Sunday, September 13, 2009

2009 UAAP Cheerdance competition (2nd UPDATE)

2nd update:

Ikot song is found, thanks Mon! It's Umiikot-Ikot by Mike Hanopol. Additional notes on UP's routine at numbers 3 and 6.

* * * *


Had an amazing Sunday courtesy of the 2009 UAAP Cheerdance competition. Yes, UP, the two-time defending champions, failed in its quest for a three-peat but still, we had a lot of fun.

You see, when UP was announced third-placers, the UST crowd went wild with delight -- the stadium literally shook under my feet. At aaminin ko, napikon talaga ko na may halong humiliation, lol. (Don't get me wrong, the UP Pep Squad did us all proud; I really just didn't like how UST reacted.)

Clearly, UST thought it was going to be champions, or second-placers at the least.

While the hosts were about to announce the second-placers, I thought out loud: "Wait, Ateneo is so capable of breaking into the Top 3!" So I began cheering for Ateneo, and the rest of the UP crowd thought the same (hey, great minds think alike ;-), and we began cheering for them.

And Ateneo did win 1st runner-up!!! The UP crowd roared with delight -- there was no way UST was going to be champions because clearly, FEU showed the best routine! So ayun, from then on, asar-talo talaga UST. Everyone pretty much ganged up on them -- cheering and celebrating for FEU before the announcement of first place, while they were oh-so-quiet, lol.

Digital na talaga karma ngayon.

So yes, someone go kicked out of the Holy Trinity of UAAP Cheerleading and it's not us :-P

* * * *

We saw FEU rehearsing at Araneta Coliseum (we were one of the early birds), and their routine was basically a patchwork of all the best stunts that UP has done at the 2008 UAAP Cheerdance competition and at the 3rd Cheerleading Asia International Open in Tokyo, Japan. They committed a lot of mistakes during the rehearsal, so I felt confident that UP would be able to successfully defend its title.

Alas, the UP Pep Squad had glaring errors, most notably the pyramid that never was (1:17 mark):

My favorite part in terms of cuteness (lol) would begin at the 2:15 mark, when the ikot jeepney is introduced (main mode of transportation within the UP campus). "Ikot, ikot" the soundtrack goes (BTW, who can ID the title of that song? Mon was able to identify the song: it's "Umiikot-Ikot" by Mike Hanopol) , and the crowd chants, "Ikot, ikot" as the Pep squad does its tumbling sequences, or literally, umiikot ;-)

UP's routine is a salute to the Iskolar ng Bayan, as UP students are called. There are details that only UP students would know about, and could've alienated the judges; i.e., the Bluebook, the ikot/toki jeepney, the song "Hari ng Sablay," and the cheer "Bayan, Bayan, Bayan Ko." A risky move yes, but one that endeared them all the more to UP folks, if ever that was still possible. So thank you, UP Pep Squad, for taking that risk.

* * * *

Just to give a rundown of the routine:

1. Jeepney ikot is placed at the side; the UP Bluebook, which we use for quizzes and exams, is displayed.
2. Uniform is very high school-like with the puffed sleeves, skirt and knee-high socks for girls; and stylized shorts for boys: sets the theme for the routine, which is about school life
3. The squad forms a heart beside the Oblation, UP's icon, at 1:46 and soundtrack segues to "State U"
4. Jeepney ikot enters; significance and stunts is explained in the caption above
5. UP's centennial song, "UP, Ang Galing Mo" is used at 3:07 as the squad performs its most difficult stunts
6. Another round of tumbling sequences at 3:39 as Sandwich's song is used. Lyrics go,
"Kami’y nagbabalik sabik na sabik
At dadalhin sa inyong lahat ang pinakamabagsik"
7. The squad takes off its "sablay," the sash used by UP students in their graduation rites, at the 3:55 mark. Soundtrack is "Hari ng Sablay." Loves it. Another very difficult stunt at 4:10.
8: Turns sablay into a headpiece in a nod to the school's revolutionary roots. Uses chant normally used in rallies:
"Iskolar ng Bayan!
Bayan, bayan, bayan ko
Di pa tapos ang laban mo
Isulong mo, isulong mo
Iskolar ng Bayan!"

9. Ikot jeepney is brought to the front; it unfolds and is transformed to UP's official seal

* * * *

The degree of difficulty in their stunts was so high, and coupled with the many UP icons peppered all over the place, they seemed to have lost focus and wasn't able to pack a lot of punch in a concise routine, which they did in their last two competition pieces. And as mentioned, there were the mistakes, although the TV camera didn't catch the others.

Meanwhile, FEU may have floundered during rehearsals but they perfected the routine competition time, hence they were clearly the champions:

They were inspired by the Sarimanok. (I, together with a lot of folks, have a lot of problem with this because FEU's official mascot is the tamaraw. But that shouldn't get in the way of the cheering stunts they executed perfectly).

Underdogs Ateneo swept the rug under UP's feet after presenting a flawless routine with a degree of difficulty (almost) akin to UP's 2007 championship piece. Grabe, literal na wala silang mali:

Theirs was a Michael Jackson tribute, with a spectacular Moonwalk partner stunt. I tweeted, "ateneo shockingly good. crowd is going wild," and this was why, later, I figured that they would be second-placers.

I also noted that the judges, with the exception of Powerdance's Douglas Nierras, were all from nationally and internationally sanctioned cheerleading associations; they would look at the performances at a technical perspective. Hence, I had an inkling on how the rankings would look like.

