Taguig’s homegrown cheering squads reap victory vs big schools, universities


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They jumped and cheered as if there was no tomorrow; now every city resident is cheering them.

 

This is what happened when two Taguig-based cheering squads bagged major awards in the prestigious National Cheerleading Championship that saw students from all over the country battle it out on the dance floor last March 12.

 

The Taguig City University Pep Squad bagged Top 3 in the College Co-ed Cheer category, Top 1 in the Partner Stunts category (Team A), Top 3 in the Partner Stunts category (Team B), Top 1 in the Co-ed Group Stunts category (Team A) and Top 2 in the Co-ed Group Stunts category (Team B), besting known schools such as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, the College of St. Benilde, and Poveda, among others.

 

The same squad was also recently hailed as champion for the fifth consecutive time during the 9th national Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU) Games Cheerdance Competition on April 2, beating the University of Caloocan, University of Makati, and Kolehiyo ng Lungsod ng Lipa.

 

The Signal Village National High School Heralds Pep Squad, for its part, bagged the second spot in the Co-ed Senior Cheer category, beating the 10 other schools that competed in the prestigious contest.

 

Hard work pays off

 

It hasn’t been instant glory for the two local squads. The move to the front ranks of cheering squads has been long and arduous.

 

The TCU Varsity Squad had been joining the NCC since 2011, but had come back empty-handed more often than not. The SVNHS Heralds Pep Squad, for its part, did not even make the cut in their division in last year’s NCC.

 

“Last year, we were really nothing. We were really weak (Walang wala talaga kami. Mahina po talaga team namin),” the TCU squad’s captain Mark Siton said.

 

Mia Dinar Dimaapi, the Heralds Pep Squad’s adviser, said that a lot of sweat and blood had gone into preparing for last year’s competition, so when they did not get a call from organizers, the feeling was inexplicable.

But these setbacks did not deter the two homegrown cheering teams. If any, they made them even more determined to bring home the crown.

 

The 40-member TCU squad, for instance, continued their grueling trainings six days a week, with each pep squad member having to go straight to the school auditorium after classes.

 

According to Professor Emmaniel E. Ladislao, their head coach, there was at one point the problem of marrying the schedules of the pep squad members, who take up different university courses such as Hotel and Restaurant Management,  Criminology, Education, Computer Science and Engineering.

 

“There are some students who have their classes at night, so sometimes, they cannot go on training for our 4 p.m. schedule,” he noted.

 

As for the Heralds Pep Squad, whose 35 members are Grade 10, Grade 8 and Grade 11 students, Dimaapi said they continued to practice their routines everyday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Both teams agree that apart from their hard work and perseverance, it was the support from their loved ones, friends and even strangers that made them strive to rise above all these challenges.

 

Support from city government

 

Dailisan and Dimaapi, for their part, were humbled by the city government’s full support for their teams.

“We felt super blessed because everything that we needed was given to us by the city government. We did not have to think about the money. Thank you,” Dailisan said.

 

Dimaapi said the local government also funded their costumes, transportation, food and registration fees. “We really thank Mayor Lani Cayetano,” she said.

 

With that full support, the teams’ hard work and perseverance finally paid off on judgment day.

 

“We were so happy. We were so happy because competition was stiff, because the good schools were there,” said TCU Varsity pep squad member and former captain Denzel John Dailisan adding that TCU was the only school included in the NCC that was funded by a local government unit.

 

ALCU achievements

 

And when they were hailed as champions during the cheerdance competition that was part of the ALCU opening ceremonies, they felt even better.

 

“We’ve sustained our energy from the last NCC competition and carried it until we competed and claimed a 5-peat win,” he added.

 

Aside from winning the top spot in the cheerdance competition, TCU also placed 4th in the overall ranking in the ALCU Games held in Lipa, Batangas from April 2 to 8. TCU bagged five gold medals, 22 silver medals and 15 bronze medals. The university’s representative to the Miss ALCU 2017, Daniella Mariz Lamptey also won the coveted title. The recent ALCU Games was attended by 3,039 delegates from 25 universities and colleges in the country.

