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Communication Arts junior is the new UAAP game announcer

The most-awaited inter-collegiate tournament has gained a new announcer for the Women’s Volleyball tournament—and it is none other than the third-year Thomasian Communication Arts student, Kassie Gormley.

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Photo courtesy to Flavius Dulce/Sports Gateway

As universities’ colors clash and their thunderous cheers reverberate deep within every athletes’ soul, the most-awaited inter-collegiate tournament has gained a new announcer for the women’s volleyball tournament—and it is none other than the third-year Thomasian Communication Arts student, Kassie Gormley.

Upon receiving the news, Gormley described it as a wave of mixed emotions, yet for her it became less dramatic than it should have,  “medyo anti-climactic siya for me kasi late sinabi and syempre excited but at the same time very quickly [sic.} yung kaba kasi two days later kaagad ‘yung game so nandun lahat ng factor but a lot of it was relief,” she said in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

The road to getting the job was painfully long and nerve-wrecking, Gormley shared that she initially heard from different people that they were already thinking of giving her the position, but during the last week before the opening after receiving no updates, she felt discouraged to think that she qualifies for the job, “I was like, ‘aw…wala na, di na ako kukunin nito, may nahanap na siguro silang iba,’ then Monday before the games, tinext ako,  asking for a meeting and then I was relieved!”

As the new UAAP game announcer, of course, there was an extreme pressure that came along with it. After all, it is not easy to work after the late Rolly Manlapaz. “The pressure—it’s always going to be there, the kaba, and if I think about it too much, lalo akong papanget!”

Despite feeling anxious and possibly frightened by this new environment, Gormley still manage to see things with a positive disposition, “I just have to think that I’m not trying to please anyone, syempre I want the players and the fans to enjoy as well pero at the end of the day, job ko pa rin siya and I still have to listen to my bosses, the UAAP commissioner and what he wants, and to ABS-CBN and what they want,” she said.

For this rising Thomasian talent, factors such as balancing academics and her new job, even the criticisms of other people, were not seen as problems.

“Well the criticisms, we all know that volleyball, [it’s a very opinionated scene, napakaraming fans], very critical magcomment at manghusga pero I always take it with a grain of salt, kumbaga I still listen to the people [who not necessarily matter] kasi syempre everybody’s opinions matter and everybody’s entitled to their own opinions, pero I still have to listen to the people who are in charge of me. “I just try to think na kung merong may mga ayaw, marami din namang nagkakagusto.”

As a true master of her craft and as a person who takes her job seriously, when asked about what type of host she is, Gormley revealed that she is more of an “adlib type” of person who prefers to say things in the moment rather than reading off a script, since it makes it more natural, raw, and exciting, “[Except] siguro sa simula. I have to say the intro but besides that, it’s more of like saying what I’m seeing.”

Gormley in the UAAP scene is far from being a rookie. Her connections as a former volleyball athlete have helped her tremendously in her journey. The people she met  in the sports industry acted as her solid support system and made her UAAP journey lighter, “it really helps na I have a lot of friends in the volleyball scene na, so their support sa akin really helped me get support from their fans. I feel like it made everybody more open sa idea of accepting me.”

Gormley’s distinctive features like her striking blue eyes and golden locks may easily stun everyone, but that is not the only thing that is unique about her; with the hype of the game, Mobile Legends, the netizens saw that there is a resemblance with the voice in the game to Gormley’s. As a person who has never played the game before, she admitted that her initial reaction was confusion, “when it was first said na kaboses ko siya, I was like hala? Is it a bad thing or a good thing?” said Gormley. She thought that maybe this “resemblance” was bad due to the fact that there is a great difference and a shift from the voice of the late Sir Rolly Manlapaz to her voice.

“I think nung simula nanibago talaga ang mga tao, but once I embraced it, I feel like they [the audience] enjoyed it more once na sumakay nalang ako, I was searching the words na ginagamit dun [sa Mobile Legends] or I’d ask people what they wanna hear from the game, so I started using the lingo and from that, I’ve gotten much better responses.”

This year’s season of UAAP Women’s Volleyball is nothing like ever before–packed with renewed battle spirit and brand new faces that continues to leave a mark in the volleyball scene, Kassie Gormley is one of them. Just like her, all of us want to achieve our dreams and aim to reach our goals.

