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Dear Last Season.

Dear Friends, Fans, and Last Season. You were something. 😉

 

For the 20th time, in the last 2 decades our team showed up in front of friends, families, supporters,and a few haters. For some, a supposed reclaiming of the crown. But definitely an inevitable UAAP comeback.

To say that the outcome of last year’s CDC surprised many, in many ways, is still an understatement. Because more than the change in pressure, and in podium results, the awarding was surprisingly with a much welcome feeling of relief. And apparently, the surprises were just getting warmed up.

 

So allow us to give every single athlete who participated, and those who won in the last UAAP season, a sincere pat on whichever body part is not injured. And more than just sending out our thank you’s for last season, especially to our partners, Golds Gym, who kept pushing with us up to the last rep of the last set, and Reebok who, too, have shown their support even in previous seasons, we would also want to share a few of our learnings from the last 20 years. Starting with–


Better late than mema.

Our excuse for such a delayed appreciation post. So allow us to make it 20 minutes long and our apologies and deep gratitude for keeping up with our schedule.

Second, as a wise man, Anon, once said:
Anyone can dye the events in his life to give it color as he pleases.
Coats of sugar candy sprinkle included.
It’s fair to admit that the UP Pep squad failed to meet many expectations last year.
but in all honesty, after years of memorable performances here and abroad, we find ourselves in the best place we could be as we close two decades of dancing and competing.
Which brings us to our next learning:


Sometimes difficult events dye our lives in their own color
even without our consent-  in shades we didn’t even know possible.
So we also thank the last 19 years for all the inconvenience that helped prep us for 2017, and all the people who have witnessed those years with us. Maybe we should also thank the people who gave us, at some points, a hard time. K, thanks po. ✌️

 

Admittedly every year we’ve dreaded losing that podium finish.
A few minutes before the announcement of winners (30, including commercials) our hearts prayed for a miracle as a dark cloud of reality hovered close by.Then it was all thunder and lighting, and eventually it,too, came to pass. The results may have changed, but familiar faces stayed.
In one particular year we could have kept complaining on how our hearts were broken the most.
And though this was a difficult year as well, it felt as though we have been spared the annual trauma and instead were taught that
We suffer more in our imaginations than in reality.
And there is truth about finally facing your fears.
 

It’s nice to say that last season’s results taught us humility. But why stop there?
More importantly, we were finally freed from this fear of failure. And most delightful of all is that we didn’t even see that coming. Much as we tried to manage our expectations, we were still hoping to finish gloriously last year. Much as we make excuses, we did have our hopes up. And yet, when all the confetti settled on the cheerleading mats, so did all of our anxieties for that day.
 
Our five-minute routine sounded off a range of opinions as all routines always do in the age of internet experts.  But it remained very memorable and awe-inspiring.
Creativity can happen in a second and we tried to recreate our story in 300 at most.
20 years, done in 5 minutes and every stunt we’ve ever tried, and every person we’ve ever trained with, and every success, and heartbreak we’ve ever experienced, all made those 5 minutes possible.
We’ve had people express disappointment on us for not winning, or for not being depressed about it. And now, in retrospect, we thank 2017 for a year that paled against atleast the start of 2018.
But in the history of our team, every starting point was never easy anyway.
From all the falling down and all the falling out in between, losing another year does sound like another heart break. Because it really is.
But it’s not the only way you can get your heart broken. Yet if we could spare ourselves from all the heartbreaks in the last 20 years,then we wouldn’t have those 20 years to speak of.
If we’ve never bled, then we’d probably be the Fighting Whites instead.
 

But here’s some good news:
Much as we prefer to see growth as eye-candy, it’s not.
We could be wrong about this.  Perhaps someone somewhere is having an exhilarating time growing. If you can afford the pain reliever and insurance, good for you. Real change brings a mixture of emotions, including grief for what you’ll have a hard time letting go of along with the miracle of what you can become. A soft genuine sadness with a simple and fulfilling joy. And if you prefer the pain reliever, then maybe this is not for you. And that’s ok, too.

