There were no more words to dissect and feelings to express. There was only the Business and Management Vipers amid the feast of colors, the grand slam champion for this year’s edition of the Sayawtenista during the concluding ceremony of the 67th Ateneo Fiesta, last Aug. 15.
More than 3,000 students gathered in Ateneo de Davao’s Martin Building for the most awaited segment in the school’s three-day fiesta. Teams from the nine course divisions and clusters gave their best dance performance, eliciting loud cheers from their respective departments.
The theme for this year’s Sayawtenista is Philippine Legends, advocating Philippine culture by going back to its roots. It was hosted by Mary Jane de Castro and Nicole Bacaltos.
“[Sayawtenista] was entertaining,” said Johanne Manapol, a second year Biology student who watched the event. “They entertained us all with the interesting alamats of our country,’’ she said.
The BM Vipers performed a colorful cultural dance that tells the tale “Pagmasasali”, which is a tragic love story of the lovers Masa and Sali. The group wore colorful traditional garbs and used bamboo sticks and cloth as props in the story. The dance ended the same way the story did, where the two lovers and protagonists died while fighting for their love and proving that not even death can set them apart.
The second performer was the Accountancy cluster who depicted the legend “Manuktok,” a horror story that originates from Siquijor and Cebu. Manuktok is a Cebuano word that comes from tuktok which means “to knock.” The Accountancy cluster wore black and white in their dance. The Manuktok are supposedly lost ghosts who knock on doors at night.
The well-known legend of “Maria Labo” was next performed by the Social Sciences (SS) cluster, which tells the story of a human mother who turned into an “aswang” or monster, and ate her own child. The dancers used cosmetic products to change their appearances, and the girls teased their hair to make it look bigger and messy to achieve the “aswang” look.
Up next was the Natural Science and Mathematics (NSM) who portrayed the legend of “Araw, Buwan at Mga Bituin” which directly translates to “Sun, Moon, and Stars”. This legend tells how the sun, moon, and stars came to be, which the NSM showed in their dance.
This was followed by the School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA), who performed the Legend of “Guguran and Aswang”, which is an epic fight between the good god, Guguran, and the monster, Aswang, for power, supremacy and reign over the mountain of Malinaw.
The Humanities and Letters (HumLet) cluster came next and performed the legend of “Waling-waling”, which is now best known as a famous orchid. It is a story of a young beautiful maiden who transformed to be the orchid known today, to protect her father from the cruelty of the Raja who was captivated by Waling-waling’s beauty.
The School of Nursing (SoN) performed the legend of “Bulkang Mayon” or Mayon Volcano. It is a love-triangle between three characters, Magayon and Panganoron, and Paratuga, who all died later in the story, from which emerged the volcano.
The well-known legend “Ang Alamat ni Malakas at Maganda” or “The Strong and the Beautiful” was next performed by the Computer Studies (CS) cluster. Ang Alamat ni Malakas at Maganda tells the story of the first creation, how the first man and woman on earth came to be by emerging out of a bamboo.
The School of Education (SOE) then performed “Ang Alamat ng Paruparo”, which is a story of two kids who picked a flower from a garden owned by a Diwata or fairy, who casted a curse upon them as punishment. The kids then became butterflies, and both served as her gardeners in her garden.
As the awarding drew nearer, the crowd also became rowdier. Order and discipline was ensured by the Marshalls stationed in the event. Virgil Viola, a Marshall and a fourth year CS student says limited seats were offered to prevent overloading and chaos in the hall, and that offensive behavior will be subject to confiscation of IDs.
Mass Communication graduate Ralz San Pedroalso made a special appearance again at this year’s fiesta, who hosted trivia games with the audience.
Performances were judged based on their creativity, group energy, emotions and facial expressions, and how well they delivered the story through their dance. Showmanship and audience impact was also judged.
The SoN came up second runner-up while the SS cluster finished first runner-up. The BM department retained the supremacy for the third time around since 2013.
The results drew differing reactions from the teams. Doreen Balen, a dancer from the SoE division, said she was happy to have presented her division well.
“We had a short time to prepare, but we were still able to represent our division,” said Balen.
Venice Slaughter from the SoN who placed second runner-up said the whole experience was overwhelming and enjoyable. Slaughter played the lead role in their depiction of Bulkang Mayon.
“A rollercoaster ride” is too cliche of a description, as stated by SS Rep. Ivy Jane Torregosa.
“We felt so many highs and disappointing lows, we doubted ourselves, yet at the end of the day, we still continued to fight,” said Torregosa. She felt that a lot of lessons can be learned from the event, and thanked the students from the SS cluster for their cooperation.
For EA tigers, the results serve as motivation. EA Talents president Jerome Garcia said they will try again next year.
“[By that time], we will bring home the crown.”
For the BM Vipers, the Sayawtenista championship was a chance to prove themselves once more.
“Our course is Business and Management which many people belittle. But we can show our strength in other ways,” said Warnher Laga, one of the dancers.
Laga’s message to his fellow vipers was to keep on fighting.
“Ipakita nato sa laing butang nga gwapo ug talentado ang BM” (Let’s show our goodness and talent in other ways).