Mounting an event can be very stressful. The pressure coming from the standards set by Silliman and Dumaguete audiences can really cause hysteria. An excellent show takes a lot of creative mental energy, conceptualization and total vigilance on the production team’s actual performance.
Through the years, I have learned to be more forgiving of the lapses in every production particularly when it’s done by the students. I usually tell them what was good with it, what I think went wrong and what’s good with it again. Criticism is best served like a sandwich: the first layer is positive, a load of bad comments and then close it with another layer of something positive. Let the young people learn from their mistakes and make sure criticism will not create an emotional baggage to their souls. Let them graduate from a production totally inspired to do better.
My top two events in the 110th Founders Day Celebration of Silliman University belong on fitness aspect. These two events, however, are spearheaded by alumni but not students.
I salute the Cebu Sillimanians and the Silliman Alumni Association, Inc. for giving the 110th Founders Day a city-wide activity with the Silliman Run 2011: Run2Educate on August 7. More than 3,000 participants joined with categories covering all ages: the 1.1K for children, moms and grandpas, the 5.5K intended for the students and first-time runners and 11K for running enthusiasts and professionals. The Silliman Spirit in red and white was echoed by everyone in the city. It was festive that I was so sure that the Parada Sillimaniana, last year’s no. 1 hit, is not even an equal to the grandeur of the Silliman Run which became a powerful entreé.
While the runners are still trying to dwell on the fitness inspiration of the Silliman Run, another fitness event was organized by the Silliman Mass Communication alumni, the Get Fit… Walk Live! on August 26 featuring the 45-minute-walk exercise routine of Dumaguete’s Fitness Queen Cathy Carballo on Silliman’s historic quadrangle. She got good tips in loud-and-clear motivational punch lines. This standardized routine with its universal expressions had both men and women in a high-energy rhythmic walk giving each participant a fun way of losing weight.
The impact of the Miss Silliman Pre-Pageant on August 22 actually overshadowed the technically-challenged Pageant night. Both the talents show and interview portion were great delights. The audience loved the bet from the College of Engineering and Design, dance artist Alexis Masangkay (who eventually was crowned Miss Silliman), not just for the much expected glory in the talent presentation but for her amazing gift-of-the-gab. The audience gave her the loudest applause when asked to explain how she reconciles her being an Engineering student and that of being a dance artist, she responded that both the left side of the brain; that took care of her logical thinking and calculations in Engineering, and the right side which on her being a creative thinker who uses feeling and intuition to have a solid expression are working and having both sides gave her a sense of completion — with this answer, she made herself the queen of the pre-pageant.
The storyline of Alexis’ interpretative dance had an unpredictable flow, the meaningful movement suggesting the importance of motherhood.
The best speech performance on advocacy came from Miss School of Medicine Bianca Bulaybulay (eventually was crowned Miss Silliman Headline Girl) who also had the best answers to questions on her advocacy on the Reproductive Health Education.
This year’s batch of Miss Silliman beauties are among the best in history in terms of beauty and total projection.
I noticed that the director and script writer of the 2011 Outstanding Sillimanian awards Ian Rosales Casocot seemed to be saying “I’ve found that the more prepared I am, the more confident I feel.” This confidence was echoed in the smooth-flow of the awards ceremonies. I love the serenades for the two awardees, “What A Wonderful World” for the Outstanding Sillimanian in the Field of Nursing Leadership Betsy Aya-ay Jackson and “Misty” for Edna Callejas Mijares who was awarded Outstanding Sillimanian in the Field of Entrepreneurship in Chemistry. The two awardees, looking regal in their ternos, also gave inspiring acceptance speeches. Their down-to-earth presence, filled the event with Silliman Spirit.
The most important element in an alumni reunion is the moment of nostalgia. The residents of Molave-Narra-Ipil dormitories brought back memories of this show which gave the Silliman-Laguna community a total entertainment package in the 1980’s. Their revival version last Founders Day was very spontaneous yet loaded with raw talents in hosting, singing, dancing and acting. Laughter flooded the evening in their humble version of the 1980’s dormitory life hit.
Three anniversary events could have been in the Top 5 but the long running time covered in these productions had points with low audience impact: the concert celebrating the 50th year of the Silliman Dance Company, the Choral Festival celebrating the 95th year of Silliman Church and the Command Performance celebrating the 110th Founders Day.
But beyond the calendar of events, what really made the 110th Founders Day of Silliman University memorable and meaningful is the endless sharing of The Silliman Spirit among alumni and friends as this year’s celebration was all about reunion with former classmates, dormmates, officemates and fraternity brothers and sisters.