 

In the end, we don’t just learn to see the crown as a symbol of something more than just glory.
If you are fortunate enough to be given 20 years, then maybe you will get to redefine your crowning glory, too. The process will be tedious. It will ask for sacrifices. Including your hair.
You might have to cut it, bleach it, shave, color, or just watch it waste away,
But if you are fortunate to last all those 20 years, then you’ll learn you don’t always have to earn a crown, or buy a crown, or win a crown.
If you are lucky, it can grow on you.
and that’s ok, maybe even better, too.  ✊🏽
Lalaine2

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VAAS Auditions

PepsPoster 2018-01-01-01-01

We are looking forward to meeting everyone who’ll try out on our next VAAS Auditions.

But before the big day, kindly read the following reminders regarding what to bring, what to expect and how to better manage your expectations when trying out and joining the University of the Philippines Varsity Pep Squad.

The Pep Promise

One of the most intimidating and shocking developments in Philippine collegiate cheerleading is funding. But please be reminded that as a special varsity team from the only government funded university in the UAAP, the UP Pep Squad does NOT OFFER FINANCIAL SUBSIDIES for being part of the team. You can look for your own private scholarships. However, put simply, we have no monetary offers.

Alongside our responsibilities as Iskolar ng Bayan: to maintain respectable grades and academic standing, attend our classes, and take part in student activities;
our service to the university is our way of giving back to our school and country.
Idealistic as it may sound, successful applicants of the team are trained to serve the university, and not the other way around.

The struggle is real. The struggles ARE real…(s)
But even after many years later
the fulfillment is genuine.

So the UP Pep promise is actually purpose. Its rewarding work, it’s a golden struggle.

Background

We are looking for cheerleaders, performers, dancers and students who are willing to learn and willing to invest time to optimize their skills (with as much parental support as possible).
Our team has always welcomed a wide range of skilled individuals. From gymnasts, to high school cheerleaders, hip hop dancers, b-boys and mere athletic potential. You may come from a different sport, or different dance genre.
What’s most important is your commitment to TRAIN and IMPROVE.
Plus, good health.

Eligibility

Please note that the VAAS Auditions are for those who did not qualify for the previous years’ UPCAT.
If you are incoming UP DILIMAN Freshmen, and are interested in joining the team, please wait for further announcements regarding our summer training season.

For highschool seniors / senior high students, kindly check with your school or CHED if you are not sure about your eligibility. Consider this as STEP 1. 😉

Other cases that are eligible for the program include college students from other schools who wish to transfer to UP Diliman, and senior high/  high school students who were not able to take the UPCAT.

Other Reminders

Kindly review the date, time and venue for the audition and be there earlier than the posted time, in proper athletic training attire (rubber shoes and hair accessories included).
Bring hydration supplies for personal use, towels and extra shirts.

Thank you, goodluck and see you there!

 

Utak.Puso.Grad : USoG.

Closing another training year, and another season of head aches, heart breaks, life lessons and great memories.

But now that we are officially on break, we would like to recognize the efforts and service of our outgoing team members starting with our captains Cam, Lara, and brother Louie (3x) and ofcourse, our head drummers Angelo and Patrick!

Thank you not only for your time, but more importantly for your presence.

Thank you not only for your contributions, but more importantly for what you were willing to give up.

Thank you not only for being our team mates, but more importantly for being people we can aspire to be like.

 

When asked how do we measure the service we render for this state university, it is through people like you that we find genuine answers.

Because ironically it is people like you who never ask for your service to be measured, or how much of what you have given up could ever be replaced.

We also thank our outgoing senior members for teaching us the valuable lesson of what makes a mere memory and what makes a true respectable athlete.
Whether you are getting ready for graduation or switching to full-academic mode, we congratulate you for surviving all the hell weeks that we hope from now on will come easier, dahil ok lang umasa.

