‘Glow up’: Reactions to upgraded UST tiger statue

August 10, 2022 - 12:25 PM
UST unveiled the new design of its block letters and tiger statue at the Plaza Mayor on August 9, 2022 (Facebook/UST Central Student Council)

Members of the University of Santo Tomas community posted throwback photos of the university’s tiger statue after an unveiling ceremony on Tuesday, August 9.

The UST unveiled or “unboxed” the new block letters and a Bengal tiger statue at the Plaza Mayor to conclude the “Thomasian Welcome Walk” for freshman students this school year.

The Plaza Mayor is the public square in front of the main campus in España, Manila.

This was the first on-campus freshman welcome walk in two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Thomasian Welcome Walk has been a tradition to welcome new UST students inside the campus for years.

Part of the ceremony includes entering the historical Arch of the Centuries as a “rite of passage.”

This year, the block letters and the tiger statue, which had previously greeted guests and the UST community for years, got an upgrade.

The Varsitarian, the official student publication of the university, uploaded photos of these structures on social media.

“ROAR! FIRST LOOK: The new UST block letters and Bengal tiger statue at the Plaza Mayor are finally unboxed to end today’s onboarding activities for first-year students,” the caption reads.

The new block letters and tiger statue impressed the UST community online.

What struck them the most, however, was the new look of the tiger.

Compared to the previous structures, this one stands at 8 feet” and resembles the real Bengal tiger.

It was designed by Anthony Zamora, a former faculty member of the College of Fine Arts and Design.

Some members of the UST community reminisced over the look of the tiger’s previous designs in the years.

They posted photos of some of its versions on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook user Reema Adil created a meme of the tiger’s appearances, including the newest one.

Only one tiger in the meme was not a statue of UST.

In the meme, each tiger was given funny, relatable personality traits.

“With the recent trend on the Tiger reveal a while ago, I made a meme on UST tigers (with the exception of Harimau) because I was bored,” the user said.

Other online users described it as a “glow up” or an improvement from its previous designs.

“The glow-up we never knew we needed CHZ,” one user said.

“Tiger statue glow-up,” one user tweeted.

Other users expressed in jest how they will miss the previous tiger statue. They likened its image to that of a popular resort in Bulacan.

“Di na ikaw ang Jed’s Island resort na nakilala ko,” one online user commented.

“Ang fierce na nung tiger hahaha! Tsaka wala nang makakasakay,” another online user said.

“Ay mahirap na masakyan yung tiger ngayon,” one online user said with a laugh emoji.

According to the Varsitarian, Facilities Management Office (FMO) Director Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P. said that the tiger has been the university’s official mascot since 1992.

It symbolizes Thomasians’ adaptability.

“Tigers and Thomasians are very adaptable. Both are able to blend and excel in a given environment,” he was quoted in the report as saying.