Ateneo kicks off annual fiesta
Merzsam Singkee and Ciara Obillo
Beacon UCO correspondents
As a sign of thanksgiving and blessing to all Ateneans, the Ateneo Fiesta 2016 kicks off with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the University Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The mass, held hours before the formal opening of the Fiesta was presided by the University President, Fr Karel S San Juan, SJ concelebrated by his fellow Jesuits and a special guest from Ateneo de Manila University, Fr Jason K Dy, SJ. In his homily, Fr Karel talked about the theme of this year’s festivities, ‘Animo Ateneo:Tested by Fire’, and how the Ateneo spirit – the Animo Ateneo – withstood the flames that tested its strength and capabilities.
By four in the afternoon, members of the Ateneo community gathered at the campus’ backfield for the traditional Giant Human Formation. This year, the formation read ‘RISE ATENEO’. It calls for unity and resilience in spite of the tragic fire that razed to the ground the near 70-year-old Brebeuf Gymnasium. This was immediately followed by Parada de Colores: The Ateneo Fiesta Opening Parade. After the parade, all students, faculty, and staff once again gathered at the backfield for the Community Lighting of the Ateneo Fiesta Bonfire.
The opening program began at around six thirty in the evening at the Multi-Purpose Covered Courts of the Salvador Campus. The different academic organizations competed in the first-out-of-five Hiyaw Ateneo: The Ateneo Fiesta Yell Competition. This was immediately followed by the first ever Soar Ateneo: The Ateneo Fiesta Speech Choir Competition. The contest piece, entitled ‘Soar Ateneo’, was written by former Communications Department Chair, Marion B Guerrero and was penned specifically for this year’s Ateneo Fiesta. The results for the speech choir competition were as follows: The Science and Information Technology Academic Organization (SITAO) placed third; the Nursing Academic Organization (NAO) took the second place; and the Accountancy Academic Organization (AAO) nabbed the first place. An Open Air Cinema held at the College Boulevard capped the extremely active first day of this year’s Ateneo Fiesta.