“Just don’t be afraid to fail and always try to improve yourself,” she said with a proud smile.

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Cheering for the Cheerleaders

“Ilang gabi naming siyang pinagpractice-an, ilang gabi naming siyang iniyakan tapos six minutes lang naming siya ipapakita sa buong sambayanan.”

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Photo by Alec Go

In every game at any sport, the cheerleaders’ presence are always seen, if not, heard. As an instigator of spirit in both the audience and in the game, they are the vital voice and image of encouragement— in leading chants, “Go USTe!” and representing the University’s growl. 

Their astonishing air times cement the Salinggawi Dance Troupe’s excellence in the eyes of Thomasians. For Querstine Flandez, this is more than a cheer dance, this is the drive that they carry within themselves.

Querstine, who calls herself as Q, has been an athlete under Salinggawi for the last six years. Pumped up for the Cheerdance Competition this upcoming November 17, Q shares in an interview with TomasinoWeb, “I’m very thankful for Salinggawi because malayo ako sa [immediate] family ko. So, sobrang minahal ako ng Salinggawi at tinanggap ako ng buo.” The sport has become a second family, bringing out the best in her.

Years of performing for ‘Gawi has garnered numerous recollections of memories and experiences both—molding who she is today. Unforgettable, like her debut in CDC, opening her eyes to how the dance troupe tackles the competition. There are also memories that serve as lessons, undesirable injuries and misapprehension with teammates. These experiences are unavoidable and part of the training. Nevertheless, this never stopped her from pursuing and showing the best of her abilities. 

Since the competition is nearly here, Salinggawi is preparing for their grand theme, training harder than before. Q and her teammates are filled with excitement, toppling their nervous thoughts. It helps that the team cannot wait to exhibit their striking air time to the rest of the world. 

“You’re like in Cloud 9,” Querstine exclaims. While in the air, she emphasizes that trust is not built on whether her teammates will be able to catch her, but it’s also how they make you feel that they trust you as well. It goes both ways. 

 

 

Querstine Flandez during a practice of Salinggawi a week before the 2019 UAAP Cheerdance Competition | Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb

From her debut all those years ago, Querstine’s sentiments remain unchanged—their purpose is clear. The black, gold and white crowd is the most imperative symbol in every game. For her, the means and ends of Salinggawi is esteem. “Kung gaano minamahal ng UST ang Salinggawi at kung gaano din nagmamahal ang Salinggawi sa UST,” she explains. With the competition fast approaching, the Thomasian community’s fervor makes them feel like they are not alone in this journey.

Heartbreak is a constant part of every competition. In this case, last year’s defeat in the UAAP season. Seemingly, this does not halt Q’s mindset of aiming for a better performance in her sixth and last year of being an athlete, “Sa pagiging Thomasian mo, kahit matalo ka, andiyan pa rin sila para sayo.

Expectations and pressure from the UST community is evident in the atmosphere, accelerated when the team released teasers with the hashtag #OneFORESTpaña! When asked as to how the team handles outlooks from the university, Q believes that inner circle character-building comes first—how they fight for it and to whom they offer their countless routines.

This is the result of their blood, sweat and tears, an offering of their efforts first for themselves then to the public. This tactic allows them to tackle the pressure from the outside of their circle. 

Effort, as accentuated by the team, are the days they offered themselves in the mat and the innumerable amount of routines. “Ilang gabi naming siyang pinagpractice-an, ilang gabi naming siyang iniyakan tapos six minutes lang naming siya ipapakita sa buong sambayanan,” Querstine laments. 

To better understand Salinggawi, one must place their feet in their training shoes first—walking by the routine that the team follows is not an easy task for the light-hearted. Commonly, they train from Monday to Saturday, from 6:00 in the evening down to 10:00 PM. When its off-season, trainings are by segment with basics and foundations but shift to quality-checking of routines by strengthening their formations when the competition is nearing.

The time has come and Salinggawi is prepared to serve not only the Thomasian community but also the vigorous spectators of this year’s UAAP CDC Season ’82. Support from various individuals will be witnessed by the team and they are more than ready to bring back the gold to where it belongs—to España and its tigers. 