 

Now that they have been recognized, what’s next for the two Taguig squads?

 

Ladislao said they were “taking it slowly” so far but said that they hope to compete outside the country soon. For Dimaapi, participation in other prestigious contests to further enhance the team’s skills and talents was also on the table.

 

“I always tell them not to stop dreaming… Do not let go of your dreams. That is key,” Dimaapi said. ###

 

FILIPINO VERSION

 

Dalawang “cheering squads” ng Taguig nagwagi laban sa malalaking pamantasan at unibersidad 

 

Lumundag sila at humiyaw sa sahig na para bang wala nang bukas; at ngayon, bawat Taguigeño ay kasabay na nila sa paghiyaw at paglundag.

 

Ito ang galing na ipinakita ng dalawang koponan ng “cheering squads” mula sa Taguig noong nakaraang Marso 12 sa prestihiyosong National Cheerleading Championship (NCC)  na kung saan nagtagpo at nagtagisan ng kaalaman sa “cheering” ang mga mag-aaral mula sa iba’t-ibang lugar ng bansa.

 

Nagawang masungkit ng Taguig City University Pep Squad ang “Top 3” na pwesto sa College Co-ed Cheer category. Itinanghal ding “Top 1” sa “Partner Stunts Category (Team A” at  “Top 3” sa Partner Stunts category (Team B) ang pep squad.

 

Itinanghal ding “Top 1”  sa “Co-ed Group Stunts category (Team A)” at “Top 2” sa “Co-ed Group Stunts category (Team B” ang Taguig City Pep Squad at madaling pinatahimik ang mga ilang sikat na koponan mula sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines, College of St. Benilde, at Poveda.

 

Naiuwi din noong Abril 2 ng TCU Pep Squad ang panalo sa 9th national Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU) Games Cheerdance Competition. Ito na ang kanilang ikalimang sunod sunod na panalo sa nasabing kompetisyon kung saan  tinalo nila and University of Caloocan, University of Makati at Kolehiyo ng Lungsod ng Lipa.

 

Samantala, nakamit naman ng Signal Village National High School Heralds Pep Squad and pangalawang pwesto sa “Co-ed Senior Cheer Category” matapos patumbahin ang mga koponan ng sampu pang ibang paaralan.

 

Ang pagkakapanalo ng dalawang “cheering squads” ng Taguig ay hindi naging madali at ito ay bunga ng isang matagal at mahirap na paglalakbay na sumubok sa kanilang galling at determinasyon.

 

Simula pa noong 2011 at sumasali na ang TCU Varsity Squad sa NCC. Subalit di pinalad na magwagi. Ang SVNHS Heralds Pep Squad naman ay di rin pinalad na makasali sa NCC noong nakaraang taon.

 

“Wala talaga kami noong nakaraang taon. Mahina po talaga ang team,” sabi ni Mark Siton, TCU squad captain.

 

Ayon naman kay Mia Dinar Dimaapi, tagapayo ng Heralds Pep Squad, pinaghandaan ng koponan ang NCC noong nakaraang taon kaya’t nakapagtataka kung bakit hindi sila tinawagan ng mga organisador para sumali.

 

Subalit sa kabila ng mga kagipitang naganap, mas lalo pang tumibay ang kalooban ng dalawang koponan ng Taguig na magwagi at iuwi sa lungsod ang korona ng NCC.

 

Bilang paghahanda, and 40 myembro ng TCU squad ay nagsanay anim na araw sa isang lingo. Ang bawat kasapi ng squad ay kailangang pumunta sa auditorium ng unibersidad pagkatapos ng kanilang klase upang magsanay.

 

Ayon kay Prof. Emmaniel E. Ladislao, head coach ng TCU squad, isa sa naging sagabal sa pagsasanay nila ay kung paano pagtugma-tugmain ang iskedyul ng bawat myembro ng squad na kumukuha ng iba’y-ibang kurso gaya ng Hotel and Restaurant Management,  Criminology, Education, Computer Science at Engineering.