***
The past year has been very turbulent.
But we are grateful that many of those turbulence were experienced on actual planes…
…and that we all got back home safe.

But in memory of all the individuals and events that have caused us a slight change in altitude and have brought us our share of inconvenience, we are reminded to be thankful for them.
For reminding us to fasten our seatbelts and re-evaluate our values, our relationships and our commitments in life; for the chance to pray for stillness and for renewed appreciation of what we have, and the people we share these turbulence with.

So for everyone who joined us through out these turbulent times,
who held us, and prayed for us, and kept their faith in us as we also put our faith in them,
We dedicate our recent season to all of you, and with you, hope for even bigger ones.
Again to our parents, families, friends, teachers, godfathers, second mothers and mentors;
Our community, and officials;
To our sponsors, partners and supporters;
And for everyone who stood beside us till the very very end of another year:
We say, USo Pa!

Utak. Puso. Paninindigan.

 

 

 

For our Equally Awesome Friends

In behalf of all the different personalities involved in staging the UP Pep Squad’s
Elevision Concert, we would like to thank everyone who joined us last Saturday, as well as everyone who could not be there but still had something to do with the show.

We wish our corporate sponsors and partners even more success. Hopefully in huge huge amounts, as we promise to speak positively of your brands and try our best to represent the ideas your company and our team share.

We pray for better health, unfaltering safety and infinite patience for our friends, families and special “family-friends” who constantly forgive us for coming home late, losing our stuff, not eating properly, staying up all night, cramming, and forgetting to send our replies to your daily “san-k-n’s” and best wishes.

We thank our fans, although it remains odd to acknowledge the fact that we have fans, and although more than half of them are probably blood-relatives as well. But to all of you, no matter how many or few, we thank you for your continuous patronage.

Last Saturday’s show was a first for many of us, dreaded by some, and awaited by most. Our first attempt on a weekend concert, dedicated to all our friends who can’t come on weekdays almost backfired thanks to the many other events taking place that last weekend of February.
Still, many people showed up, surprisingly filling the theater even during the evening show.
Thank you for making an effort to watch our performance, joining us on stage and sharing your time and energy to make our show even more successful. More dreadful than losing an audience for ticket-sales, is losing eyes and ears to witness the vision each of us painstakingly prepared for.

So again we thank every one who shared in this vision-mission-cheerdance-competition.

To our Prof. Dan Silvestre  and the UP Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts.To Director Mary Delia Tomacruz of the UP Theater and all its staff, especially to Kuya JR (Sotto) for all the handy works on stage.

To our generous sponsors: Gold’s Gym,Smart, DMCI Homes, and Cabres Builders, Bayer, Teleperformance, PLDT Home DSL and Jollibee.

For our costumes and apparel care of Hanes, Under Armor, Bianca’s Closet, and House of Dance.
And once again to Indola, for our laborious fighting maroon hair.

To our Production team headed by our Lighting Director and Choreographer Coach Peter Alcedo.
Our choreographers: Sir(s) JM Cabling, Al Garcia and Sir Herbert Alvarez of the UP Dance Company, and Coach Sherwin Casepe.

Our Coaches: Jon Cagas, NJ Antonio and Pio Opinaldo, RM Garcia and your 3-day express visit with hand-carried choreography, and the Doctors of Philippine Cheerleading — Doctors Brent Viray, Suyin Chua, and Amity Casurao, with the special participation of your family, Aaron Casurao and JD Trono (and perhaps soon, the rest of the Casurao Clan).

We thank the special people who finally made it with us on stage:
Again, to Aaron and Sir JD, to Kattia Pineda, and Denise Ann Reyes, and our mentors- Prof. Eloi Hernandez and Grace Gregorio for taking the time to grace us with your wonderful hip hop chemistry and history. 😉

And ofcourse to our one and only Prof. Ruben DF Defeo, for the inspiration, the guidance and the unending support, whether on stage, on cam, on video, on facebook and hopefully like before — on tour.

