The Upsilon Sigma Phi, the oldest Greek-letter fraternity in Asia, is on its 90th year this year, and the resident fellows are celebrating it with a series of events and projects. Hope to see you in one of our activities!
To culminate our weeks-long 89th anniversary celebration, the resident and the alumni brods staged a free concert at the University of the Philippines Theater. Featured performers were the UP Jazz Ensemble, Eileen Sison & Guarana, the Family Cruz Band, Up Dharma Down, Peacepipe and Pinikpikan.
The concert, through the various performers and bands, traced popular music from the 1920’s till today. This also served as a kick-off concert for next year’s centennial celebration of the university.
On December 4, we held our “˜infamous’ Car Stuffing event. Mechanics simplified, the organization who stuffs the most number of people inside a car wins a hefty ten thousand pesos.
One organization, UP ICTUS, had been winning the contest for the past four years. This year, thirteen organizations participated, and through a tie-breaker round, UP CURSOR took home the honor and the prized sum. They fit in thirty people inside the vehicle. UP ICTUS finished second.
Interestingly, a few years ago, our car stuffing event was co-sponsored by my student political party’s rival party, which from then on earned our event the traditional criticism, from my friends, of being irrelevant. Hehe. Admittedly, sans all the other events and activities with hints of social relevance, we do our car stuffing event largely and simply because it’s really just fun.
This year, we also had a Food Stuffing activity as an intermission event. The team of four who finishes a plateful of spaghetti, cakes, pansit, among other foodstuffs the fastest, wins three thousand pesos. A team from the College of Arts and Letters won.
Anyway, apparently, almost three thousand stems of roses weren’t enough for the ladies of UP Diliman. On the day itself, we ran out of flowers before we could visit all the ladies’ dormitories on campus. So, a week after, on December 5, we did another round of singing at Kamia and Sampaguita residence halls.
On December 7, those of us from Diliman joined our brods in UP Manila for our car stuffing event in the Padre Faura campus. Phi Lambda Delta Sorority won the competition. Twenty-nine (29) of them fit in the car that night. We also held a touch-my-car contest at the side. The person who remains in contact with my car (yes, we really used my car) the longest time withstanding all the extra challenges wins two thousand pesos. Two people shared the prize that night.
If you pass by the walk in between AS (Palma Hall) and the Faculty Center (Rizal Hall), you might have noticed the STAND-UP (Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights – UP) painting the past month. Yep, we painted the road last December 9 in celebration of our eleventh anniversary this year.
STAND-UP is the broadest student alliance in UP Diliman made up of more than thirty student organizations, fraternities and sororities. Founded in 1996, it is the leading militant student political party in the university (for more of its pre-1996 history, click here). Often branded by its rivals as the party of traditional and ‘dogmatic’ activists, STAND-UP distinguishes itself from other student political parties in UP by linking the struggles of the students with the issues of the different sectors of the community, not only in the local but also national level.
Let me get this off my blog checklist once and for all.
Our frat’s 89th anniversary was what occupied most of my time the past months and a few weeks. Days of no-sleep, hours of prodwork like tagging three thousand stems of roses and cooking 15 kilos of pasta in under three hours. Haha. Oh boy. Despite limited funds and manpower at times, we were able to pull everything off.
After our free film screening of Tulad ng Dati, we held a bloodletting contest last November 22 and 23. In cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross, we sought to gather teams in UP Diliman to best each other by donating the most amount of blood based on the number of donors. After two days, a team of university security personnel won the contest with almost a dozen blood donors.
The Saturday right after, November 24, we held a Gawad Kalinga build with UP Gawad Kalinga at a GK site in Brgy. Central in Quezon City. It was my first time to participate in a Gawad Kalinga activity. Though I dislike how some people in the university use it to take jabs at campus activism or use it as an excuse or alternative for mass mobilizations for political and social change, this Gawad Kalinga build was particularly enlightening in some ways. It felt futile and inefficient at times–the human chain and the passing around of sandbags despite the availability of wheelbarrows–but then I realized it’s the symbolic act of cooperation that’s most important. Gawad Kalinga for some, exists, after all, as a venue for an erstwhile apathetic middle class to feel like they’re doing something to change society without getting inconveniently political.
