Internationally acclaimed University of Santo Tomas (UST) Singers will perform “Hallelujah” from Handel’s “Messiah” while the UST Symphony Orchestra will render “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony as tributes to the Varsitarian, the influential official student paper of UST, on its 90th anniversary on Jan. 20.
The first issue of the Varsitarian came out on Jan. 16, 1928.
To be held at the Dr. Robert Sy grand ballroom of the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes OP Building (UST Alumni Center), the “Valik Varsi” grand homecoming will gather preeminent alumni from the only student paper to have an entry in the Cultural Center of the Philippines Encyclopedia of Philippine Art for having produced some of the country’s top writers, journalists, scholars and artists.
Those who have confirmed their attendance include National Artists for Literature F. Sionil Jose and Bienvenido Lumbera; Jullie Yap Daza, Crispin Maslog (father of development communications), pioneering women-editors Gloria Garchitorena-Goloy and Doris Trinidad-Gamalinda (mom of Eric Gamalinda, also a V alumnus); Alice Colet Villadolid, thespian Bernardo Bernardo, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. senior VP Jun Florencio, Inquirer columnists Rina Jimenez David and Dr. Rafael Castillo;
Artist Remy Boquiren; “Respeto” writer-director Alberto “Treb” Monteras, BizNews Asia publisher-editor Antonio Lopez, Philippine High School for the Arts director Vim Nadera, former presidential adviser Ronald Llamas, Nestor Cuartero, poet-broadcast personality Lourd de Veyra, Bong Osorio and Kane Errol Choa of ABS-CBN Corporate Communications, Corazon Yamsuan of the media bureau of the Archdiocese of Manila, and Sister Regina Kuizon, RGS, head of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines.
Choa and Osorio will emcee.
Holy Mass will be celebrated by Varsitarian alumni priests: Fr. Nick Lalog (a former GMA broadcast journalist) of the Diocese of Malolos and Fr. Virgilio Ojoy, former vice-rector of UST.
The Varsitarian was established in 1928 on the initiative of Jose Villa Panganiban, who would later become a distinguished lexicographer-linguist-writer and director of the National Language Institute (today’s Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino).
V alumni include National Artist for the Visual Arts J. Elizalde Navarro and National Artist for Literature Cirilo Bautista; former Commission on Higher Education chairman and UST rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, OP; painter Danilo Dalena; Archbishop Artemio Casas; Asean secretary general Narciso Reyes; Sorsogon Gov. Juan Frivaldo; Philippine Medical Association president Vicente Rosales Sr.; former UST rector Fr. Norberto Castillo, OP; Sr. Delia Coronel, CICM (the first Catholic nun to be kidnapped by Moro rebels and VP for research of the Mindanao State University in Marawi); Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ;
Press freedom icon Jose Burgos Jr.; communist underground newspaper editor Rosalinda Galang; communist movement historian Alfredo Saulo; Sen. Francisco Tatad; Jesus Sison, Joe Guevara, and Teodoro Valencia; Paz Latorena; Celso Carunungan; Felix Bautista; Doris Trinidad; Eric Gamalinda; Gloria Garchitorena-Goloy; Leticia Buhay; Ophelia Dimalanta; Rogelio Sicat; Rita Gaddi; and Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo.
Varsitarian columnists and contributors through the decades have included Inquirer founder Eugenia Duran Apostol, Chief Justice Andres Narvasa, Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson, and Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez.