel chain’s team manager. The DX Foundation’s main thrust is to give

inspirational talks and training programs for teachers and students for free. This includes their very own Alma Mater, UST High School, where they recently spoke to the senior students about which college courses to take and possible career choices. As Jelson told Ms. Aurelio, “We thought that instead of just meeting for fun, why not do something worthwhile? And since some of us are into public speaking, we thought of doing something along that line.” The article can be viewed in full on the Inquirer website. It can be Googled by typing in the words “Gang of 9 school buddies pays it forward”. The article quotes Roberto as saying, “Every time we [in the DX Foundation] see each other, it’s as if we are back in high school. Nothing has changed much. I can’t see myself not being with friends whose company I enjoy more and with whom I can work together for a cause.” Kudos to Jelson, Roberto, Paul John, Gregory, Donnie Ray, Myn Aprille, Adrienn, Frederick Roy and Jayson! Your Alma Mater and fellow USTHS alumni are very proud of you! All of you are proof positive that we USTHS alumni jUST can’t get enough of HIGH SCHOOL! JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF HIGH SCHOOL!


mUST have loved HIGH SCHOOL


FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO UST’S Quadricentennial celebration: I got appointed chairman of the organizing committee (Orgcom) of the 2011 USTHS Grand Alumni Homecoming. This is funny because I was an absolute nobody back in high school. I was an average student, a sociological wallflower, a pathetic suitor and an extracurricular unknown, and not at all a student leader. And all this time, if asked to rank the best times of my student life, my high school years would always be at the bottom. I was fonder of my elementary days (at the nearby Dominican School) and at least three of my four collegiate years (at the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters). Not that I was exceptional in elementary or college either; I simply had more of a blast in and beyond the classroom back then. And while I have been in a homecoming or two as a passive attendee, I always figured that those who organized such events were the class standouts or club heads back in the day. The most I was in high school was “Sulat,” the boy with the funny surname. So how did I end up being in charge of the USTHS GAH 2011 Orgcom? (The event, by the way, is produced by the UST High School Alumni Association Inc., of which I later ended up being appointed board member.) Perhaps the root of it all can be traced, in a way, to my



surname itself. Not being able to take up my preferred course, Fine Arts, I fell back on what appeared in my teens as a burgeoning writing skill, thus my enrolling at “AB.” Even before I earned my Literature degree, my innocuous reviews of music and movies began getting out via commercial publications. And though I have had a variety of career titles since then, I was in essence a writer through and through. Fast forward to 2004, when I got to hook up anew with high school chums and mates via get-togethers; by an instinctive urge, my post-reunion mode was always as a dazed storyteller. That is, I would voluntarily, eagerly “report,” via my batch’s e-group, about those who attended the event, i.e., what they were up to now, maybe how they looked like now, and so on. My writings tended to be epic in length but I kept a playful tone that smacked a bit of Iskul Bukol. It was clear, at least to me, that I relished the writing aspect to these reunion recollections. In November 2008—incidentally after months of online debates as to who should now head our high school batch, mainly so we could get projects off the ground and be more organized—I got prodded by a US-based classmate to attend a major meeting by the USTHS GAH 2009 Orgcom. (Where were the student leaders of my youth? Abroad or out of touch.) Not long after, I got to work on the GAH 2009 souvenir program—a tense project since we had barely a month left to finish it. Prior to that homecoming, I was on rabid-writer mode when it came to discussions turned debates about that “souv prog.” After the exhilarating event itself—held in February 2009 and my first time to attend any UST GAH—I was on dazed-storyteller mode yet again, though the readership this time spanned USTHS batches beyond my own. Two months later, anticipating the buildup to the “Quadri” period, the USTHSAAI called for a general meeting of all USTHS batches, less for a GAH 2009 post-mortem and more to begin preparing for GAHs 2010 and 2011. I came to that meeting as an attendee so casual that I even showed up unshaven, looking forward only to recalling what transpired at the recent homecoming. Lo and behold, the Orgcoms of 2010 and 2011 were promptly set up right then, and the Orgcom 2011 constituency verbally hoisted me as group head. My protestations, chiefly that someone among the senior batches can better chair the Orgcom, flew over everyone else’s heads. I never got the hang of The Lord of the Rings, but right then I learned what it was like to be Frodo. The almost two years since have been nothing short of frenetic. I have had to rise to the occasion: mobilizing, catalyzing, motivating, and never ostracizing, all this while maintaining a sane, sensible balance with my day job and my family life, as well as with my own USTHS batch—of which, despite my protestations, I was eventually appointed president. (To be sure, the Orgcom is a committee, the USTHSAAI President is fundamentally the Co-Chair, and the Committee is divided into sub-committees that have respective tasks. Read: Teamwork is crucial.) Still, it has not been a breeze, but I have been flying on a word of advice imparted to me by an adviser of the USTHSAAI: steepen your

