MANILA, Philippines – First-year students of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Manila officially became “Thomasians” today during the school’s ceremonial Thomasian Welcome Walk, amid cheers from alumni and students both off- and online.
The hashtag #ThomasianWelcomeWalk2014 became a top trending topic in the Philippines on Twitter Friday morning, with people wishing well the first-year students who would have to walk through UST’s Arch of the Centuries, in a step that would mark them as part of the Thomasian community.
The walk is held every year as a rite of passage for new students. According to school paper “The Varsitarian”, while the practice of walking through the Arch of the Centuries is a tradition among students, it was first formalized as a campus-wide “Rite of Passage” in 2002. It was renamed the Thomasian Welcome Walk in 2004.
Aside from welcoming the freshies to UST, older students and alumni traded jokes online about campus life.
“Welcome freshies! Pagkatapos ninyo tumawid sa Arch, sulong sa baha na lang kulang!” tweeted Larrence Paolo Braga.
Freshmen also took the opportunity to take selfies commemorating the event.