New UST tiger statue becomes ‘wishing well’ during students’ prelims week

October 6, 2022 - 7:00 PM
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The tiger statue at the University of Santo Tomas' Plaza Mayor. (Interaksyon/James Patrick Cruz)

The newly upgraded iconic tiger statue of the University of Santo Tomas has suddenly become a “wishing well” for some of its students during their week of preliminary examinations.

Pictures of the Bengal tiger having a calamansi, coins, a P1,000 bill, financial cards and an instant noodle pack on the inside of its roaring mouth have been recently going viral.

The digital counterpart of Pilipino Star Ngayon (PSN) reported that James Mercado posted a picture of the statue with a calamansi, claiming it will manifest “calamansi” grades or those that are 90% and above.

“Prelims [preliminary] week kasi namin now. Majority of the different colleges and faculties ay nag-he-held na ng preliminary exams nila face-to-face. Desperate times call for desperate measures ika nga nila, and parang ginawa na ngang wishing well ang tiger,” he was quoted as saying.

“Ang funny dun is may calamansi rin na nakalagay. In-explain ko sa [isang] thread ano meaning ng calamansi for the Thomasians HAHAHA,” Mercado added.

Explained PH also reported that some students also offered a bill and a debit and credit card to the tiger for “higher chances of high grades.”

“I thought na it would be funny kung mas bobonggahan namin ‘yung alay namin para mas mataas ‘yung chances na mataas ‘yung grades na makuha namin for the prelims, as well as for the upcoming long tests and practicals pa for our block,” Jaimie Panganiban was quoted as saying.

The report said that the gimmick stemmed from Thomasians’ belief that the tiger statue allegedly brings them luck in their studies.

For Jaimie, however, the statue symbolizes “hope.”

“‘Di lang naman madadaan sa swerte swerte ‘yung mga practicals, prelims, and the likes. What we do need is hope, and yung ‘pag-aalay’ sa tiger is a lighthearted way for us to have hope na makapasa sa exams namin,” she said.

UST student publication The Varsitarian also shared pictures of coins inside the tiger statue’s mouth.

“The new tiger statue at the Plaza Mayor has seemingly become a wishing well for Thomasians this prelims week as test takers fill its mouth with coins,” it captioned on a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, UST Facilities Management Office director Fr. Dexter Austria O.P. reminded students that the tiger statue “is not an object of devotion, to begin with.”

“More than our moral obligation to take good care of our properties in UST, catechesis is urgently needed if we want to be faithful to the Church teachings as Thomasians,” he said on Facebook.

“Pray to God through the saints for intercession instead. #justsaying,” Austria added.

The priest accompanied his post with a picture of the tiger statue with a pack of instant noodles in its mouth. A close look reveals a sticky note pasted on the pack.

Last month, the university unveiled its new tiger statue which was an upgrade from its previous structures.

The new version stands at eight feet and is closer in resemblance to actual Bengal tigers.

The tiger statue was designed by Anthony Zamora, a former UST College of Fine Arts and Design faculty member.

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