• City of Manila,  Special Feature

    Manila1945: The UST Standoff

    When the Japanese occupied Manila in January 1942, they took control of the then-newly established campus of University of Santo Tomas in the city’s Sampaloc district. With such a large tract of property and the large structures there that were already standing by that time, notably the UST Main Building and the old Education Building, (now occupied by the UST Hospital) the Japanese decided to convert the campus into an the Santo Tomas Internment Camp. The Japanese rounded up about 4,000 foreign individuals, mostly American and British nationals who were deemed as “hostile aliens” by the Japanese and isolated them in the different buildings in the campus, most notably the Main Building.…

  • City of Manila

    Manila’s Pontifical and Royal campus (Part 8: inside the Main Building)

    These days, the University of Santo Tomas’s Main Building stands tall and proud in front of the wide Plaza Mayor which sits in between the building and the Benavides Monument. A former street and parking place, it was converted into an open space that is being used from time to time during campus events. With the Main Building as the background, any event there undoubtedly gives one a true Thomasian vibe to it. But apart from serving as backdrop as the administrative seat of the University, the Main Building also serves as the academic home of the university’s Faculty of Civil Law, College of Science, and the Faculty of Pharmacy.

  • City of Manila

    Rizal, Santo Tomas, and Sampaloc

    As you may have noticed these past few entries, we have devoted space in this blog on the University of Santo Tomas campus. But on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippines’ National Hero, Jose Rizal, allow me to take a little diversion of this trip to talk about this school’s “relationship” with our hero. To anyone with some knowledge of Rizal’s biography, it is a well-known fact that Rizal entered University of Santo Tomas in 1877 and managed to get a degree in Philosophy and Letters two years later. He then proceeding to medicine, ophthalmology to be precise, for the next 2 years before going to…

  • City of Manila

    Manila’s Pontifical and Royal campus (Part 6)

    Being the country’s oldest university, it should not be a surprise that the University of Santo Tomas holds a significant number of titles in its library. In fact, UST’s book collection dates back to as far as before the founding of the university, when these books were first owned by Dominicans, (who among them was the university’s founder himself Miguel de Benavides) who donated their book collections for the establishment of what is now UST. As was mentioned previously, UST was first founded as a school for theology, philosophy, and law; most of these old books dealt with those particular subjects. Over the years and centuries, UST library collection got…

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