Pasko na naman…

Filed under: Features — admin at 12:14 am on Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello, PEPsters!

A blessed Christmas and a stress-free 2010!

Gosh! Time really flies so fast. I remember writing about the holidays just recently. Now, here I am writing another entry about it.

I’m sure you’ll all agree with me that December is such a busy month for most of us. Now, to give you an idea on what the word “busy” means to me, check out the highlights of my holidays.

1. I became an official member of Zonta.


Zonta is an international socio-civic organization that aims to uplift the lives of women and children. Na-convince ako ng mommy ko mag-oath taking. In fairness, maganda naman ang projects nila, kaso ‘pag puro senior citizen ang member nila, walang gagalaw. So that explains one of the reasons why I became a member, hehe.

Okay naman makasama ang mga senior citizen kasi parati kaming merong 20% discount.

2. I became part of the group that handled the UST Quadricentennial kick-off countdown, which coincided with the yearly Paskuhan.

Pressure kung pressure naman talaga ang event na ito, dahil kabila- kabila ang intrigang kinain ko.Thank God we proved them wrong. Thank God it was a huge success. Thank God for all the people that made the event such a success. Thank God because everyone enjoyed the evening. I simply thank God for my amazing December. Huli man at magaling, aba naman, rumaratsada pa rin.

Here are some photos of the UST December 18 event that drew 50,000 people celebrating the night. There were also a lot of outsiders. FYI. Free po yung event na yun. Wala pong 400 pesos na entrance fee, kontra sa balita. I heard a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd and they rang like sweet melody to my ears and warmed my heart. Erased bigla ang tiredness and tension that I had to go through.






The 50,000 people shouted, enjoyed, jumped, and asked for more. Thank God for the successful show.

3. The day after the big event, I went to Iloilo for a show.

Teka, ika-calendar format ko na nga…

December 21: My sister’s birthday

December 22: Christmas rush. Buy gifts, Wrap gifts, and Deliver gifts…Check, sino pa ba ang kulang? Ayun, wala pa akong regalo sa PEP staff.

December 24: Hosted the 35th MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) Parade of Stars at the Luneta Grandstand.

O, di ba?

Pero teka, December 25, aaayyy Pasko nga pala. Sige, may I jump to a Christmassy topic. Nasusundan niyo ba ang random thoughts ko?

Ayan, we are the caroler’s favorite. (

Count me in, UST! Sali ka?

Filed under: Features — admin at 3:42 pm on Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Did you know that I was supposed to be a Thomasian?

My records were already with UST’s College of Communication and Arts, when my friend—who was then an AB Economics student in UP Diliman, itago na lang natin siya sa pangalang Gel Garong-Nunez—told me that there was a course in state U that fits me to a tee, Theater Arts.

Wala namang Theater Arts sa UST noong time ko.

I hurriedly went to UST and begged for my records to be pulled out. Kinuntsaba ko pa na wag sasabihin sa Nanay ko na kinuha ko ang records ko.

Naku, gusto talaga ng mommy ko na sa UST ako mag-aral. Ate ko nag-Fine Arts sa UST. Kuya ko palipat-lipat ng school kaya di pinasok ng mommy ko sa UST at sayang lang daw. My youngest sister graduated in La Salle but is now taking her MBA at UST.

Sobrang close kasi ang mommy ko sa mga Dominican priests. There was a time when my mom was trying to enter our Parish with the charismatic community but couldn’t. Parang walang tiwala yung parish priest na Katoliko si mommy. E, kasi nga charismatic community kaya todo kanta, sayaw and all. Our former parish priest then, 28 years ago, had high respect for the Dominican priests. Kaya naman, bilang maabilidad si mother, tambay po siya ng Sto. Domingo office. According kay Taba (endearmenty ko po sa Nanay ko), may I listen daw siya sa mga names ng priest.

Did I mention that she is a Thomasian Pharmacy graduate herself?

Aside from kumuha din siya ng Engineering, Law, and Architecture dun. Ha, bakit? Ewan ko rin. She ended up being a contractor and interior designer.

The first semester of my first year in college was very memorable. My mom thought all the while I was studying in UST. I would leave our house in Quezon City very early because travel time to UST would take more than an hour. The truth was I was only 10 minutes away, kasi nga, I enrolled in UP. I was surely very early in school trying to kill time.

Eventually, my mom found out when I invited her to watch my play Isang Dulang Panaginip. I remember that she watched with a very dear friend, Rev. Fr. Enrico Gonzalez, O.P., who eventually became my sister’s godfather in confirmation. He was my angel because he explained to my mom the situation at hand.