Sa screams nila, sa sigaw nila ng ‘Go USTe!’, parang nah-hypen up kami. Nab-boost kami, nawawala yung pagod namin sa buong routine.”

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OneFORESTpaña! Thomasians show support for Salinggawi

Representing the University of Santo Tomas, the Salinggawi Dance Troupe are set for the UAAP Season ’82 Cheerdance Competition; with the theme, “OneForestpaña.”

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Photo by Ann Corinne Vizconde

Charm, grace, and beauty. UST’s Salinggawi Dance Troupe captivates attention as they continuously carry triumph in their performances. Thomasians convey their ever-constant support and encouragement—hoping for ‘Gawi to win the crown once again.

Representing the University of Santo Tomas, the Salinggawi Dance Troupe are set for the UAAP Season ’82 Cheerdance Competition; with the theme, “OneForestpaña.”  The Forest symbolism represents the untouched realm and beauty of the unknown—where awe-inspiring trees are as tall as skyscrapers, fresh air that soothes the soul and the fathomless beauty of nature while unraveling its mysteries. More magical than before, a glimpse of what Thomasians are expected to see from the University’s pride.

Loud roaring cheers are prepared for the team. The Growling Tigers’ famous chanting eagerly awaits the SM Mall of Asia Arena on November 17. Last year, the Salinggawi placed 4th in the Cheerdance Competition—a narrow miss to finish third-place against Adamson Pep Squad by 0.5 points in the tally. 

On the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, all the glory was for Espana when the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe successfully bagged the first place with their tiger-inspired theme. Therefore, the Thomasian spirit never falters, holding onto the promising victory once more. 

España is all for OneFORESTpaña

With last year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition still fresh in mind, students from all-over the university did not hesitate to support them with beaming optimism. John Edrich Allarey from the Faculty of Arts and Letters shared his sentiments in an interview with TomasinoWeb, “I still support them because they represent our University. Also, ang ganda ng ginawa nila, parang may continuity from their performance last time. I expect na higitan ‘yung performance nila kumpara last year. Goodluck Salinggawi Dance Troupe!”

“UST UAAP CDC Pep Rally November 11, 2019: Tigers from Faculty of Arts and Letters’ way of showing their support to Salinggawi Dance Troupe at Quadricentral Pavillion” | Photo by Marklance Talento

Jacob Isaac Enriquez from the Faculty of Pharmacy happily shared with TomasinoWeb his support for the team, “Salinggawi Dance Troupe is the premier prestige and pride of the University of Santo Tomas. For me, they are really showcasing what a real and true Thomasian talent is through the UAAP community.” 

His advanced message of success is testament to the Thomasians’ unwavering support and confidence in the group, “As early as this moment, I just want to congratulate Salinggawi Dance Troupe for doing a job well done, enjoy and show your best. Break a leg! Don’t forget that they are performing not just for the University but also for themselves.”

“Smiling altogether for Salinggawi from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the UST Qpav on 11th of November 2019” | Photo by Marklance Talento

Impressed upon this year’s theme, an Environmental Biology student from the College of Science explains with TomasinoWeb, “Relatable kasi ‘yung theme sa course ko.” He added, “Salinggawi Dance Troupe deserves all the support they [can] get kasi they excel naman talaga sa mga performances nila. I’ve watched their pep rally last year and sobrang amazing. Goodluck Salinggawi and One FORESTpaña!”

Senior High School student Luis Miguel Rosales also expressed his thoughts for the dance troupe. “They really give their whole heart fighting all the way for UST. That’s why I know they would give it their all and wholeheartedly persevere—striving to win and representing the University of Santo Tomas but not only for the school but also the student body as we, Tomasinos, are also cheering for them,” he shares in an interview with TomasinoWeb. Offering more comfort, he cheers, “We will support you all the way, Salinggawi!”

“Senior High full support for the PEP Rally at QPAV on November 11, 2019.” | Photo by Marklance Talento

Voices ringing with hope and confidence for the beloved team, the atmosphere in the campus is rimmed with faith and solidarity. Proudly portraying the wholeheartedly devoted Thomasian community that is seen in the huge crowd lined up to support the UST UAAP CDC Pep Rally at  Quadricentral Pavillion on November 11, 2019. Aiming for excellence, the Salinggawi Dance Troupe is a beacon—showcasing UST’s commitment, compassion and competence as best as they can. Every Thomasian sees this clearly, supporting them all the more for it. 