The Sunday after, we spent all night till the wee hours of Monday morning preparing three thousand stems of pink roses for our traditional Day of Roses on November 26. Despite an utter lack of sleep, we spent the entire Monday giving flowers to the girls of UP Diliman while serenading them with some songs. Hehe.
And it doesn’t stop here. I shall continue a chronicle of our events in another blog entry.
A university formation that has been existing for 89 years is bound to have a lot of vintage memorabilia among its historical treasures. I’m quite amused with all the old pictures I’ve been sifting through for the past days. I’d sometimes recognize present public figures today during in their youthful college days decades ago.
Anyway, in celebration of our 89th anniversary, we’re inviting everyone to a special FREE screening of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2006 Best Picture, Tulad ng Dati by Mike Sandejas ’91. It’s going to be on Tuesday, November 13, 7:00 PM at the UP Cine Adarna (Film Center). Again, admission is free. I hope to see you there!
Other events for the rest of the anniversary celebration include a Bloodletting event, on November 22-23; a Gawad Kalinga build on November 24; the traditional Day of Roses on November 26; the annual Car Stuffing and Food Stuffing contest on December 4 (UP Diliman) and December 7 (UP Manila); and a free concert on December 11. See posters for more details.
The picture above is a photo of Upsilonians at the entrance to UP from Commonwealth Avenue. The University of the Philippines marker still exists today, but as you can see, the trees of today weren’t there yet. You can even see Quezon Hall far in the background. I actually don’t know most of the details behind the picture above. I’m not sure when it was taken, but surely it was from a time decades ago when college boys were still wearing that style of fashion, and before the time First Lady Imelda Marcos had trees planted all along the entrance to and along University Avenue in the 70’s. My guess is that the photo was taken sometime during the late sixties or early seventies.
The fraternity, formed in 1918, is aside from being one of the oldest surviving formations in the University of the Philippines, is also Asia’s oldest Greek-letter fraternity. We shall be celebrating our 89th anniversary this year with a series of events this November and December.
To start of the month, we shall be screening 2006 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival’s Best Picture, Tulad ng Dati which was directed and produced by Mike Sandejas (batch 1991). The film also won that year’s festival’s best editing and best sound awards. The special screening will be on Tuesday, November 13, at 7 in the evening at the UP Cine Adarna (Film Center). It’s FREE ADMISSION. I hope to see you there. I’d appreciate it! Also watch out for our other events. I shall be posting about them in another entry.
As I’ve shared before, when I’m with my MCO orgmates, there’s barely a moment I’m not laughing my heart out. Busog na ko sa pagkain, busog din pati sa tawa. Sigh. Last year, we also had an MCO Night, a first since I became a member in 2004. Everybody had fun last year too, much to the expense of some MCO boys including me when, um… we were forcibly made to dress in drag and compete in a beauty contest ala-Miss Eng’g. Fortunately, I can account for the handful of people who have pictures from the event, including me. In case any of those embarrassing and humiliating pictures come out, I have tick list.
Oh, since there wasn’t a “Binibining MCO” pageant this year, I guess the title stays with me. Haha! Oh boy. [You may view the pictures from this year’s (not last year’s) MCO Night here.]
In pursuit of new enthusiasm for film, one member of another film organization decided to build another organization, with goals both for training and for interest in the medium. Originally called “Sprocket Shop”, with adviser Prof. Ellen Paglinauan, it was established on August 24, 1990, with 25 founding members, all undergrads from BA Film and Audiovisual Communication. The name was then changed a few semesters later, under the name UP Cinema Arts Society (UP CAST).
Based in the College of Mass Communication, UP CAST is composed of students who share a common enthusiasm for film and seeks to promote training in the field of film and video production. The organization aims to establish technical and financial resources for student filmmakers, helps encourage the development of a critical film audience, while fostering camaraderie among students who are dedicated to promote the growing consciousness of a truly Philippine Cinema.