Looking back at my tweets, I only commented on the routine of those who ended up in the Top 3, so needless to say, I am satisfied with the results. UP, unfortunately, was only 0.3 behind Ateneo. If I'm not mistaken, 5 points were deducted for every major error so if only they didn't miss that pyramid, UP could've walked away with the title.

Final scores and team standings as follows (last four slots, unverified):

    Far Eastern University - 86.10
    Ateneo de Manila University - 83.40
    University of the Philippines - 83.10
    University of Sto Tomas - 81
    National University
    University of the East
    De La Salle University
    Adamson University

and I completely agree.

17 * :

heyjay said...

Like you, I am completely satisfied with the results. We are the happiest 2nd placers in the world!

I'm an adopted son of UP so I mostly know of the UP iconography.

Congrats to us all!

Jason said...

LOL! Grabe nga yung saya nung Ateneo crowd and squad nung inannounce na 2nd place kayo, haha. Ngayon ko lang yata nakita yon!

At kami din, sayang-saya kami nung inaanounce na Ateneo and FEU placed higher than us, hahaha. (Although talagang nanlambot ako when we were announced 3rd and I saw that OTHER school cheering to death.) I've never cheered louder in my entire life, lol. Definitely my best CDC experience :-)

heyjay said...

hahaha! asar-talo nga mga Thomasians dito sa office eh.

btw, you look so macho in the pic above. yan na ba resulta ng pagpunta sa gym? ;)

balbahutog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

you should see the people at my gym. yung biceps nila size na ng hita ko, lol

Wednesday said...

I was seated on the UP side. It was discouraging when everyone's cheers for FEU stifled our cheers for UST. But I admit that the three placers deserved their win. I guess that's just hard to take. An Atenean acquaintance Tweeted, "tantya ko may mga taong kahit anong kainin ngayong gabi, bitter yung panlasa :))" Too true.

Eh. CDC 2009 was fun. There's always next year. And 2011. :]

I like how you elucidated UP's performance in this blog. I have to agree. UP could've won if they were as polished as Ateneo.

elias said...

Hi. Found this entry via Google's blog search thingie. :)

May mga errors din naman ang Ateneo BBB:

2:12 - partner stunt sa right side, flyer didn't land on the base's hands and dropped to the floor

3:05 - flyer couldn't extend her leg to do a scorpion

5:00 - girl holding the 'D' flag sa likod, nauna by a few seconds, then bumalik para masabayan ulit yung ibang flags

And since you mentioned it, nakakatuwang isipin na may possibility pala na kami pa mag-champion kung wala yung errors na yun. But di rin, baka magka-riot sa Araneta if ever yun ang nangyari. Katakot naman.

And I really loved UP's routine. Hindi siya 'overchoreographed' at 'overconceptualized', na sakit ng maraming squads. Tight yung concept at nadala from start to end. Gets ko naman lahat ng cultural references sa routine so satisfying talaga panoorin. :)

Was expecting 1-FEU and 2-UP. After watching our routine, I had a feeling na kayang makapasok sa top 3. Well, ganun naman feeling ko for the past five years or so pero malakas talaga yung kutob this year. Kaya lang, nandun pa rin yung takot, knowing na baka umubra ang apoy-apoy at ang over-hyped na lakad-lakad-paikot stunt ng UST.

I hope this year's judging system becomes permanent. Not because Ateneo benefited from it, but because it was so frustrating that the 'real' cheerleading elements barely mattered in this competition for more than a decade.

Jason said...

Wednesday - I understand na masakit talaga: kung UST ako, aasa din ako. It was SDT's best routine ever, in my opinion. Yun nga lang napa-aaga ang cheering ng UST crowd and at that time, UP's pride was wounded.

Would UP have cheered if UST was called third? They might have, they might have not.

I guess, there's less pressure for UST next year and more pressure for UP to bring back the title AND not get kicked out of the Top 3.

* * * *

Thanks Elias for pointing those out. I only noticed them when I reviewed the performance after posting this entry. And in any case, most of those who walked out of Araneta really thought that Ateneo had a flawless routine.

"nandun pa rin yung takot, knowing na baka umubra ang apoy-apoy at ang over-hyped na lakad-lakad-paikot stunt ng UST."

Ito rin yung kinatakot ko actually when we were announced third. In fairness dun sa pyramid na yun, that was really new and mahirap mag-conceptualize ng bagong pyramid -- after all, how many variations can one do? But that was really unique, unless someone comments here and says it has been done already :-P

Sana nga laging ganong ka-credible ang mga judges.

Jason said...

By the way, Wednesday, I love that word, "elucidated." That would be my word for the day, lol.

Deepa said...

thanks for posting the performances! di ko pa napanood yung iba, but i must say the babble has come such a long way from when i used to watch them in college! *wipes a tear*

Jason said...

haha @ deepa

Sobrang improved na talaga sila. Last year pa actually, when i thought they deserved a place in the Top 3.


Ateneo did us proud haha really proud! One big fight!

simplegal said...

That really made my a big fan of Ateneo..:) Thanks for sharing the performance/routines of UP..I admit,di ko masyado naintindihan yung ibang concepts nila..Love your blog by the way..:)

Jason said...

Wow, Ateneo reprezent!!! Haha :-)

Thanks simplegal :-)


Just noticed one thing, UST forgot their school cheer right? Haha

Jason said...

You mean during the announcement of winners? The last time I heard them, they were cheering UP's school cheer. After Ateneo was declared 2nd placers, I never heard from them :-P



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