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UST graduates, be inspired by your distinguished co-alumni

By Joseph Cueto on June 6, 2015

From Kalibrr, congratulations to the 8,048 graduates of the class of 2015 of the University of Santo Tomas (UST)!

Now in its 404th year, UST is a private, Roman Catholic, teaching and research university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611 by Miguel de Benavides, Archbishop of Manila, it has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia, and is one of the world's largest Catholic universities in terms of enrollment. Trivia: UST is also the largest university in the city of Manila. UST is the only university to have been visited by three popes four times: once by Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1970, twice by Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981 and January 13, 1995, and once by Pope Francis on January 18, 2015.

To celebrate their Solemn Investitures with them, here is a sampling of UST’s renowned alumni. May they inspire the graduates to live out the Thomasian core values of competence, compassion, and commitment!

Jose Rizal (Doctor of Medicine, 1882)


This man needs no further introduction. Jose Rizal is a Filipino nationalist, novelist, poet, ophthalmologist, journalist, and revolutionary. Widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines, Rizal was the author of Noli Me Tángere, El Filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays. He was executed on December 30, 1896, by a squad of Filipino soldiers of the Spanish Army.

Apolinario Mabini (Bachelor of Laws, 1894)

02mabiniPhilippine Diary Project">

Known as the "The Brains of the Revolution" and "The Sublime Paralytic", Apolinario Mabini was a Filipino revolutionary leader, educator, lawyer, and statesman who served as the first Prime Minister of the Philippines, serving first under the Revolutionary Government, and then under the First Philippine Republic. Mabini performed all his revolutionary and governmental activities despite having lost the use of both his legs to Polio shortly before the Philippine Revolution of 1896.

Epifanio de los Santos (Bachelor of Laws, 1896-98)


Known as "The First Filipino Academician", de los Santos is a celebrated Filipino historian, scholar, musician, critic and legal counselor. He is considered to be the best critic and writer of the Golden Age of Literature of the Philippines. His biggest contribution was putting together a Filipiniana collection by gathering and interpreting Filipino literature. The main thoroughfare in Metro Manila (which is also the location of choice of many Filipino revolutions, known as ”People Power”) is named after him.

Marcelo H. del Pilar (Bachelor of Laws, 1880)

Pilar,_Marcelo_H._delPhoto courtesy of Wikipedia

 Better known by his pen name “Plaridel”, del Pilar was a Filipino writer, lawyer, journalist, and freemason. Del Pilar, along with José Rizal and Graciano López Jaena, became known as the leading lights of the Reform Movement in Spain.

Manuel Quezon (Bachelor of Laws, 1903)

03Quezon Photo courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica

Known as the “Father of the National Language”, Manuel Quezon served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines and is considered to have been the second president of the Philippines, after Emilio Aguinaldo (1897–1901). Quezon was also the first Senate president elected to the presidency, the first president elected through a national election and the first incumbent to secure re-election.

Sergio Osmeña (Bachelor of Laws, 1903)

04OsmenaPhoto courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica

Sergio Osmeña was a Filipino politician who served as the fourth President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon, and succeeded as President upon Quezon's sudden death in 1944, becoming the oldest officeholder at age 65. A founder of Nacionalista Party, he was also the first Visayan to become President of the Philippines.

Jose Laurel (Bachelor of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, 1919)

05laurelPhoto courtesy of pinayinkorea Flickr page

Jose Laurel was the president of the Second Philippine Republic, a Japanese puppet state when occupied during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. Since the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal (1961–1965), Laurel was  recognized as a legitimate president of the Philippines.

Diosdado Macapagal (Bachelor of Laws, 1936)

06macapagalPhoto courtesy of the Official Tumblr Page of the Presidential Museum and Library

Diosdado Macapagal was the ninth President of the Philippines, serving from 1961 to 1965, and the sixth Vice-President, serving from 1957 to 1961. He also served as a member of the House of Representatives, and headed the Constitutional Convention of 1970. He is the father of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was the fourteenth President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010. As President, Macapagal worked to suppress graft and corruption and to stimulate the Philippine economy. He introduced the country's first land reform law, placed the peso on the free currency exchange market, and liberalized foreign exchange and import controls.

Cayetano Arellano (Bachelor of Philosophy, 1862; Bachelor of Theology, 1867; Bachelor of Civil Law, 1871; Bachelor of Laws, 1876)

07cayetano_arellanoPhoto courtesy of Retrato

Cayetano Arellano was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines under the American Civil Government. He was Chief Justice from 1901 until his retirement on April 12, 1920, making him the longest serving Chief Justice.

Andres Narvasa (Bachelor of Laws, 1951; Doctor of Civil Law, 1992)

09NarvasaPhoto courtesy of DZRH News

Andres Narvasa was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from December 1, 1991 to November 30, 1998. He served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for Constitutional Reform, a special agency tasked to look into potentially positive modifications in the Philippine Constitution, from 1999 to 2000.

Lito Atienza (Bachelor's Degree in Architecture)

AtienzaPhoto courtesy of DZRH News

Lito Atienza was the former city mayor of Manila and former secretary of the Department of Environment and Resources. He stepped down as mayor of Manila on June 30, 2007, after serving a three-year three-term limit for local government executives set by the Philippine Constitution of 1987.

Nick Joaquin (Associate of Arts)

10Nick_JoaquinPhoto courtesy of Inquirer

Nick Joaquin was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for his short stories and novels in the English language. He also wrote using the pen name Quijano de Manila. Joaquin was conferred the rank and title of National Artist of the Philippines for Literature.

Bienvenido Lumbera (Bachelor of Journalism, 1950)

12LumberaPhoto courtesy of Inquirer

Bienvenido Lumbera is a Filipino poet, critic and dramatist. He is a National Artist of the Philippines and a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communications. He won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Awards from the National Book Foundation, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards.

Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach (BS Psychology)

13charlene_gonzalesPhoto courtesy of I Love Keisha blog

Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach is a television and film personality and former beauty queen from the Philippines. Gonzalez won the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 1994 title and represented her country at the Miss Universe 1994 pageant held in Manila, where she won the Best National Costume award and was one of the top 6 finalists. She is also an award winning talk show host and a commercial model.

Miriam Quiambao – Roberto (BS Physical Therapy)

Manila, Philippines -   Miriam Quiambao is seen during the Second Chances press launch at GMA Network Studios, 06 January 2015. (Adrian Bautista/NPPA Images)Yahoo Philippines">

Quiambao – Roberto is a Filipina television personality, occasional actress and a first runner-up in the 1999 Miss Universe Pageant.

Aiza Seguerra (College of Fine Arts and Design)

15aiza_sPhoto courtesy of Why Not Coconut blog

Aiza Seguerra is a Filipino actress, singer-songwriter and guitarist. After participating on Eat Bulaga!'s Little Miss Philippines 1987 he became a child star starring in several movies and TV shows.[1] Later in his teens, he pursued a career in music spawning his major hit single, Pagdating ng Panahon.

Lourd de Veyra (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism)

16LDVPhoto courtesy of Orange Magazine

Lourd de Veyra is a multi-awarded Filipino musician, emcee, poet, journalist, broadcast personality and activist who first became famous as the vocalist of the Manila-based jazz rock band Radioactive Sago Project.

A hearty and roaring “Go USTe!” from your friends at Kalibrr!


*Feature image from the UST Museum website