In 1964, with the merger of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and the College of Liberal Arts, the need for a publication that is to become the mouthpiece of the students arose, coupled with the restlessness of bearing the new identity of “Artlettes.”
Determined to unify the two reluctant University bodies, Rey Datu, then the Arts and Letters Student Council Vice President, became the first Editor in Chief of the campus newspaper that would soon be known as the Flame.
The Flame, in its humble beginnings, is the child of mother publications Blue Quill and the Journal of Arts and Sciences. It eventually became part of the Artlet identity, on the look-out for the latest issues and trends prevailing in the University, looking over student council elections, newly-implemented college policies, and curriculum revisions, among others.
In the middle of the 70s, with the full avowal of Proclamation No. 1081 as the law of the land, the Flame switched to another medium that will be the predecessor of the magazine known today, becoming a Journal of the Humanities which featured profound essays and articles solicited from the Artlet community.
The publication was active in promulgating its opinions on issues regarding the government at this dark time in history, without compromising its role as a humanistic journal. Likened to Hericleitus’ symbol of motion by Dean Magdalena Villaba-Cue, the Flame has developed a reputation for being a seeker of truth.
The mood was carried over in the 80s, and the time was characterized with issues of labor unions’ demonstrations, political unrest and coups. The Flame endured to be the torch, trailing a blaze that will be one of the distinctions of the publication of the liberal college: fearless reportage.
Battling against censorship, financial constraints and fellow Artlets whose rebellious streak for radical change has declined, they continued to investigate on the issues plaguing the country then. Perhaps it was also a bout of fearless reportage that urged the publication to release a lampoon issue the “Phlegm,” which satirized the General Elections on May 11, 1992. The lampoon became the extension of the observed truths stretched to become universal, and was asked to be taken in good humor and judgment.
The Flame continued to defy the conventions. Add to that the continuous outpouring of talents trained under the guidance of Dean Ophelia Dimalanta.
With the turn of the next century, the headlines became inquisitive—in search for answers. The Phlegm, Lagablab (the Filipino counterpart of the publication, putting focus on national issues), and the Flame never wavered in criticizing, influencing, and molding opinions of Artlets.
The journal eventually transformed into the more accessible glossy magazines, readily-available in the newsstands at the lobby of St. Raymund de Peñafort building.
To honor its golden anniversary, the Flame released a commemorative throwback-inspired issue, intensifying the desire to serve and propel forward the voice of students.
Now toward the road to its centennial, the Flame vows to ignite the intellectual senses of every Artlet.
From the newspaper, to the Humanities journal, to the magazine, a new age has dawned for the future of the Flame with the launching of its official website: abtheflame.net.
This is the Flame, the official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters.