Face-to-face Paskuhan to be limited to the Thomasian community

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AFTER TWO years of virtual celebrations, the much-awaited Paskuhan will be held in person in December but the event will only be open to Thomasians in compliance with the government’s COVID-19 protocols.

UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P announced on Friday, Oct. 14, that the traditional Paskuhan festivities would return this year with the theme “Pananabik, Pagbabalik, Panunumbalik.”

The Paskuhan concert will be on Dec. 19. University-wide Christmas celebrations such as the lighting of decorations on the campus and Agape festivities will be held on Nov. 29.Christmas concerts will also be held on Dec. 1 and 2 while the vigil mass for the of solemnity of the Immaculate Conception will be celebrated on Dec. 7.

While previous in person Paskuhan festivities were open to the public, only members of the Thomasian community may attend the event this year as the University continues to implement precautionary measures against the pandemic.

“In consideration of the pertinent government regulations and in relation to the strategic measures of ensuring health and safety of the community at this time of the pandemic, this year’s Paskuhan celebration will be limited to Thomasians only. What do I mean? Thomasian students, Thomasian support staff, Thomasian academic staff, Thomasian alumni,” Coronel said.

“Perhaps we can re-open the event [to non-Thomasians] in the following years,” he added.

Thomasians need to present their ID, registration form or alumni card to be allowed entry to the University during thr event.

“We will do it gradually because during the last Paskuhan, we had more than 100,000 [attendees], and we cannot afford that this time of the pandemic,” Coronel said.

Some Artlets welcomed the University’s decision, saying it would ensure an orderly and safe celebration.

Journalism senior Taffy Arella Bernales said making the event exclusive to Thomasians would make the festivities “less crowded and chaotic.”

“I think UST is just looking out for the safety of everybody,” she said.

These sentiments were echoed by Journalism senior Erika David, who recalled her experience during her last on-site Paskuhan in 2019.

“People were pushing, stepping on feet, others were in a ‘train formation,’” David told The Flame.

Behavioral Science freshman Alyana Galang lauded the University’s decision, saying that it is a right move to ensure the safety of the students.

“For me, limiting the attendees to Thomasians only is the right choice for safety purposes,” she said, noting that UST has yet to conduct full face-to-face classes for the same reason.

Galang also claimed that the “Thomasians only” rule would help make the event feel more like a special reunion.

“We have not seen our fellow Thomasians in two years, so this Paskuhan can serve as a reunion, something that we could keep to ourselves,” she added.

David admitted that a part of her is sad since she was palnning to bring a non-Thomasian date to the event.

However, she does not think that the “Thomasians only” rule would make the event “less magical.” F  -A. S. Lim

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