UST Paskuhan fireworks to display ‘appreciation for peace’ amid Israel-Hamas conflict

File photo by Angeline Tanqueco/THE FLAME

THE FIREWORKS show for this year’s Paskuhan on Dec. 21 will center on instilling peace and praying for those suffering in the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to the director of UST’s Facilities and Management Office.

Fr. Dexter Austria said the University is connecting its Paskuhan theme to the traditional pyromusical play, which would feature songs “connected with peace.”

“We would like to connect it (fireworks theme) with the joy of looking at on how we appreciate the peace that we have here even in the Philippines or appreciating also and praying for the peace to happen also between Israel and Hamas,” Austria told The Flame.

“We need to inculcate the peace and promote peace, not just here in the Philippines but there (Gaza strip). So that we can send our message to them: that Philippines, the Thomasian community, is aiming for peace,” he added.

The fireworks show, Austria said, would run from six to nine minutes.

“He (UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P.) wants it not necessarily somber but simple enough for us, for the Thomasian community, to appreciate the peace that we have here in the Philippines, but as well as to empathize with the people there (Gaza strip),” the University official said.

“We want to proclaim that peace should be at the center of our celebration. Because celebrating Christmas without peace we will not be able to find joy…so peace should reign in our hearts and our minds so that we could be open to God’s graces.”

This year’s Paskuhan theme, “Witnessing the Joy of Christmas,” took inspiration from the experience of the shepherds who encountered the newborn Jesus in the manger.

“May the Thomasian community be inspired by the shepherds’ story. May we all experience the transformative power of encountering Christ and commit ourselves to sharing the joyful message of Christ’s love to the world,” UST Secretary-General Fr. Louie Coronel said in a circular dated Nov. 11.

In a circular dated Oct. 10 and signed by Coronel, UST called for an immediate end to the armed conflict through peaceful avenues, describing violence as “wasteful and damaging.”

The University marked the start of its month-long Paskuhan festivities on Friday, Dec. 1, with the traditional lighting of Christmas decorations in the campus. Agape, or the Thomasian Christmas feast, will take place on Dec. 13, while the grand Paskuhan concert will be on Dec. 21.

The Christmas break will start on Dec. 22, while regular classes for the second term of the academic year will begin on Jan. 15. F

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