Past UP Pep Squad CDC performances heartbroken fans can binge watch
Barry Viloria on Oct 27, 2016 09:30 PM
This, while we grieve—and wait, hopefully, for their return to the UAAP CDC. (Photo by Arvin Lim)
Bad news landed over fans of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition (UAAP CDC) yesterday, with UP Pep Squad announcing its plan of missing this year’s edition. Reason: After a year, the team claims having received no answers from the organizers over their protests against last season’s results. In Season 78, UP landed third, tailing champion NU Pep Squad and second placer UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe.
It’s common knowledge how UP Pep has topped the UAAP CDC podium since the competition’s inception two decades back. Throughout history, the squad has reaped eight UAAP CDC titles and various medals from international tilts. Thus, their obviously huge fandom plus numerous commercials endorsements on the side.
Surely, their absence this year disheartened many—UP students, alumni, faculty, and UAAP CDC fans alike. One of those grieving after reading their “#grateful” announcement on Facebook yesterday? In celebration of their glory, we’ve narrowed down some of UP Pep’s most memorable—also, the most viewed—performances ever!
From 1999 to 2000, UP Pep kept a winning streak only to fall off the top rank in the five years that followed. In 2007, the team just came out to have fun—and the theme they chose? Something “gloomy” that had them in black eyeliners: Rock, but done with a fun twist.
UP as an academe has always valued Filipino origins and culture, and this was most apparent in 2008’s theme “Tribo.” Clad in a skin-toned costume with maroon and green marks as if to resemble ethnic tattoos, UP Pep went all out with almost inaudible chants and fists punched in the air. The end brought Goosebumps: The squad bowing down and herding together with their pompoms, pieces of cloth hovering over them as they quickly rearrange their pompoms to form the letters “U” and “P”, another member left in the middle appearing to be naked like the school’s iconic symbol, Oble. The championship finish was perfect for then host-school UP, which also celebrated its centennial that year!
From a carton-made UP Ikot jeepney and a sablay draped over the costume, to songs written in honor of the university, UP Pep introduced its (in)famous culture and tradition to the crowd! It didn’t hit as much, though, as they then fell to third place. FEU’s Sarimanok theme ruled that competition.
UP Pep lifted UP’s spirit anew over what was a winless men’s basketball season for the UP Fighting Maroons. How else to pull this off, but with a “Hala Bira!”-inspired show, complete with flowers reminiscent of Panagbenga and costumes revealing traditional fiesta festoons? Impressive enough, this performance brought them back to top place!
It would’ve been a no-brainer for a theme, but it still incited awe. Aside from being a pop star, Madonna was an expert performer. She was then a perfect inspiration for UP Pep as that year they retained a championship, while sweeping the Group Stunt and Samsung Cheerdance Stunner categories.
“Freedom” became the theme in UP Pep’s last UAAP CDC title. The bareness in the hair (buzzcut style, including the ladies’) and costume (skin-tone, body-fit uniform with a few lines of green and maroon on the sides) was complemented by the difficulty in stunts. UP that year also went for a “grand slam,” winning the Group Stunt and Samsung Cheerdance Stunner awards.
Expect UP Pep to always come up with themes that reflect the zeitgeist. In 2013, EDM as a genre ruled people’s playlists—what did the team do? Match Zedd and LMFAO with Earth, Wind, & Fire in one performance. This didn’t please a lot of the judges, though, as NU came historically sliding in at first place with an Arabian-themed routine!
UP Pep yet again rocked androgynous getups fittingly for a routine that pushed for equality and LGBT rights. For example, women lifting men in pyramids. Yes, they’ve gone there only to stay in second place for the second year in a row.
Ahh, UP Pep’s last UAAP CDC show, at least for now. Last season, UP Pep churned out a very unique “Utak-Puso” (mind and heart) theme to showcase their athleticism as athletes while stressing on their excellence as students. What a seemingly flawless routine to some didn’t translate on paper, though, causing doubt over their participation in the following year. Nevertheless, it’s one of the squad’s most memorable shows to date—while we focus on the others at the UAAP CDC in Season 79, we here will just have to hope for their return, ‘cause seriously there seems to be no UAAP CDC without UP!