UAAP Season 79 host UST pushing through with Olympic-style opening

UAAP Season 79 host University of Santo Tomas intends to expose participating universities to the “Thomasian culture” as its management team decided to conduct a rare Olympic-style opening ceremony on September 3 inside the campus.

UST Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) secretary and UAAP board member Gilda Kamus assured that while the opening program at the university’s historic Plaza Mayor will be simple, guests could expect a heartfelt welcome from the community.

“The university decided to do the opening here because we want other univesities to experience the Thomasian culture, we want to share it, we want the other athletes and delegates to feel,” Kamus said in the UAAP media briefing at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena.

“It will just be a simple opening ceremony but we will welcome you with our hearty smiles and the Thomasian (community) will really try our best to reach out to you,” she added.

“We want that day as if more on presenting the athletes. Most of the important events sa university doon ginagawa sa Plaza Mayor, even the Pope doon sinalubong.”

This season’s UAAP host pointed out that the schedule is also for the well-being of the athletes who are taking the physical stress of the previous opening ceremonies.

“The reason behind the separation of opening ceremonies to the actual game kasi previous years, players who will be playing during the first day medyo pagod dahil nag-opening and then matagal yung waiting time.”

The decision to separate the game day from the opening day was not new anymore since Ateneo de Manila did the trick in 2004.

What will be different in this year’s ceremony though, is the inclusion of the ballroom competition.

However, the new event will just be a demonstration sport this year and will not affect the total scoring of regular UAAP sports, similar to the cheerdance and street dance competitions.

The opening ceremonies will kick off with the ballroom demonstration at 3 pm at the Quadri-centennial Pavilion, followed by the actual parade and Dare to Dream concert at 5 pm to be held at the Plaza Mayor.

“Lahat po ng essential sa opening nandoon. We just asked each school to have their own gimmicks during the parade, no muses, we tried to keep it simple. Even the production number we only have one, we have a theme song, nagsong-writing pa kami,” added Kamus.

Traffic around UST though, will be heavy as classes has not been suspended yet for the opening. But Kamus assured the university is well prepared in handling the traffic.

“We will try to manage here, may na-plot na (for traffic management).” – John Chester Fajardo