after all

By Bert B. Sulat Jr. USTHS ’86

learning curve. (As a quiet tribute, I pen-named a feature article that I later wrote for a national broadsheet under “Stephen L. Curve.”) In the midst of the rush and chaos that have occasionally characterized the Orgcom chairmanship, I step back and reflect on it all from time to time: on what had transpired, what is ongoing and what lies ahead. For one thing, I got to meet more people than ever before. As a result, I am amazed at the differences in people’s mindsets and personalities, and have come to accept that not everyone will share the fervent enthusiasm or barefaced interest of a few—and that that, ironically, is what makes life damned colorful. Coincidentally, that all this began happening as I entered my fourth decade of existence made me realize that life truly gets more interesting at 40. More crucially, considering the epic scale of GAH 2011—we aim to populate the Plaza Mayor and the Benavides Garden with up to 4,000 attendees on February 5, just a week after the main Quadricentennial events—and the many people involved on both the organizing and attending spectra, I am compelled to muster a little more courage and resolve than I ever had, and to get my act together even if the proverbial skies often tend to be overcast. Through it all, the self-derogation that I enumerated in the first paragraph has somewhat dissipated. Not that those facts have changed; rather, I began to realize that I do have good memories of high school—little anecdotes about a class here, an experience there, a teacher here, a classmate there, and discovering a knack for literary interpretations via our English classes, all of which have had a profound weight on the adult that I have become. Also: While in high school, I was constantly plagued by an introvert’s trepidation, of worrying about the answers to life’s questions while my freewheeling, happy-golucky peers seemed to have it all figured out. Yet now I realize that, despite whatever smarts we each have accrued, we all share a sense of awe and befuddle-ment at life anyway, even if we may not show it. Likewise, while I have always generalized my high school life as dull, without incident, I now see the big picture and it shows that no life is ever uneventful; fate guarantees that. And for all I know, I am likely not alone in having mixed feelings about high school life, no matter where we studied. High school is our chrysalis, after all, and metamorphosing tends to be messy. Thus, by way of the USTHS GAH 2011 Orgcom, I am virtually back to high school: learning anew. That is certainly a reward in itself, the

HANGING OUT, HANGING ON The photo above, courtesy of Ronald Sangalang, show members of Batch ’86 at the USTHS lobby one afternoon in 1985. Shown are (standing at the back, from left) Jean Franco, Tommy Syquia, Gary Quizon, Ronald Sangalang, Reno Capinpin Jr., (seated at the back, from left) Allan Samonte, Erick Villamena (partly hidden), Vina Paglicawan, Glen Aco, Cyril Gallego, (foreground, from left) Christian Del Rosario, Joaquin Diaz and the author (back when he still had “Justin Bieber bangs”).

relative thanklessness of this gig aside. Others might have handled this job differently, most likely better. But here I am, doing the best I can based on my knowledge, experience and circumstances. In a short amount of time, it has been terrifying and exciting, stressful and thrilling, distressing and amusing, pride-swallowing and horizon-expanding. And for that, to everyone who got me into this and who have supported my efforts all this time, and to USTHS herself, this absolute nobody is truly grateful.









USTHS GAH 2011 Souvenir Program  
USTHS GAH 2011 Souvenir Program  

This is the souvenir program to commemorate the UST High School Grand Alumni Homecoming 2011.