It may be a surprise why we’re talking about cheerdance in this blog. We’re supporting the UP Pep Squad and its message/vision during the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition. While the UP Pep Squad fell a little short of reclaiming the championship trophy, it succeeded in driving home a message. The second-place finish of UP Pep Squad must be viewed through the vision weaved into their routine — equality. Pantay-pantay.
Through the deluge of funny-but-often-intense comments during and after the competition, one comment got my attention — about NU allegedly tearing the UP Pep’s “rainbow banner” that symbolized equality. Then I stumbled on a post, narrating what really happened, written by Ayrie Ching and shared by a lawyer-friend, Meg De Guia. Another case of judging before knowing the true facts. The post, reproduced here with Ms. Ching’s permission, is worth the read:
UP won a greater battle today. While everybody else had a theme, UP carried a message — and it is a strong one.
While waiting for the results, UP was passing along the rainbow flag among its audience. After a few rounds in the UP section, UP began chanting “ikot, ikot, ikot,” cheering the people on to pass the rainbow flag to other schools.
That’s when the miracle happened.
Soon the flag crossed over to Ateneo. It was slow, going sideways as hands reached out to touch the flag. It then crossed over to FEU, and then Adamson, which had difficulty passing it along to UST. We were chanting “go USTe” for quite a while, but eventually the rainbow flag made it through. It then lingered in the La Salle section for a while, but the La Sallians managed. We were laughing as some were unsure where to pass the flag, but UE was soon able to get their hands on it.
At this point, the flag was torn between the yellow and green stripe, but it’s okay. I suppose it will be easy to sew it back together. When the flag crossed over to NU, they were holding it in two sections, both going in opposite directions. The flag went back to UP torn cleanly in half, but I guess that’s okay. Something more important became whole by the end of it all.
It wasn’t just UP Fight today. It was UP Unite. Everyone wanted to pass along the flag as drums played their own school’s beat, all the while UP cheered on every school. I swear to God, seeing that flag go around Araneta almost made me cry. It was a statement, and what a statement it was.
Imagine my surprise when, after the CDC, rumors of NU tearing the flag was all over Twitter. That isn’t true. Nobody tore anything to spite UP Nating Mahal.
Everybody was more than happy to pass the rainbow flag along. The spirit of unity was there; I wish you could’ve felt it.
Please don’t ruin a great moment with a nasty rumor. Ruining things are exactly what rumors are for.
You wouldn’t want to ruin this.
Congratulations to the UP Pep Squad — we’re so proud of you. Congratulations to NU for defending the cheerdance crown and to UST for gaining a podium finish after a long time. Congratulations to all teams for challenging each other to be better each year. Looking forward to another round of injury-free routines in 2015.