Lighting ceremony marks beginning of UST’s Paskuhan

Published December 2, 2021, 5:42 PM

by MB Lifestyle

The University of Santo Tomas formally began its traditional Paskuhan celebrations with a lighting ceremony for its campus décor and the Eucharistic Celebration at the Plaza Mayor. It was livestreamed through the official UST Facebook page on November 27, 2021.

Immediately prior to the lighting, UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., delivered a message read by UST Vice-Rector Rev. Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P., at the anticipated Mass for the first Sunday of Advent.

UST Vice-Rector Rev. Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P., presses the button to light up the campus and symbolically begin the Paskuhan Season at UST [Screenshot courtesy of the UST Communications Bureau]

Fr. Ang wished, “…for the Light of Christ to be in us as we tread the road through trials. A Christmas without light is not Christmas. Let there be light in our soul, in our heart, as we continue walking down the road to triumph.”

 “Let there be the beautiful Light of Jesus shining upon us and being with us always. May there be light in our hearts, in our families, and in our Thomasian and parish communities,” the Father Rector wrote.

To illuminate the campus, 210,000 energy-efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) will be lit every afternoon at 5:30 until 9:00 in the evening until the Feast of the Three Kings on January 6, 2022.

Towering above the various campus decorations is the 70-foot tall Christmas Tree at the UST Grandstand.  [Screenshot courtesy of the UST Communications Bureau]

The theme, “The Pilgrimage: Our Road through Trials, Our Road to Triumph,” according to UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Louie Coronel, OP, EHL, is about the pilgrimage that Mary and Joseph took looking for a place where the child Jesus would be born. This pilgrimage is likewise experienced in our present time, when we journey together as a people, looking for answers to the many questions related to the pandemic: how mankind will be able to conquer it, and when will we see its end.       

“Christmas Fireworks,” a musical piece composed by the Conservatory of Music Dean Antonio Africa, Ph.D., accompanied the lighting of the campus shown alongside a montage of previous year’s Paskuhan lighting ceremonies produced by the UST Communications Bureau.

The Arch of the Centuries with life-sized figures of the Holy Family shines brightly in purple, the color of advent. [Screenshot courtesy of the UST Communications Bureau]

The decorations included the 70-foot-tall Christmas tree, life-sized figures of the Holy Family at the Arch of the Centuries, the Cross atop the Main Building, and many more lights framing the Benavides Park and campus streets.

The Christmas Tree, in particular, is made up of 50,000 blue LEDs that draw attention to the Star, with meteor lights interspersed to enliven the tree.

Above the statue of the founder of UST, Archbishop Miguel de Benavides, the Cross atop the Main Building shines bright with the Light of Christ.  [Screenshot courtesy of the UST Communications Bureau]

Another 160,000 LEDs, majority of which were reused from previous years, brighten up the other campus trees and structures. Some lights form the shape of gothic arches as a throwback to a time when UST was still in Intramuros.

UST’s Paskuhan season will culminate on December 17, 2021 with the following activities: a celebration in its virtual Minecraft campus at 9:00 a.m., a Eucharistic Celebration to be presided over by UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., and to be concelebrated with the Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines Very Rev. Filemon I. dela Cruz, Jr., O.P., and the UST Vice-Rector, Fr. Tiongco, OP,  at 5:15 p.m.

The lobby of the UST Main Building hosts colorful angel and tree figurines.  
[Screenshot courtesy of the UST Communications Bureau]

This year marks the 30th anniversary of UST’s annual Paskuhan. To bring the festive Paskuhan spirit to the Thomasian community which will be held minus its live audience, the event will be livestreamed via the official UST Facebook page.