Welcome to the UP Pep Squad Official Blog

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.  ✊🏽


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