Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's never too early to start. Getting ready for UST@500!

And so part of my job in the magazine I'm working for right now is to cover awesome events like the Neo Centennial Countdown in the Royal and Pontifical--my beloved--University of Santo Tomas, Espana, Manila, Philippines! O kumpleto address, kulang na lang postal code. My photographer-slash-boyfriend and I arrived in UST on perfect timing, just when the Press IDs/Media Passes ran out from Office of Public Affairs. No frets though, the organizers got to print them immediately. I noticed that the media registration list was full of TV news outfits and was predominantly TV5.

Walking through their so-called "media box" was like a brisk walk through both heaven and hell. But in reality, it was from the Main Building lobby to the middle portion of the football field. Heaven, because of the yummiest smell of some chicken grilling all over the campus (later that night I saw stands by Chooks to Go), and hell because it was like a strong temptation to lust over food than to cover the event. The University was aiming for a "grand fiesta" theme to mark the countdown to a new century and to UST's 500th year. By then, we'd all be dead, so the photos above by my talented The Varsitarian co-editor Paul Quiambao perfectly immortalize how wild the fireworks were that night of January 27, 2012. Yes of course, there were fireworks. But before that historic sky dance, 40,000 voices composed of students, professors, staff, and musicians of UST altogether sang some 4-5 pop and classic songs like "I Had a Dream", "Magtanim ay Di Biro", and etc. The enormous Thomasian choir made an unbelievable harmony in just one football field.

After the grand fireworks display, what followed was a variety show that featured a variety of artists like Sarah Geronimo and The (ever-existing, di-ko-alam-kung-may-fan-pa-ba-talaga) Dawn. And super kamukha lang talaga nung lead singer ng The Dawn si John "Sweet" Lapuz. Swear. Kaya medyo masagwa, parang may bading na nagpapaka-rak-rakan tapos sasayaw sa Don't Lie to Me ng Showbiz Central. Oh well.

Finally, a revolution broke in my tummy and food was the key to a ceasefire. Super haba ng pila sa Chooks to Go since free-for-all ang drama ng food sa USTe noon basta may baon kang tupperware. We found no hope among the army of hungry men, so boyfriend and I retreated to Hapag which was my barkada's cheapest favorite eatery in Dapitan. Ahh, the pleasure of eating tortang talong! I so missed their salty cooking. So that's how my Neo Centennial countdown ended--a gastronomic feast in Hapag for P31.00.

Bottom line: Every year, Thomasians are becoming harder and harder to satisfy when it comes to fireworks display. In fairness, kung may mga nanghahamak sa standards ng USTet namin, walang makakapalag sa standards ng FIREWORKS NAMIN. Charot.

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