MANILA, Philippines - Let's all take a break from the much-publicized Ateneo-La Salle rivalry and check out a new alliance that's making waves on the Internet -- one between the University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
The 2 schools were earlier pitted as rivals for winning the most number of championship titles in cheerdance competitions, but they weren't as lucky last year.
In the Samsung UAAP Cheerdance Competition 2010, however, UP and UST worked their way back up with the top 1 and top 3 awards, respectively. Coming in second place is the Far Eastern University (FEU), who was the champion last year.
Instead of bringing back the rivalry, netizens celebrated the victory of the 2 schools by putting up a Facebook page titled "UP and UST Friendship" moments after the competition held on September 12.
Facebook users in the page called themselves "Iskomasinos" -- a combination of UP's "Isko" and UST's "Tomasino."
"Leaving the rivalry behind, that's what it's all about earlier!!! For the spirit of unity!!!!" the page said, referring to the Samsung UAAP Cheerdance Competition 2010.
To date, the page has 10,791 fans, who are mostly students and alumni from the 2 schools.
Topics discussed here include plans for a get-together among students from both schools, designs for UP-UST shirts and lanyards, and jokes that refer to the unlikely union.
One Facebook user even quipped, "Growling Tiger (UST) is in a relationship with Oblation (UP)."
Another, meanwhile, said, "Maroon Tiger!!! Symbol of UST and UP Friendship!! Hail to the Maroon Tiger!!"
Make love, not war
Members of the UP and UST Friendship page made it clear that the website was made to celebrate love and victory, and not create another rivalry.
The makers of the page, in particular, stressed that the it was not created exclusively for students and alumni of UP and UST. This as a number of netizens had speculated that the 2 schools are ganging up on FEU.
FEU has already accepted its defeat in the recently held cheerdance competition, but vowed a comeback next year.
"Masama ba na maging magkaibigan ang UST and UP? Tsaka hindi namin ginawa tong page na to para ibash ang FEU. Hindi lahat ng mga taga-UST at UP namimili ng gustong maging kaibigan," the page said.
A number of students from FEU have already joined the page and commended UP and UST for expressing support not only for their cheering team, but also for their school.
One of them, James Derit, said that he met a lot of new friends from other schools because of the Facebook page.
"Nakakaaliw sa page na ito. Nagkaron ako ng bagong kaibigan kahit taga-FEU ako. Walang halong kaplastikan o whatever! Sana ganun din kayo," Derit said.
With the cheerdance fever starting to wane, will this friendship last, at least until the next UAAP season?
No one can really tell, but here's what the creators of the Facebook page have to say:
"UP-UST friendship is not a trend. It's not a fad. It's REAL. It's SINCERE. Best of all, it's something we're looking forward to centuries from now," the creators of the UP and UST Friendship Facebook page said.