Photo of UST freshmen on ‘welcome walk’ gains traction

Photos of moments from the Thomasian Welcome Walk for freshmen at the University of Santo Tomas on August 9, 2022 (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

“No iPhone, no input?”

This was among the remarks of some social media users who saw a photo of a group of freshmen at a private university carrying smartphones.

The individuals in the snapshot were freshmen at the University of Santo Tomas during the traditional “Thomasian Welcome Walk” ceremony on Tuesday, August 9.

The Philippine STAR uploaded photos of students walking through the historic Centuries Arc as part of the university’s ‘rite of passage’ inside campus.

“About 8,000 new University of Santo Tomas (UST) students walk through the Arc of Centuries during the Thomasian Welcome Walk inside the UST campus along España Boulevard in Manila on Tuesday,” reads the message.

The photo that got the most buzz showed students wearing iPhones.

Although it hasn’t been stated that they hold such devices, the iPhone 13’s triple camera features on the back are easily distinct and recognizable.

At the time of writing, this post has garnered 21,000 reactions, 2,100 comments and 19,000 reactions on the platform.

Of the reactions, 10,000 were heart emojis, 7,000 were laugh emojis, and 3,100 were likes.

In the comment section, several users joked that the latest iPhone model must be a requirement to enter and study at UST.

“Kung sa ibang school no ID no entry, sa UST no iPhone no Entry,” one user said.

“No iPhone, no input,” another user commented.

“Sobrang mahal of na yan university. Registration required for iPhone 13 pro max bago maka,” another user joked.

Others also jokingly took pity on students who have Android phones or older iPhone models.

“Kawawa ka kapag naka Android. My OP ka mhie,” commented a “Klasik Titos and Titas from Manila” Facebook page.

“Kick out agad pag naka-android or may home button pa yung iPhone,” said another user.

Award-winning writer Joselito Delos Reyes also chimed in. His comment reads: “Snatcher in Lacson has joined the group”, referring to a street in Manila, occupied by UST and neighboring establishments where students often hang out.

UST has resumed its welcome walk to campus two years after moving to online classes in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The ceremony in 2020 and 2021 was held virtually through a Minecraft portal.

A mass and an orientation program called “ROARientation” also took place as part of the annual program.

To wrap up the event, UST unveiled or “unwrapped” the redesigned capital letters and statue of a Bengal tiger in the Plaza Mayor in front of the main campus building.

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The Varsitarian, the university’s official student publication, said about 10,000 new students were selected from 48,000 applicants for the new 2022-2023 academic year.

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