The spirit of fellowship, camaraderie and sportsmanship pervaded the entire Anselmo Bustos Sports Complex at Downtown Campus as thrilled students of the University of San Carlos shouted with pride, passion and loyalty the names of their respective schools in the opening of USC’s Intramurals held last August 24.

With the theme “Cleaning the Educational Slate: Consolidating Renewed Foundations,” the opening of the much-anticipated Intramurals kicked off with a parade by the USC Symphonic Band. Though the event was scheduled to start at 7:30 am, the event proper actually began 30 minutes late, much to the annoyance of the gathered crowd.

Despite the initial delay, the event managed to get back on track. Following the band were the Intramurals banner bearers, carrying a massive tarpaulin emblazoned with the seal of San Carlos, who were then succeeded by a performance number by the USC Dance troupe.

Then came the athlete representatives from each school led by their candidates for Mr. and Ms. Intramurals 2015. Each candidate marched at head, each bearing the colors of their respective school. Once all athletes were in their positions, the crowd stood up for the invocation led by Fr. Sherwin Aromi and for the singing of the national anthem and the school hymn.

The Intramurals was declared officially open through a speech by Fr. Anthony Salas. According to him, through USC’s holistic education, there is not just passion about research, learning and community extension. “The students are being well rounded through their participating in activities such as the USC days.”

As part of the university tradition, the Intramurals candidates then prepared for the raising of their school colors in competition as to who could raise theirs first, with SAS raising their colors before the activity began, resulting in their immediate disqualification from the competition. After the raising, the athletes were made to recite the Oath of Sportsmanship, led by Jacquilyn Gilbuela, Triple Gold Medalist and weightlifting champion in the recent National PRISAA Games in Iloilo.

Then came the Mr and Ms Intramurals completion. Each candidate gave a welcoming remark to the crowd and was given an opportunity to strut and show their stuff, ladies first of course. After all was said and done, Mr and Mrs Intramurals 2015 were chosen. Both candidates, Clarence Lim and Charissa Tabar were from the School of Business and Economics. Previous year’s Mr and Mrs Intramurals winners Rafael Bachus and Melody Hodgson were there to personally congratulate this year’s winners.

Moreover, the crowd went into a loud roar when Senator Grace Poe entered the gymnasium. Stating that she had no political intention, Sen. Poe graced the invitation of a friend and “one of the smartest” of the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) Board of Directors, Mike Lopez. She furthermore stated that she saw the quality of education in USC through him.

In line with this quality education, Poe said that she sympathizes with the needs of the students particularly the affordability of learning. “I’m pushing that students who are deserving and who want to help their parents should have paid internship program in the government.” Upon stressing the word “paid” the students yelled once more.

At long last came the opening’s main event: the annual Cheer Dance Competition. The six schools of San Carlos engaged one another in all-out dance warfare, performing death-defying leaps and twists, all for the dream of grabbing the gold. After a gruelling dance battle, all teams gathered together in camaraderie for the unified cheer dance, followed up with a performance number by the USC Dance Club.

Finally, the winner was chosen with the School of Arts and Sciences’ Royales remaining unbeatable as champions of the dance floor despite some technical difficulties that occurred. Winning the first runner-up was the School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design with fierceness evident in their tribal costumes and risky stunts. The School of Business and Economics, on the other hand, gained second runner-up as a result of superb and clean routines.

As the event came to an end and each student went their own way, there was one thing each person brought with them: their unmistakable school spirit.

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