It has been 15 years since we first staged our Elevate cheerdance competition and concerts, or atleast somewhere along the 15 year-timeline, and so we are really happy to be joined on stage by alumni members who found time to resurrect their cheerleader smiles after their shifts as accountants, flight attendants, marketing directors, or whatever new temporary form they have taken —

To our ate’s and kuya’s — Carlou Guevarra, Monalyn Luna, Noellyn Figueroa, Tonsi Ignacio, Via Antonio, and Trixie Segundo, and ofcourse, Deo dela Cruz and Jens Mempin; and also those who came to watch us, knowing how they wanted to dance with us, too… the alumni members who have paved the way for making February’s throwbacks of deadly choreographies, backstage comedies, and warm memories. Soon we shall dance on your weddings, children’s birthdays, or maybe album and milk tea launches, too.

And once again to all our supporters. You have always been part of this vision.
Without you, we might as well close our eyes. But even if we did, the vision will remain
so let’s just thank each of you for giving us a reason to see and believe.

Soon this mission-vision will find a place to rest as it makes way for perhaps another season for the UP Pep Squad. Perhaps, a religion. lol
Or a cheerleading pyramid-scam.
But until then, we urge everyone who has witnessed this past season to continue the fight for equality.

Maraming salamat pong muli.

Now back to training.

Its time!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/104989028″>EQUALITEAM</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3336288″>one carlos</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

UP Pep Squad VAAS Auditions 2014

party ad-01-01The photo basically covers the key points. Date, time, requirements, etc. Again this is for UP Pep Squad Dancers.
The UP Pep Squad Drummers have their own auditions happening every semester, but are exclusive for students who
are already studying in UP Diliman.
But for other questions, here’s a detailed explanation for the upcoming 2014 VAAS Auditions.

Date and time:
March 1 and 2, 2014; 8am to 12 noon.
The UP Pep Squad VAAS Auditions will be held for TWO DAYS and all participants should be willing to come on BOTH DAYS.
The first day is for preliminary screening, and though not everyone is expected to come back on the 2nd day, participants
should make sure they are available on both days in case they will be asked to come back on the 2nd day.

The entire process begins with proper warm up exercises, and so as much it is arguable that late-comers can speed up stretching excercises, we do not encourage anyone to come in late. Period. 😉

Required skills:
Strong background in gymnastics and/or dance.
We are currently looking for students and athletes who are already trained in gymnastics, dance, or better yet, in both. Basic gymnastic skills are favorable, but excellent skills in dance will also be considered.  More importantly, a waiver will be supplied on both days, and participants will not be asked to risk their safety or cause injury for the sake of recognition.

Eligibility
The audition is for individuals who are generally eligible to enroll in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus ONLY. Preferably with good academic standing*.
*For highschool/students who have taken the UPCAT, a grade of 2.9 or higher will be advantageous.
For those who did NOT TAKE the UPCAT, a good academic standing in your previous school would suffice.
We would like to note that the auditions are not exclusive to graduating highschool students. Students who have graduated from highschool from previous years, or with special academic cases  are also invited to join, so long as you are between the age of 15 to 23 years old. This may include, but not limited to, transferees from other universities, home-schooled athletes, and students who are currently un-enrolled. For special cases, please contact the posted number.

Venue:
Dalisay Aldaba Dance Rehearsal Hall, 3rd Floor UP Theater (entrance across UP Bahay ng Alumni)
Both audition dates will take place on the Aldaba Rehearsal Hall. Please note that parents and guardians may escort their kids
only up to the entrance venue but unfortunately we do not have a waiting area for non-participants. Rubber mats will be available during the event, but dont forget to bring your own hydration kit (water, sports drink)  and (indoor) rubber soled shoes.

