my one-day nostalgic wanderings

june 4 had me resurfacing in the university of santo tomas (UST) after a year’s non-attendance at my long-delayed masteral studies.

that day was scheduled for enrolment which i am fervently hoping to be my second to the last semester (sigh!). a visit to my high school batchmate/friend/kababayan, cesar “razi” velasco jr., commenced my wednesday itinerary. razi is the university registrar who would make my getting a TOR (transcript of record) easy and fast. haha. call it goodwill among us buhs 1986!
lingering for a chat
lingering for a chat
processing my enrolment followed suit, but i failed to accomplish it before lunch time. mea culpa. i left las pinas city late. my travel to ust, which is located in espana, manila,  is roughly two hours. as a result, i had to wait for the resumption after the lunch break. now, i did not feel pissed off (and i have no right to!) because i immediately knew where i would be spending the one hour. 
is it here?
or, is it here?
us7another shaking of my head.
my eyes were searching for this old signage which i have been missing for long now. 



yes, wendy’s it is! my favorite when it comes to house blend iced tea and salad. this has been my “hang-out” since i have studied in this oldest university in the philippines and in asia. ordering my well-missed classic iced tea, i was happy that my fave nook in the diner was also unoccupied. its availability made me smile. 


waiting for my pretzel chicken pub sandwich, i had to go over the evaluated documents at hand.
clucking my tongue, i realized that i have wasted time, effort, money, and even tears in going beyond my residency. yes, i can only blame myself for not plotting my career path very very well. anyways, i wouldn’t bore you with this substory which would definitely not inspire you. hahaha. 
once the sandwich was served, i had to fill my grumbling stomach. 
my first time to taste this
lunch over, i prepared to leave but not without my biggie iced tea. 
another order for me
my return to the graduate school building did not take long. being third in line, i finished my enrolment with no sweat at all. 
entrance from wendy’s location
the new graduate school building, TARC
after my ID validation, i saw a couple of minutes to do a quick tour of the places where i would frequent in the campus.
saying "hi" to my ID again
saying “hi” to my ID again
i proceeded to the quadricentennial square where the quattromondial was erected in 2011. this monument is a ten-meter-high structure made of bronze and glass by artist ramon orlina, a UST alumnus.
the quattromondial sculpture
fronting it is the main building which functions as the university’s administrative center, home of the faculty of civil law, faculty of pharmacy, the college of science, and the museum of arts and sciences. this was designed by fr. roque ruaño, o.p. as the first earthquake-resistant building in the philippines.
main entrance (image source:
main entrance (image source:
rear entrance
rear entrance
retracing my steps to go now for the exit, i passed by the old graduate school building where i attended my first two years as a thomasian. 
the old graduate school
the old graduate school
my old home
my old home
i also passed by the miguel de benavides library which is still like a labyrinth to me until now. boohoo!
ust library facade (image source:
ust library facade (image source:
revisiting this building soonest
revisiting this building soonest
taking a jeepney to lawton where i would take a van in going back to las pinas city, i passed by landmarks which were common sights to me when i was still a manila resident.
the old manila metropolitan theater which has turned into a white elephant.
the old manila metropolitan theater which has turned into a white elephant
liwasang bonifacio
liwasang bonifacio
andres bonifacio, my real hero
andres bonifacio, my real hero
the old post office where i was a regular mailer
the old central post office where i was a regular mailer
the fountain at liwasang bonifacio...
the fountain at liwasang bonifacio…
... which is a playground to these street urchins
… which is a playground to these street urchins
the sta cruz. bridge...
the sta cruz. bridge…
... going to plaza goiti, the sta. cruz church, escolta and rizal avenue
… going to plaza goiti, the sta. cruz church, escolta and rizal avenue

i secretly smiled. not much had changed in this vicinity except for the increase number of eyesores. as i walked toward the van terminal, i reminded myself to triple my presence of mind and vigilance once i am back to my student life in july. 


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