Counting down the days to the anticipated performance, a thousand cheers from every breathtaking stunt and graceful motion during the pep rally is a surefire show of support for Salinggawi. Thomasians have faith that they will show yet another thrilling performance. Executing every jump, lift and toss exceptionally, Salinggawi will capture not only the hearts of Thomasians but also of everyone who will lay their eyes on their insignia: the mystic of España

As they take their final stances, one thing is for sure. The Salinggawi Dance Troupe will not stand alone—for a huge crowd in their brightest yellows will be right behind them, chanting, “Go USTE!”

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QCinema 2019 continues to hold its prime

This year, the QCinema International Film Festival exhibited a new set of entries from aspiring Filipino and International filmmakers, producers and actors who, in turn, showcased their top-caliber skills, featuring it through their unique, creative and enthralling films. 

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Photo from QCinema Facebook page

“One City. To the World.” 

Carrying ideals from years past to its 7th year, QCinema International Film Festival 2019 ensures stability and a promising future. This year, the film fest exhibited a new set of entries from aspiring Filipino and International filmmakers, producers and actors who, in turn, showcased their top-caliber skills, featuring it through their unique, creative and enthralling films. 

QCinema International Film Festival is the official film festival of Quezon City. Held last October 19 until October 22, the event was first set in motion in 2013 by the Quezon City Film Development Commission (QCFDC) and is the only Local Government Unit that has its own commission in the film industry.

This year, there were more than 60 film entries including three featured Filipino films in the competition under Asian Next Wave; Cleaners, Babae at Baril, and Kaaway sa Sulod. The film fest aired for one week in various cinema venues within the city which included Trinoma, Gateway Cinemas in Cubao and Robinsons Galleria and other micro-cinemas around the city. 

Within these 60 film entries, awards will be chosen among the best stars, hence, the film festival also gives annual pylon awards to the actors, producers and the entries that showed remarkable and exceptional performance.

The Filipino film entry “Cleaners,” garnered three awards, winning under the category of Asian Next Wave as The Best Film, Audience Choice Award, and Best Screenplay of the year. It was directed by Glenn Barit, who did a remarkable job as the film went beyond the standards of filmmaking. Barit dived deeper into the imagination—directing the film by photocopying the 43, 000 frames, painting the scenes and digitally arranging it in a way that gave the film its retro-vibe. 

One might wonder, what’s with all the neon lights in the monochromatic film Cleaners? The pictures of the characters were highlighted, hence, it appeared pleasing to the eyes of the audience. This creative strategy made it stand out among the rest. Moreover, the story was set circa 2007 to 2008 in a high school in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. The film showed the accuracy of how students struggled in this era, and the different kinds of people you will meet— making anyone feel nostalgic of their high school days. 

Photo from QCinema website.

In an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb, instructor Marc Kevin Romulo, a National Service Training Program lecturer in Quezon City University expressed his sentiments towards the film Cleaners. “Wala akong masabi but standing ovation talaga yung movie,” he remarks.

Romulo is in curriculum development and has actively supported indie films since 2013, including Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP). He was amazed when he found out that the film was made in an entirely different manner. “The best film kasi ang ganda ng pagkakagawa, especially the creativity.”

Romulo exclaims after seeing the film, further commenting on its timeliness—especially for the youth. “Yung message ng movie is very quite related sa curriculum instruction development. Ipinakita rin kung paano nagaadapt yung mga bata ngayon sa mga problems, encountered feelings and kung paano sila gumagawa ng kanilang sariling mundo,” he added. 

In addition, Romulo’s take on the film’s title is centered on responsibility “It [Cleaners] shows our duty as being human and as a part of the society na lahat ng feelings and mistakes kaya nating linisin.” Assuredly, the film is a must-watch for all ages, leaving an impacting conclusion. 

Another interview with TomasinoWeb, instructor Marc Kevin Romulo also watched Babae at Baril and admired its concept which portrayed the harsh reality for a woman, “Ipinapakita doon ang realidad ng buhay—it’s a kind of indie film na ipinapakita yung pagkamatotoo sa nangyayari sa buhay ng tao.” 

