Don’t lose the will to come back—no matter how many times we need to.
I originally planned to write a full-blown rant: an entry that contains how much I didn’t agree with the sudden change in the judging system, or NU’s surprise entrance in the Top 3, or Ateneo’s theme confusion. But instead, I sit here, writing about something that may or may not matter but this comes from the heart of someone who firmly believes that we did enough to win; and although the stars didn’t align for us, I still believe that you, FEU Cheering Squad, gave it your all and that’s about enough for me to stand by my Alma mater and watch them come back next year and the years after that.
I witnessed a flawless routine, a carefully thought-of theme, and a bunch of energetic individuals all coming together to prove, in front of 19,000 plus spectators, that FEU is a true elite in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition.
I personally feel robbed.
I feel robbed for having witnessed such amazing performance and not win a championship—but I know it must be harder for those who have performed; for those who were part of the team that created a masterpiece.
Years of watching the UAAP CDC, this is the one runner-up finish that cut the deepest. We’ve finished as bridesmaids a dozen times already but this is the one that had me seriously scarred because let’s all admit it—we could’ve won the whole thing.
But as I sit here, I can’t help but remember how proud I felt after you guys successfully performed the jungle-inspired routine. I can’t help but remember how I held my breath in every pyramid and how I cheered during the high moments.
So yeah, recounting the moments, I figured it wasn’t so bad after all.
And as I sit here, almost filing up a page of a once-blank Microsoft Word document, I can’t help but remember how resilient our squad had been over the years. Every now and then, we get our hearts broken by falling short but we have always managed to come back stronger each year—proving just how resilient Tamaraws are (just like the creature it was named after).
To every member of the squad, to every person who spent nights and days perfecting the routine you performed in front of the world: kudos! I raise my glass and I take my hats off in respect to every effort you gave for the performance that, I’m sure, made every FEU student proud.
To Coach Jacqueline Alolor, I don’t know if you still remember me, but I am one of those two people who wrote about your 2009 championship for the official student publication. I was there in the dugout as the squad celebrated and you knew me as the sports writer from FEU Advocate. You probably don’t know me and I may not know a lot about how you handle the squad but I think I have an idea about how dedicated you are to winning that championship for the squad and for the school. I salute your ideas and I admire your sheer brilliance in pulling off a good show every damn year.
Perhaps, I am this affected because I consider myself as part of that title the squad won in 2009—every Tamaraw is a part of that championship. We all know how good it feels to win and I hope that this setback will only push the squad forward; and I most certainly hope that the squad never loses the shine and the brilliance, and the resiliency to come back and fight again.
To each member of the squad, to the coach/es, to every person who is part of the performance that WOWed every person who watched it: in behalf of the entire green-and-gold community, you may not have won the championship but you guys didn’t fail to make us proud.
We’d still be watching next year. We’d still be holding our breath to every stunt and pyramid; and we’d still be crossing our fingers, wishing for fair-play and honesty. And we’ll serve as your own cheering squad—win or lose.
A former FEU student who still believes we’d get there, again—soon