I remember that in almost all special events of my life, the Dominicans were present to say mass or simply join the gathering. I even met the Dominican sisters (monks) in Cainta, and gave them a dog to play with. Up to this day, I run to them for prayers. When I entered the industry, my mom spoke to some Dominican priest friends, out of fear of what I might turn out to be. Once again, they told my mom that she has to let me spread my wings and just pray to God for guidance.

I had a show in a far away province with Dominican priests, Inggo. I flew in and had to go through three hours of very rough road. All’s well that ends well. The show was good but the bonding after the show with the Dominican priests was a blast.

My wedding was officiated by 12 priests and half of them were Dominicans. When I got separated the Dominicans once again lend an ear to my pain.

I was given the opportunity and privileged to be part of the team that organizes the Quadricentennial kick-off/Paskuhan 2009. One of our team members is a Thomasian. When we got the project, I was wondering why it landed our lap. While writing this blog, I finally understood why—thanksgiving.

I did some research and learned how rich and global UST is. The title “Royal University” was given 1784 by King Charles of Spain. The “Pontifical University” was declared September 1902 by Pope Leo XIII. The “Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas” tag, being the oldest existing university in Asia and the largest Catholic University in the whole world, is such a feat. Though it’s main goal then was to educate and form future priests, now it has a population of 40,000+ with 19 colleges. It is the only university that offers Ecclesiastical courses. UST used to be the ministry of education. Gets mo? Sila mismo ang Ministry of Education. Taray!

Visit the university’s museum and you will also be given a peek into the country’s heritage/history. UST is older than the Republic of the Philippines.


The UST Main Building withstood wars, eras, and witnessed part sof our history. The university now takes care of a great deal of our heritage in their archives.



I was fortunate to see a copy of the original Noli Me Tangere with the original signature of Dr. Jose Rizal.


We had a shoot in the campus. We spoke to students and professors. I felt the passion and gratitude for UST. I saw their joy and pride as Thomasian. They kept mentioning that UST did not just educate them but deeply inculcated the faith in their hearts.

The university’s 3C was repeated to my face by every interviewee. But with its 400 years of existence? No more proof of integrity and credibility is needed to be shown.

It’s just so sad that some people are saying mean things about our group. Intriga baga?! Hanggang dito pala sa academe, merong intriga. They questioned why me, a non -Thomasian, was organizing the event. We are a team and one of our team members, Oyee Dirige-Munson, is an alumnus. According to the Q Songwriting contest, as long as a member of your family is a Thomasian, then you can participate. Well, ang dami kong pamilya na taga-UST.

It came to a point that an unidentified person approached the vice-rector and told him that I was living in with Direk GB. Low blow! Masyado po ako maraming pinagdadasal, unang-una na ang gumaling ang anak ko, kaya try ko talagang magpakabait. I am legally annulled and presently fixing my church annulment. All sorts of fictitious stories  and derogatory statements have been thrown at me. What do I have to say?

Whoever you are, tama na. Nakakapagod kaya. Can we just all unite and try to make this Quadricentennial kick-off of your alma mater a success?

UST’s 400 years is also a celebration of the Filipino education and history. Once again, a priest told me, “Huwag mo na lang pansinin. Hindi importante. Sayang ang oras. Alam mo naman ang katotohanan sa puso mo.”  Tama nga naman, Let’s just celebrate and be grateful that UST reached 400 years. Saan ka man, ano ka man, impossibleng di ka naapektuhan in one way or another ng unibersidad na ito. 400 years?! Unless non-living thing ka then wala kang kwentong UST.



Thomasians, friends and family, kita-kits tayo sa December 18, 2009, at 7:20 p.m. The event will start with a parade of 400 participants, then Christmas tree lighting, and a lot of flabbergasting production numbers by Thomasian celebrities like Miriam Quiambao, Kim Atienza, Robert Seña, Isay Alvarez, Jamie Rivera, JC Cuadrado, Aicelle Santos, Apple Chui, RJ Jimenez, Beverly Salviejo and many more!


Watch the UST Symphony Orchestra, World Class UST Singers, energetic Salinggawi, and many more local university talents as they showcase their talents.

Free Admission. It is open to the Public. Be there and be counted. Don’t miss this historical event. We are counting on you.

Kung may Theater Arts lang sana sa UST, malamang Thomasian ako. Pero bo regrets. Happy din naman ako sa UP. I dearly love both universities.