Attire:
Proper training clothes are required. From training shoes, socks, training pants (jazz pants, jogging pants, tights and sports shorts), tight fitting tops especially for girls, and some extra clothes and towels, as well as clips and bands for the hair.
No need to wear accessories and bring jewelries ( i.e piercing accessories, rings, necklaces etc) and valuable gadgets.

Final note
We would like to remind everyone that the UP Pep Squad does not give out any scholarships, tuition subsidies, loans, grants or any special financial rewards to its members or to those who will qualify in the auditions. There are also no promises of allowances for succesful candidates. We can only promise you a reputable training program, a chance to be part of a growing sport and many doors to many more opportunities and experiences that the University of the Philippines is truly proud of. Such is the life especially of student-cheerleaders in the University of the Philippines. We know that many young athletes would also like to take a chance in UP but are moved to take other opportunities due to financial concerns. We apologize for our lack of funds to cater to these individuals. However, we hope that this does not stop you from trying other means such as looking for privately funded scholarships, government aids or loan-granting organizations such as this one, co-founded by one of our alumni members.

For anything else not mentioned here, please contact the number provided or any of the UP Pep RESIDENT MEMBERS on your social networks. Thank you so much and see you there!

Saddle UP.

A very very happy new year, and slightly delayed greeting, to everyone!
2014 is yet another year to look forward to, for some, maybe to stress upon, as this year will surely require a whole new level of “fight”. Maybe even sadder for some (more/others  )
as we wont be having our UP Pep concert this year.
We will however continue to host the Elevate Cheerleading Competitions
and be part of the many programs prepared by the University of the Philippines Diliman. (updates soon)
So even without the “sometimes-annual” concert, there are still so much to look forward to from the squad,
so many tasks at hand, its no surprise its the year of the horse.

But thankfully, looking back at 2013, we have garnered enough horse power to boost us this 2014.

Four competition in the past year, two of which held overseas, would have been suicide:
Japan’s Cheerleading Asia International Open, straight to the Philippine National Games,
which was hardly a cartwheel away from a full UAAP season, and ending the year
with an epic Cheerleading Worlds Championship.
But still, 2013 wasn’t all about competitions.
From our first Sinulog performance, our memorable Elevasion concert, cheerdance competition,
a loaded academic year, topped by  our university-wide Christmas celebrations,
the year 2013 is nothing short of a miracle.

And a miracle it was indeed. Not only for the squad but the rest of the country.

2013 had our eyes crying. More than in cheerdance competitions, we watched as people get hurt.
And more than trophies, so much of the really important things have been lost.
It may be true that we will always remember the devastation more than we will remember our small victories. But opening our eyes and realizing that a year has already past,  2014 is now on a run, is enough reason to believe that we have endured.

So we take pride in this show of endurance.
We take pride in whatever little we have left and in how we can, again, let them grow into so much more.
We take pride in being surrounded by people who teach us our worth and still remind us that what we go through, despite its share of tears, is nothing close to what others will have to deal with.
And with this pride we are grateful.
For the training to become champions and the experiences to deal with failures.
We are grateful that we are given this role, and the opportunities that go with it,
opportunities to learn, to fight, to grow, and to share.

One could only fight and push harder and maybe, say that this new year is going to be a better one.
But we will never be sure of what 2014 will bring. The good and the bad of it will always come as a surprise.
We can always be optimistic, ofcourse. But as life in and out of this sport continues to grow
more difficult each year, it is clear that we will again face another busy, maybe busier, year.

As tides change, we will have to be smarter.
People will come and go, and we will just have to adjust.
As the ground shakes beneath us, we will have to run faster.
And if we run out of places to stand on, then we will have, atleast try, to learn to fly.
But of all the uncertainties we will face  as we go through another year
only two things are certain:
There will be blood. And that we will endure.

That’s what were grateful to have learned in 2013.
And to everyone who has survived this past year, cheers to you too!
And to everyone who’ll continue to join us this new year… more cheers coming UP!