It was a big day for the UST Tourism & Hospitality Management Alumni Association, Inc. (USTTHMAAI) as they celebrated the silver jubilee anniversary of the HRM and Tourism Class of 1995 last October 23, 2020 via Zoom. The said event titled “It’s TGIF for Batch 1995!” was also aired through Facebook Live on the Office of Alumni Relations page.

USTTHMAAI President Jerrold Gacula became very emotional during his welcoming remarks and admitted that he was overwhelmed by the support and response of the alumni who participated in this year’s virtual reunion. Times may have been difficult lately but they were still able to find a way to celebrate small victories and milestones virtually. He thanked everyone for taking the time to attend especially those who stayed up late or woke up early due to timezone differences. The alumni association president also encouraged everyone to always keep their lines open for the planning of a face-to-face homecoming celebration when the situation permits. Then, he passed the floor to the OAR Director, Asst. Prof. Fredeswindo R. Medina, MACHs, for a short presentation.

Asst. Prof. Medina, who’s also a silver jubilarian this year, warmly greeted his batchmates and introduced OAR by sharing a little history about the office and its future projects on which he wished for them to join. Together with Gacula, they facilitated a poll asking jubilarians the question – “Ano ang pinaka na-miss mo sa UST?” [What is the thing you missed the most in UST?] Three choices were given for the alumni to vote in.

  1. Fuds sa Janet
  2. Baha sa Espanya
  3. Burger sa Varsity Canteen

The jubilarians of HRM voted for “Baha sa Espanya” while the Tourism jubilarians chose the “Burger sa Varsity Canteen”. Gacula sadly announced that there’s no varsity canteen anymore. The site was demolished to give way to the Quadricentennial Pavillion. An alumna from Tourism also shared her experience with the Baha sa Espanya where she and her friends got stranded in the university and rescued. Memories flowed in the chatbox of the Zoom meeting room as the other jubilarians also shared their experiences. 

Another poll question was given to the alumni – “In one word, what best describes your stay in UST?” Tourism jubilarians listed words such as wonderful, discovering, adventurous, unforgettable, terrific, worth remembering, fulfilling, memorable, best, enriching, and happy. Meanwhile, the HRM jubilarians gave answers like unforgettable, amazing, wonderful, and many first times. The association plans on picking the best words that they are going to use for the upcoming face-to-face celebration.

Like all good things, the program has also come to an end. Asst. Prof. Medina delivered his closing remarks by saying that the reunion they have just celebrated has proven the jubilarian’s commitment to UST. The contributions they’ve made throughout the years have been a great reflection of the university’s success. “We made our lives after graduation. Some became successful. There are others who struggled. A lot of us raised a wonderful family and some have gone too soon. But no matter where we are and what we do, let us not forget that sometime in our own lives… we have met… we have laughed and cried… and we have shared our dream together. And whatever it is that we have been through especially in this time of pandemic, always remember that there is something special that binds us as one family. We are Tourism and HRM graduates… and we are all significant part of the University of Santo Tomas.” He wished his fellow jubilarians the best of luck in their endeavors and encouraged them to keep a strong faith in God as they approach another milestone as alumni–to be golden jubilarians. 

Check out the livestreams of the event here:

https://fb.watch/b75-Mrh817/

https://fb.watch/b761dILZ5v/