Unmasking the UAAP mascots

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 08, 2015 07:25 PM
Unmasking the UAAP mascots
Curious about the origins of each UAAP moniker? Here's your cheat sheet! (Illustration by Joshua Panelo, courtesy of UAAP Magazine)

A mascot, by definition, is an animal, person or thing adopted by a group as its representative symbol and which is supposed to bring good luck. Mascots are not unheard of in sports, especially in basketball. Stuff, the dragon—who entertained Manila fans during the NBA 3x Philippine tour—is the mascot of the NBA's Orlando Magic. He had pictures taken, danced on the sidelines and took part in some court drills too.

In the local scene, teams like the PBA's Rain or Shine have mascots: RoS’s mascot is a huge tub of paint. No one knows what his name is but some say it's Tubby, Pin-THOR or Donita RoS. Having a mascot is trippy, funny and makes the games more enjoyable.

The college scene is no different. Each school is represented by a different mascot or official symbol. Here’s some trivia about those familiar UAAP “mascots”.

‘Soaring Falcons’

'Soaring Falcons' was the term given by George Lucas Adamson when he founded the institution in 1932. It was chosen with no specific reason in mind, but as the school developed over the years, the Adamson community now associates itself with the falcon in more ways than one. The falcon is a bird of prey that feeds on insects and sometimes smaller birds. They are beautiful, winged creatures who are trained ideally for hunting.

The falcon is particularly popular during Adamson versus Ateneo fights where students and fans shout "Our bird is bigger than yours!"

‘Blue Eagles’

It's a fascinating thing to watch, a mother eagle and her young. A mother eagle will leave their nest and return with food to feed her babies. This is a cycle that goes on until her eaglets have developed their wings. Slowly, the mother stops bringing them food and hovers above the nest instead, as if to show her young ones that the flaps they have on their backs aren't completely useless. She then nudges them off the nest, allowing them to free fall to the unknown and then swoops down and grabs a hold of them with her beak to take them back to safety.

Tough love. But that's how her babies become so kingly and majestic. And that's part of the reason why the eagle was chosen to be Ateneo de Manila University’s symbol.
Like the eagle, Ateneo sports teams aim and fly high. Eagles more often than not swoop down on their prey unnoticed which makes them one of the best predators of the skies.


‘Green Archers’

In 1939 when the university was still part of the NCAA, DLSU was known for its spot-on shooting, which led to their becoming champions. This is why there is no better character to represent De La Salle University than the archer.

And there isn't just one. They actually have three named Gordo, Flaco and Sally: Gordo is the fat archer, Flaco is the thin archer and Sally is the female archer.

‘Tamaraws’

Out of the eight schools that are part of the UAAP, Far Eastern University is the only university that uses a Pinoy animal for its mascot. This is because the university prides itself on molding students to be not only to be academically equipped but culturally aware and environmentally-conscious as well.

The tamaraw is said to be both aggressive yet intelligent. They have a distinct 'never say die' attitude, always making sure to up the competition a notch whether it be in cheerdancing, sports or academics.

‘Bulldogs’

Have you ever had an encounter with a bulldog and automatically found yourself avoiding eye contact, then going off in the opposite direction? That's exactly what bulldogs make you do.
 
The bulldog was so named because it was primarily used for chasing bulls in bull fights. It was the ideal breed because it had such a ferocious bite and its body was built for hanging on to its prey despite being thrashed around.

The NU bulldogs are just that, showing the league that they are competitive and resilient and are not afraid to literally grab the bull by the horns.

‘Red Warriors’

Some UE students believe that the cool-looking muscular dude on their logo is Lapu-Lapu but whether that's true or false, he is definitely a warrior.

The University of the East's beginnings started with a group of business educators striving for the betterment of the country shortly after the Philippines acquired its independence in 1946.

In the 1980's during the time of the recession, the university was so close to being sold to a foreign religious group. Thanks to the resourcefulness and perseverance of the UE leaders back then, the fans of today are still able to chant "Bomba! UE, Igma Kadima!" and cheer their Red Warriors on during UAAP games.

‘Maroons,’ The Oblation

The moniker "Fighting Maroons" merely represents the school's color and not because of any other reason. Its official symbol, though, is that man with outstretched arms, also knows as Oble.

The Oblation was sculpted by Guillermo E. Tolentino and he described the statue as a symbol of all the fallen unsung heroes of the Philippines. Not only that, but it also represents freedom in its boldest sense.

The UP Oblation was unveiled in 1939 and withstood all the blows of war and natural calamities much like the students of the university who, despite adversity, always put the "fight" in Fighting Maroons.

Growling Tigers

Before they became known as the UST Tigers, the varsity teams of the University of Santo Tomas were known as the Glowing Goldies. They bagged numerous titles during their start in the UAAP. During the league's opening ceremonies in 1991, the schools were each asked to parade their mascot. UST had no idea how to work about the "Glowing Goldie" bit and the host school at the time, the University of the Philippines, decided to "help them out" by presenting to them a  Dominican Friar covered in band-aids. This, it is said, is a true story.

What happened was a blessing in disguise because after this incident, UST made the switch from Glowing Goldies to Growling Tigers.

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This story was published in UAAP Magazine 2013 issue and authored by Riki Flores. Like UAAP Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

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