The University of Santo Tomas tradition of holding a community celebration of Christmas called Paskuhan culminated on Dec. 17, 2021, with the anticipated Christmas concert, festivities in its virtual Minecraft campus, and charity e-games. To bring the festive Christmas spirit to the Thomasian community, the events, which were held minus its live audience, was live-streamed on the Facebook pages of UST and UST Tiger TV.
Musical talents for the concert held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion with a virtual audience were composed of Thomasian bands and talents such as Orange and Lemons, Nobita, and Mayonnaise bands. During the concert, a telethon was launched in support of the University’s donation drive for the victims of the typhoon Odette.
The whole-day event started in the morning with UST’s virtual recreation of its historic Manila campus in the sandbox game Minecraft which was opened to Thomasians and non-Thomasians alike.
On the same day, an E-Sports Fundraising Tournament called the “Bayanihan Cup,” organized by the Thomasian Gaming Society and the Teletigers Esports Club, livestreamed its grand finals. Two-thirds of the prize pool for each game were donated to charity. The teams played Mobile Legends, Valorant, and Call of Duty Mobile.
In the afternoon, a Eucharistic Celebration was presided over by UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D. It was concelebrated by the Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines Very Rev. Filemon I. dela Cruz, Jr., O.P., and UST Vice-Rector Rev. Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P., with the Dominican Fathers of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Leading up to Christmas Day, the traditional Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi Masses are being held from December 16 to 25, 2021, at the UST Plaza Mayor, an open space in front of the Main Building. The outdoor set-up allows more churchgoers. The Parish provides chairs that are arranged with physical distancing in mind. There are also markers for those without seats. The Parish adheres to the health protocol requirements of the University and the government.
Anticipated Simbang Gabi Masses will be held at 7:00 P.M., while early morning Masses will be at 4:30 A.M.
For the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord on December 24, 2021, the Prior of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rev. Fr. Jesús M. Miranda, Jr., O.P., will serve as the presider and homilist.
Christmas Day Masses on December 25, 2021, Saturday, will be held at 7:30. A.M., 9:00 A.M., 4:00 P.M., and 5:30 P.M.
The UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., will preside over the Eucharistic Celebration for the Vigil of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, on December 31, 2021, Friday, at 6:00 P.M.
For New Year’s Day, January 1, 2022, Saturday, the Parish will hold Masses at 7:30. A.M., 9:00 A.M., 4:00 P.M., and 5:30 P.M.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of UST’s annual Paskuhan. It holds the theme “The Pilgrimage: Our Road through Trials, Our Road to Triumph.”
The Paskuhan Season began on November 27, 2021, with a lighting ceremony of its campus décor of 210,000 energy-saving LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and a Eucharistic Celebration. The month-long celebration included several events including the virtual Panunuluyan, the institutional Advent recollection, and the Christmas Concert organized by the UST Conservatory of Music.