“No iPhone, no entry?”
This was among the remarks of some social media users who saw a photo of a group of freshmen students at a private university who were 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 passing through the historical Arch of the Centuries as part of the university’s “rite of passage” inside the campus.
“About 8,000 new students of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) pass through the Arch of the Centuries during the Thomasian Welcome Walk inside the UST campus along España Boulevard in Manila on Tuesday,” the post reads.
The shot that gained the most buzz showed some students who were carrying iPhones.
Although it was not indicated that they are holding such devices, the iPhone 13’s three-camera features at the back are easily distinct and recognizable.
As of writing, this post 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 comments section, several users quipped that the latest iPhone model must be a requirement to enter and study at UST.
“Kung sa ibang school no I.D. no entry, sa UST no iPhone no Entry,” one user said.
“No iPhone, no entry,” another user commented.
“Sobrang mahal ng university na yan. Required iPhone 13 pro max bago maka enroll,” another user joked.
Others also took pity in jest on students who have Android phones or old iPhone models.
“Kawawa ka kapag naka Android. Ma OP ka mhie,” commented a Facebook page “Klasik Titos and Titas of Manila.”
“Kick out agad pag naka-android or may home button pa yung iPhone,” another user said.
Award-winning writer Joselito Delos Reyes also jumped in. His comment reads: “Snatcher in Lacson joined the group,” referring to a street in Manila, occupied by UST and nearby establishments where students often hang out.
UST resumed its on-campus welcome walk after two years since it shifted to online classes in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The ceremony in 2020 and 2021 was conducted virtually via a Minecraft portal.
A Holy Mass and an orientation program called “ROARientation” were also held as part of the annual program.
To conclude the event, UST unveiled or “unboxed” the redesigned block letters and statue of a Bengal tiger at the Plaza Mayor in front of the main building of the campus.
The Varsitarian, the official student publication of the university, stated that around 10,000 new students made it out of the 48,000 applicants for the new Academic Year 2022-2023.