August 13, 2021 (1:18 PM)

5 min read


Taking bolder steps from the uncertainty of the previous year, the Ateneo virtual space was once again filled with vibrant hues and energy as the 73rd Ateneo Fiesta: Indayog 2021 officially kicked off yesterday via Facebook live.

Indayog, this year’s fiesta branding, is a Filipino term that means rhythm, representing the fiesta’s theme filled with music, colors, and movements. 

The celebration was launched online with the theme “Maria, Rayna sa Pilipinas, Among Kauban sa Panaw diha sa Lima Ka Gatos Katuig nga Paglawig diha sa Pagtoo kang Kristo, Tuburan sa Paglaum ug Kadasig sa Panahon sa Kalisdanan ug Kadaugan.”

In contrast to last year’s online fiesta celebration, “Tayô, Tayo!” was “more of a response to the call of the times; to stand up in the middle of adversity and to remain hopeful despite the uncertainties that lie ahead”, SAMAHAN Technical Working Group (TWG) Deputy Secretary John Paul Sapsal said.

However, he added that this year’s fiesta goes back to what the Ateneo Fiesta originally was and what it will become: “a moment of coming together and setting aside each one’s differences, a greater reality, and profound experience that all Ateneans share even before the pandemic.”

“I personally find this nostalgic and meaningful as, while I myself never got the chance to experience a face-to-face fiesta celebration, such message genuinely tugs the heart of every Atenean, given that, if there is one thing we remain hopeful for, it is to someday go back in campus and experience the university life,” Sapsal said.

Assistant Coordinator of the SAMAHAN TWG Aldriena Thehani Angas shared that their primary goal for this year’s fiesta was to look forward to homecoming and share in the feeling of movement and togetherness. 

“First, with Indayog, we wanted it to represent the fact that life doesn’t stop with distance. We keep moving. And when we move, we move forward — together,” Angas said.

“At some point, we will come home to the Ateneo. But until then, we keep moving,” she added.

Angas also mentioned that this fiesta marks the return of traditional events such as the Star Search and the Group Dance Showdown, which they worked on despite the difficulties in organization and preparation, especially when they could not pursue the ‘blended fiesta’ they initially planned.

“I’d say distance was the biggest difficulty. Usually, we celebrate the Fiesta together within the campus. But due to the quarantine, we had to make do with producing and organizing the Fiesta separately within our homes,” she said.

Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) president Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ officially opened the celebration by discussing in his opening remarks how our ‘rhythms’ in life were disrupted by climate change, fickleness in human commitment, and especially the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In celebrating Indayog ‘21, the rhythm of life and the rhythm of music take us through Mary assumed into heaven, ultimately, to the glory of God,” he said.

The opening ceremony focused on events such as the virtual cluster parade, banner making contest, Star Search 2021, and the presentation of the official fiesta anthem performed by The Bantams.

An official website for the 73rd Ateneo fiesta was launched a day before the opening ceremony, in which Ateneans could see the current cluster rankings, the Ateneo fiesta through the years, schedule of events and the people behind the fiesta.

Star Search 2021 returns, highlights Atenean talents

One of the main highlights for Day 1 is the comeback of Ateneo Fiesta’s Star Search, a singing competition that used to occur every fiesta.

Performing disco-vibe songs from the ‘70s to the 2000s, participants from the various clusters wowed the audience with their powerful voices and creative productions following the theme, “Blast from the Past.”

Not only did the representatives for each cluster amaze the crowd with their wonderful voices, but they also brought nostalgia to the listeners with their song choices from Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and more retro artists.

A freshman from the Social Sciences cluster told Atenews about how much they enjoyed the Star Search segment of the fiesta.

“The singing skills that the contestants showed were terrific; the only thing that I can say is ‘sana all talented’,” they said.

Championship rounds for the Star Search will happen on the third day of the Ateneo Fiesta on August 14.

Ateneans show virtual support for #Indayog2021

Despite celebrating in an online setting, the excitement and enthusiasm of the Ateneo community was felt through their loud Facebook comments and their social media posts using the hashtags #73rdAteneoFiesta and #Indayog2021.

This online set-up, however, did not hinder Ateneans from enjoying the first day of the fiesta.

Rienchelle Apuya, a freshman from the NSMxSOE Lions expressed how this Indayog 2021 exceeded her expectations about the fiesta.

“I was expecting that the flow of the event would go smoothly, jolly, and exciting that everyone would love to participate, especially in spamming their own accounts while commenting on the live,” Apuya told Atenews.

“The graphics, animations, edits, visuals, and even the hosts were so beautiful and amazing. Each cluster is very ‘gahot’ with their entries. I wonder how enjoyable the fiesta [would be] if this was face to face,” she added.

On the other hand, Thyra Mae Navarro from the Business and Management Cluster recalls her experiences during the face-to-face Ateneo fiestas.

“It was really different because of certain activities, sleepless nights of rehearsals, and preparations for a lot of people — student-leaders, participants, athletes, etc.,” she mentioned. 

Nevertheless, she still enjoyed this year’s fiesta because of the well-prepared hosts, production, AVP, and the energy from the comments section.

End the silence of the gagged!

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