KINDLING THE CAMARADERIE of the Bedan community, the San Beda Student Council (SC), alongside the Office of the Prefect of Student Activities (OPSA), organized this year’s Pride Games, with the theme, “Reigniting the Passion of the Pride” from May 8 to 12. 

In a span of one week, the students of the CAS vied amongst each other bearing the banner of their departments to compete for the title of the overall champion. 

Engaging in battles of wit, strength, speed, skill, strategy, and team effort, the Pride Games were headlined by a diverse set of sports activities such as basketball, volleyball, football, dodgeball, chess, tug-o-war, and relay among others. 

“School formation is not only about Academics, Religion, or Emotional, but also Physical,” said the Prefect of Student Activities, Dr. Marvin Reyes, in considering the conduct of the Pride Games. For their part, Dr. Marvin emphasized the necessity of the pride games in that it provides an avenue for the students to develop physically and the college for its accreditation.  

SC Athletics Committee Chairperson, Chriselle Tamares shared that the pride games was intended to kickstart the Bedans camaraderie and competitiveness after a three year virtual set-up. Health and safety as the primary concern, “we had to make sure that all the participants were fit to play by undergoing temperature check,” she shared. 

Through the guidance of OPSA, a memo was released for the observance of the proper health and safety protocols. In addition, the SC coordinated with Ambucare Ems Solutions, who acted as the medical team throughout the pride games to ensure the safety of the students. 

Guiding the council in processing the pride games who began preparations as early as March 2023, Dr. Marvin shared that the struggle was in processing papers for the budget and reservation. 

With regard to the bracketing system used to determine the games, she explained that the bracketing for the sports were randomized to allow every team to compete with all other departments. Accordingly, the single elimination system was implemented to cater all sports activities in a short span of four days. 

“May the Pride Games serve as an experience to connect with our fellow Bedans and show camaraderie and good sportsmanship,” Chriselle ended as she extended her gratitude to the Bedan Community for the successful return of the Pride Games. 

Opening Cermony 

The celebration of the 2023 Pride Games kicked off its second day last May 9 with the opening ceremony and honors the students’ outstanding sports accomplishments and performances last May 12 with the  closing ceremony and bonfire. 

A solemn Community Mass at the RC Gym led by Rev. Fr. Leander Mary Angngad, OSB provided a spiritual sense of togetherness for the Bedan community, as the 2023 CAS Pride Games commenced its opening ceremony. Dr. Reyes then delivered an inspiring opening remark and reminded the Bedans of the safety protocols. 
The ceremony continued through the performances of the San Beda University Band and Red Corps, who were fresh from their fifth-place win at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and returned triumphantly to captivate the Bedan community once again.

The introduction of the Muse and Escort per department then took place followed by the sit down of yell. 

Amidst the cheerful atmosphere of the opening ceremony, a moment of symbolism and significance took place during the Lighting of the Cauldron, which was carried out by SBU’s team captains and afterward followed by the Oath of Sportsmanship. 

According to Tamares, the time of the ceremony caused a delay due to the preparations for the event proper. She also expressed that this year’s Pride Games lacked on certain activites. “Pero, sa part ko, feeling ko parang medyo nakulangan ako since parang hindi in-allow yung, parang before nga Pride Games yung Red Flash ata yun. Tamares expressed. 

Nonetheless, the program was well received by the students and with the helod of the Red Corps performance and the sit-down yell helped bring back the hype of the program.  

Closing and Awarding Ceromonies 

The ceremony proper then began with the Ice Breaker, during which students from different departments had the opportunity to answer questions about the university’s sporting heritage.  

Moreover, the awarding of the Minor Games commenced and was followed by the performance of the Bedan Dance Theatre (BDT) which undoubtedly heightened the exhilaration for the announcement of victors and the overall completion of the event. 

The awarding of the winners continued and a serenade by the Bedan Musicians’ Guild then took place. The most highly anticipated awarding of the Major Games took center stage, preceded by the crowning of the overall champions, for which the Department of Marketing Management took home the trophy. 

As the curtains drew close for the Pride Games, Dr. Marvin once again stepped forward to address the assembled Bedan community, delivering his heartfelt closing remarks and appreciation for the students’ sportsmanship all throughout the event. 

Another awaited event, the lighting of the Bonfire took place which holds value to the university.  

“As far as I know, nagaganap lang ang bonfire kapag may nanalong champions, tulad nung sa Red Lions. Pero, sinabi ko naman kina Dr. Marvin na, ‘Bakit hindi tayo maglagay ng bonfire?’ Tutal, closing event na rin to, and yun nga, to ignite the Bedan Spirit na parang after pandemic, ngayon na lang ulit tayo nagkaroon ng opportunity to celebrate or hold, like this big traditional activity,” Tamares emphasized. 

SBJMA dominates the games 

Finally, the Department of Marketing Management got the highest score of 950 in the major game and 500 points in the minor games with a total score of 1450 and was declared the overall champion for this year’s Pride Games. 

Mark Enriquez Cruz, President of San Beda Junior Marketing Association (SBJMA), shared that in the midst of the people waiting outside for the bonfire, the Marketing students stayed and were hopeful to be called as the overall champions. “The dedication and hard work of the players and athletes all paid off and everyone indeed left the gym with smiles on their faces,” Cruz said.  

Concerning the selection procedure, there were difficulties in the department, especially when it came to holding tryouts as they were notified that the Pride Games would begin weeks before the event. As assisted by Richard Tiopengco, the Creative Director of SBJMA. “The SBJMA assigned specific persons to lead the selection process from the application up until the final roster. During preparations, each sporting event, there is an assigned captain to lead each team; this is to keep the team organized at all times,” Tiopengco stated. 

Cruz mentioned that before the Pride Games, the department had never been together because they had been living apart due to the pandemic. Now, the marketing students supported the various sports teams in their department and showed their commitment, enthusiasm, and hard work. “In a nutshell, the highlight of this year’s pride games is the strengthened linkages and relations inside the department, and the golden trophy came in as a bonus,” Cruz added. 

Cruz also discussed the plans to maintain the championship title at the following Pride Games through preparation and a longer time frame as well as to retain the players’ unwavering commitment and the students’ unwavering support. 

“I think we could further sustain this tradition as we continue to motivate the succeeding officers on how we can truly make use of all our available resources. Talk to people, communicate with them, and make sure to support them along the way,” Cruz noted. 

Tiopengo, on the other hand, emphasized that they will continue to foster discipline and order in the teams since selecting an outstanding leader for each team is still their blueprint to success.  

Meanwhile, the Department of Accountancy & Taxation secured the second spot with 860 points in the major games and 575 points in the minor games with an overall score of 1435. As for third placer finishers, The Department of Psychology was last at this year’s podium with a score of 1270 points, including 780 points from major events and 490 points from minor games.  

Nevertheless, the SC and OPSA pulled through, and Dr. Marvin recognized the success of the activity in noting that there were little to no problems during the execution of the pride games. 

Looking forward, Tamares hopes for a more organized and uniform Pride Games in the future, while remaining confident in the Student Council’s ability to deliver a memorable experience for the Bedan community. 

(With Rizian Balleta, Dencel Mauri Fernandez, Ryan Julianne L. Monzon)