The homecoming- Article of Atty. Jose Sison- Philippine Star

The homecoming
A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away)  By Jose C. Sison
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST) is my dear alma mater. I finished my elementary, high school and pre-law course (Associate in Arts) in that great university. My parents served the school as educators. My father Bienvenido A. Sison Sr. was the General Principal of the UST High School when it re-opened after the war while my mother Natalia C. Sison was one of the pioneer teachers in the Intermediate School when it opened in the late forties. UST is also the school where all my six sisters and three brothers finished schooling.

I am proud to be a Thomasian and thankful to have imbibed the kind of education the school has imparted. It is indeed a bastion of fine learning, art and Catholicism. Actually it is the school where I first learned the value of “veritas”, or truth, which I adopted as my lifelong beacon together with the Jesuit precept of living a life “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” or “All for the Glory of God” inculcated in me at the Ateneo University where I obtained my Bachelor of Laws degree.

This year UST is 397 years old. As one of the fitting celebrations in preparation for its 400th anniversary in 2011, alumni of the University will gather for a grand Homecoming to relive their school days and revive the Thomasian spirit. Still carrying the papal colors of gold and white to herald its pontifical and royal heritage, UST opens its arms and embraces back alumni from all parts of the globe as it stages a “wild” concept of a homecoming on February 16, 2008 to showcase the changes and innovations it has undergone through the years.

The homecoming will indeed be grand yet it also promises to really be a “homey” reunion as it will be the first unified gathering of all graduates from various courses offered by the University to be held at the school campus itself, at the newly refurbished Plaza Mayor, the grounds fronting the familiar and historic UST Main Building.

On the afternoon of the scheduled reunion alumni will be ushered in to a campus dressed in royal celebration. There will be “tranvia” tours around the campus starting 4 p.m., music from bands and orchestras composed of all home grown talents, and live performances from them. As customary in any such school gathering, there will be a Holy Mass at 6 p.m., then cocktails and merry making accentuated by spectacular fireworks display that will really look like a multi-ringed circus of fun and festivities.

To be highlighted will be the proud achievements in the traditional fields of sciences and arts, in modern technology and infrastructure that the institution and its illustrious roster of graduates had garnered in their long and rich history, so as to stimulate renewed faith and loyalty to the institution under which portals the alumni had immeasurably benefited. As Yna Torres (UST High batch ’80), one of the active organizers aptly said, “it will be a day to reminisce, to roost and to be resolute in aspiring for and reaching new goals with shared vision”.

The UST Office of Alumni Affairs is closely and intently working with other alumni for this event as it aims to establish a wide data base of Thomasians who will participate and realize this collective vision of integrity, charity excellence and relevance to society 400 years and onwards.

All Thomasians especially the golden and silver jubilarians for whom special segments have been prepared are therefore requested to register early and share their milestone with the rest of the Thomasian community. For further details call Mike Malicsi of the Office of Alumni Relations, 09229621004, e-mail