By ANGEL B. DUKHA III and CRIS EUGENE T. GIANAN
AS THE implementation of the K to 12 program comes full circle, the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) welcomed 1,299 freshmen who marked the beginning of their Thomasian journey on Monday in the annual Thomasian Welcome Walk.
The number of freshmen this year is significantly larger than last year’s 190 as the first batch of students who underwent the K to 12 program—which was implemented in 2015—have finally entered college.
This year, the Faculty offered all 13 of its programs, including the new AB Creative Writing offering, compared to only nine last year which was caused by the low number of applicants to the Journalism, Legal Management, and Political Science programs.
“Sakto is enough”
During the Mass after the Welcome Walk, Most Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P., rector of the University, told Thomasian freshmen that it is acceptable to be average, noting the many difficulties students face in their lives.
“Many of you will graduate from the University with a grade of ‘sakto lang.’ ‘Sakto’ is not something that is more. Nor is it something less. It’s not even something less. ‘Sakto’ is enough. And in the eyes of God, lahat ng bagay, sakto lang,” he said.
The rector added that the Welcome Walk was only the beginning of a difficult journey towards graduation and likened it to Jesus’ journey from Mount Tabor to Mount Calgary, where He was crucified.
Welcome Walk is ‘exhilirating, exciting’
Economics freshman Sean Paul de Castro shared that the Welcome Walk, albeit short, was “exhilarating.”
“It was very exciting. It’s not only symbolic for me as a student, it’s also a very enriching activity although very sudden siya and very short-lived lang. It’s still something very bright for me in my future endeavors,” he said.
Meanwhile, Journalism freshman Mark Villeza said he looks forward to a University experience that will be “worth remembering.”
“Maraming matututunan of course kasi ‘yun naman ‘yung pinunta namin dito, to stay, to study […] to hone our skills as we learn more and more each day,” he said.
Out of the 28,324 Thomasians who enrolled this academic year, 12,866 are freshmen.
The Dean’s Office said it expects the population of the Faculty to change as enrolment is still ongoing. F