 

“There are some students who have their classes at night, so sometimes, they cannot go on training for our 4 p.m. schedule,(May mga estudyante na may mga klase sa gabi kaya minsan di sila nakakasama sa pagsasanay tuwing alas-4 ng hapon)” sabi ni Ladislao.

 

Ang 35 na myembro ng Heralds Pep Squad naman na binubuo ng mga mag-aaral sa Grade 10, Grade 8 at Grade 11, ay nagsasanay naman araw-araw mula alas- singko ng gabi hanggang alas-nwebe ng gabi, ayon kay Dimaapi.

 

Naniniwala rin ang mga myembro ng dalawang koponan na bukod sa kanilang determinasyon na manalo, nakatulong rin ang suporta ng kanilang pamilya, kaibigan, at ng mga Taguigeño sa kabuuan, para malagpasan nila ang lahat ng pagsubok.

 

Pinasalamatan din ni Dailisan at Dimaapi si Mayor Lani Cayetano at ang pamahalaang panglungsod ng Taguig para sa ipinakitang suporta at pag-alalay sa dalawang koponan.

 

“We felt super blessed because everything that we needed was given to us by the city government. We did not have to think about the money. Thank you, (Naramdaman namin na kami ay talagang naalagaan ng pamahalaang lokal. Hindi na naming inisip ang pera. Salamat)” sabi ni Dailisan.

 

Ayon kay Dimaapi, tinustusan din ng pamahalaang lokal ng Taguig ang kanilang damit, pagkain, sasakyan at maging ang bayad sa rehistro para makalahok sa NCC.

 

“We really thank Mayor Lani Cayetano, (Nagpapasalamat kami kay Mayor Lani Cayetano)” sabi ni Dailisan.

 

Ang lahat ng suporta at pagsasanay sa dalawang koponan ay nagbunga rin sa tagumpay sa araw ng pagtutuos.

 

“”We were so happy. We were so happy because competition was stiff, because the good schools were there,(Masaya kami dahil napakahirap nung pinagdaanan naming at andun lahat ang mga malalaking paaralan)” sabi ni Denzel John Dailisan, kasapi ng TCU Varsity pep squad at dating “team captain.” Ang TCU lamang ang tanging paaralan na sumali sa NCC na tinutustusan ng buo ng lokal na pamahalaan.

 

Noong hinirang ulit sila na panalo sa ALCU cheerdance competition, sinabi ng mga miyembro ng TCU Pep Squad na ipinagpatuloy lamang nila ang magandang nasimulan nila sa NCC.

 

Maliban sa pagkapanalo sa cheerdance competition, ikaapat din ang TCU sa overall ranking ng ALCU Games 2017 na ginanap sa Lipa, Batangas noong April 2 hanggang April 8. Nasungkit ng TCU ang limang gintong medalya, 22 pilak na medalya at 15 tansong medalya. Ang kinatawan din ng TCU sa Miss ALCU 2017 na si Daniella Mariz Lamptey ay napanalunan ang nasabing korona. Mahigit sa 3,000 na delegado mula sa 25 unibersidad at kolehiyo sa buong bansa ang lumahok sa ALCU Games 2017.

 

At ngayon na ganap nang nakilala ang dalawang koponan ng Taguig sa larangan ng “cheering,” ano pa ang nais nilan gawin?

 

Gusto ni Ladislao na mag-dahan-dahan muna sa ngayon.

 

“”Who knows? Maybe someday sooner or later, we will be competing outside the Philippines (Sinong makakapagsabi? Baka dumating ang araw, lalaban na kami sa labas ng Pilipinas),” sabi niya.

 

Para kay Dimaapi naman, nais niyang isalang ang Heralds Pep Squad sa iba pang mga paligsahan para mas mahasa pa ang kanilang galing.

 

“I always tell them not to stop dreaming..Do not let go of your dreams. That is key,(Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila na huwag tigilang mangarap. Na huwag nilang bitiwan ang kanilang mga pangarap. Yun ang susi)” sabi ni Dimaapi. ###

 

 


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