UAAP Cheerdance Competition
The UAAP Cheerdance Competition is one of the most awaited event in the UAAP. Different school colors flock to the Big Dome from courtside to the rafters. Each year, the member-universities gather under one roof in an awesome showdown of school spirit.
Eight schools have six minutes each of jaw dropping and heart-pumping cheerdance routine. University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, National University, Adamson University and University of the East were all ready to belt their cheers loud and proud.
Before the start of the competition, Marc checked on the teams as they make last minute preparations. He caught the Adamson University outside rehearsing their stunts. Marc found out that being a cheerleader is beyond just fancy costumes, make-up and pom-poms. There is a lot of hard work and occasional pain involved in this sport.
The UAAP cheer dance competition sure knows how to rock the Araneta Big Dome down. The simultaneous beat of each pep squad's drums rumbled from the bleachers down to the court. Each school anxiously waited for their team's performance, eager to cheer their hearts and lungs out.
2009 champs and last year's runner-up, Far Eastern University prepared well in attempt to capture this year's crown. They trained seven days a week just to perfect their routines. Their "Bollywood" inspired theme was really impressive. They had clean transitions from one formation to the other. The pyramids and tosses did impress the crowd and the judges.
Marc also visited the Green Archers' dug-out. Their performance was solid sans the bow and arrow. This time, they used blades and shields. The DLSU beefed up their routine with more solid pyramids and tosses in attempt to break into the top 3.
But there was only one message defending champ University of the Philippines clearly gave Marc-- they were out to win. Their blond hair just meant one thing: they want to wreak in gold. Their confidence, creativity and high level of difficulty were just in a class on its own. They nailed each basket toss solidly and formed a grand pyramid.
The FEU Tamaraws had to settle for third as De La Salle came in a surprise second, shutting out early favorite UST Salinggawi out of the top 3. As they waited to announce the champion, in an unprecedented show of unity and great sportsmanship, all the schools started to chant the "Unibersidad ng Pilipinas" cheer.
Finally, this year's hands down winner was UP, giving them their 7th UAAP Cheer Dance title. It took months to prepare and only six minutes to take a shot at the title. For the UP Pep Squad their blond ambition has just come to fruition. Gold it is for the seventh sweet time!
Eric Kelly MMA
Another warrior from the Cordilleras is continuing Baguio City's legacy in producing the best MMA fighters of the country. 29-year-old Eric James Kelly has been making waves inside the mixed martial arts ring.
Kelly has just returned from his international fighting debut in Singapore's prestigious One FC League. An undefeated featherweight champion of the Philippine's Universal Reality Combat Championship, he is now set on making a name in the international fight scene.
Kelly defeated Singapore-based American fighter Mitch Chilson via submission in the first round of their scheduled 3 rounds of 5 minutes each fight. Chilson, a popular fighter in Singapore, was favored to win but the Pinoy was determined to come home with the win.
Chilson knew that Kelly has won all his fights via submission and decided to try his luck in engaging the Filipino highlander on stand-up. But Kelly, a former national wushu team member and a Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist, proved to be a well rounded fighter. A kick to Chilson showed the American that the Pinoy was not easy game. It only took a little over 3 minutes for Kelly to submit Chilson with a rear naked choke.
The simple Pinoy fighter who drives a taxicab occasionally to augment his expenses was in tears after the win. The victory in front of a packed crowd and the thought of once again giving pride and honor to the country simply overwhelmed the humble and soft-spoken fighter. With this win, Kelly has shown that the Philippines is home to world class mixed martial arts fighters who are yet to be discovered by the rest of the world. This Igorot's dream is to continue conquering mountains inside the MMA ring. September 24, 2011