Season 74 of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines kicked off at the Marikina Sports Center on Saturday, July 9.
With this year’s theme “All Out, All Heart,” host Ateneo de Manila University officially lead the opening with an Olympic-style ceremony. Despite the incessant rain and a soaked field, the festivities started with 16 members of the Ateneo cadet corps carrying a giant 60 x 30 ft. Philippine flag as the Ateneo Boys’ Choir sang the National Anthem. A drumline performance by the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion followed, while this year’s theme song “Puso” was rendered by the Ateneo Blue Symphony with Pinoy rock band Spongecola.
“Rain or shine you are here, let us congratulate ourselves. The theme of the games says it all. This is more than just a simple tournament. This is not just about games. This is not just about strength and physical prowess but also heart. We know that the greatest enemy we face is not our foe, not our opponent in the field but someone from within: our very selves. And so it is our hope and prayers that these games will make us stronger and braver to face our enemies, especially those from within.” With these words, Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J. proclaimed during his opening speech.
Athletes from each school joined the parade around the oval stadium and took the oath of sportsmanship lead by three time Ateneo basketball championship cager Kirk Long.
Former Blue Eagles and PBA player Olsen Racela joined by Ateneo’s track and field teammates lighted the symbolic torch as Ricky Palou, UAAP President formally declared the game’s opening.
A dance performance and a 5-minute fireworks display capped the closing with an estimated attendance of over 10,000.
The UAAP is currently composed of 8 member universities, Adamson University, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, National University, University of the East, University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas.
All VRs taken on July 9, 2011 at the Marikina Sports Center. The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org