Bagging the Gender Sensitive Award is another film entry under Asian Next Wave. “Babae at Baril” directed by Red Rae and produced by Iana Bernardez. Rae Red was victorious as the Best Director while the leading lady of the film, Janine Gutierrez won the Best Actress Award. 

The film speculates the reality amidst toxic masculinity in society, clearly illustrating how women are faced with discrimination, harassment, and unfairness—suffocating them in a life that could lead to the worst possible scenario: violence. The day that the meek sales lady, played by Janine Gutierrez, found a gun on her doorstep and clutching it in her hands,  a rush of empowerment went through her: the life that she knew starts to shift. 

Photo from QCinema website.

In an interview with TomasinoWeb,  Jholo Baybayon, an electrical engineering student and head editor chief of LIKHA Production at Quezon City University explained his depiction of the film’s setting, “The world is really cruel if you look into the deeper side. ‘Pag tumingin ka sa marginalized sectors, doon mo makikita ‘yung mga anomaly na ginagawa nila. Sa Babae at Baril, it’s unusual to see a woman that uses a gun. Pero dahil sa sitwasyon ng bida (Janine Gutierrez) nakita ko kung bakit niya kailangan gamitin ‘yun.” 

Gutierrez’s character as a timid sales lady went through work discrimination and sexual abuse. The gun was her way of finally defending herself, to feel empowered, and to be free from the shackles of the harsh environment she constantly lives in. 

Deviating from heavy dramatic themes, an Australian film entry, Top End Wedding, addresses the life struggles and culture within a family through comedy. Directed by Wayne Blair, co-written by Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler, and starring Gwilym Lee and Miranda Tapsell.

Top End Wedding is a story about Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) and Ned (Joshua Tyler), an engaged couple euphoric on thoughts of their dream wedding. However, they are faced with the conflict of saving a marriage that is on the verge of falling out where Lauren’s (Tapsell) mother disappeared somewhere in the northern part of Australia. 

Photo from QCinema website.

Audience member Sofia Palmiano shared her views with TomasinoWeb. Stating that the film was unexpectedly beautiful, “[] nagustuhan ko yung twist. Nung yung mother ay naghanap ng alone time para makahanap ng courage to face her family, at noong broken siya eh bumalik pa rin siya sa family niya.” This portrayed how unbreakable their family bond is. When asked if she will recommend this film to her friends, her reply was a definite yes. 

Sketching a picture of cultural diversity welcomed wholeheartedly, the film’s marital nature played true to its word with the wedding scene. Samantha Palmiano, another audience member, recalls, “[…] pinaghandaan talaga yung wedding and with all the struggles, they were finally married.” Ensuring the reality of your dream wedding is truly a fairytale. Top End Wedding showed that no matter the conflict thrown your way, as long as you have your loved ones, you will find a way to resolve it. 

Generously bestowing grants to its entries, 1.5 million in peso was granted to the featured films under Asian Next Wave by the film fest. The chosen featured documentary entries received 500 thousand pesos and 200 thousand pesos was under QCShorts film competition. 

There were twelve deserving entries that received these grants under their respective categories. The winners from Asian Next Wave Competition are Cleaners, which won the Best Film Award, Audience Choice Award, and Best Screenplay. Babae at Baril as Gender Sensitivity Award and its director Rae Red as Best Director and Janine Gutierrez as Best Actress.

Best Actor was given to Por Silatsa of the film Long Walk. NETPAC Jury Prize was given to Suburban Birds directed by Qui Sheng. Best Artistic Choice Award for contribution in editing under Asian Next Wave Competition was won by Lee Chatametikool from the film Nakorn-Sawan. 

The winning entries under QCShorts film competition are Judy Free directed by Che Tagyamon as the Best Film,  Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss directed by Sonny Calvento as the recipient of Audience Choice Award and Tokwifi directed by Carla Pulido Ocampo as the winner of Special Jury Prize.

Truly one of the dazzling highlights in Quezon City, the film festival embraced local and international films of all genres, and provided a wide yet creative perspective fitting to all movie enthusiasts. The festival serves as a bridge to show the beauty and artistic capabilities of local and international filmmakers. 

QCinema is a perfect opportunity for anyone yearning to step up their game and showing their exceptional skills—leaving a mark in the film industry. 

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