Cebu Celebrates GADJA 2015
Photo by Sheany Viel Moynihan
It was indeed a way to end the semester.
Universities and organizations all around Cebu gathered together for two days to celebrate GADJA 2015, held in the Aboitiz Sports Field, Subangdaku, Mandaue City on March 27 and 28.
GADJA’s theme is “Pride + Merrymaking”, which translates to “Garbo + Sadja” in Cebuano dialect — the two root words of the event’s name. Previously part of the intramural activities of USC, GADJA transcended Carolinian boundaries and expanded its scope to the top universities in Cebu, Cebuano advocacy-driven movements and other private organizations for one goal: to address the growing issue of apathy by providing an avenue for people to interact with one another, to express their individuality, to showcase their talents and to increase awareness of the pressing issues in Cebu.
In order to achieve this goal, GADJA has partnered with Mega Cebu, a movement created by the Cebu provincial government that envisions a “wholesome, advanced, vibrant, equitable, sustainable (W.A.V.E.S.)” future for Metro Cebu by the year 2050.
A series of activities were facilitated for the active participation of the top universities united by this event: University of San Carlos, Velez College, University of San Jose – Recoletos, University of Cebu, Cebu Normal University, University of the Visayas, Cebu Institute of Technology – University, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Southwestern University, Cebu Doctors University, Indiana Aerospace University, University of the Philippines and Cebu Aeronautical Technical School.
A Battle of the Bands was launched on the first day, where bands from different universities who passed prior auditions performed their rock and jazz pieces for prizes and the entertainment of the audience. Among those who performed were Normal Beat (CNU), Pinchgrip (CDU), Di.Na.Ma.Oz (USJR), Arpeggio (UV), Periodic Table of the Philippines (CIT-U), Lacituan (UC), Save Me Dave (Velez), Fairies and Rocking Trolls (USC), Three Legged Men (USC), Corleone’s Pipe (USJR), Sempiternal (CIT-U), Retromolar (CDU), Slurpee (USC), Sosuelo de Kamao (UV) and Evyind (CATS). Winners of the competition will be announced on GADJA’s Facebook page. Additionally, to push audiences off their seats to dance to their beat, Cebuano local bands were also present as guests: Sefyla, S.T.I.F. and Missing Filemon.
On the second day, students gathered again at the venue as MagTV Na and 97.1 MOR Lupig Sila held games and gave away prizes. A set of performances followed afterwards: acoustic and ballad sessions by Annabelle, Chilled Beat, and Lian and Jaylord; and dance numbers by the USC Dance Club, Understatement, Unknown Company, Kweens, and Velez Cougars.
At 8:30 p.m., lights were turned off and a bonfire was lit to celebrate the worldwide Earth Hour, a movement made to promote love, care and stewardship for the environment through turning off electric-powered equipment for an hour. While the audience circled around the bonfire, fire dancers from USC and tribal music makers provided entertainment.
After the hour, students raced back to the stage as a fireworks show and a dance production by the Go Brothers kicked off the rave portion of the evening. Among the disc jockeys who partied with the audience were Chad Fajardo, Victor Jao, Toffi Jamiro, Via, John Bosque, Joachim Giacobbe, Cliven Gairanod, GMTFX and Marc Melgar. Students jumped and danced to their beats while a fire truck sprayed water all over the crowd.
Over the course of the celebration, advocacy-based organizations set up booths to share their advocacies to the participants and recruit volunteers.
One of these was Niños Foundation, an organization of students that help children with disabilities by visiting them in their barangays and extending their care and service. They are recruiting volunteers; interested ones can contact 0925 502 2043.
Another was Rotaract Club, an organization linked to the Rotary Club of Cebu that spearheads service activities and train members to become good servant-leaders in their society.
Island Rescue Organization (IRO), a non-profit organization that rescues animals that are suffering from isolation, harm and abuse by giving them proper medication and care, and finding willing people to take them for adoption, also participated in the event. During the event, they showcased two of their rescued dogs and provided a list of the other animals they have rescued who are seeking a home to take care of them.
Also present was the Basadours, a group of student and worker volunteers that aim to promote literacy and the love for reading by organizing storytelling sessions for children and giving storytelling trainings to new recruits. Interested volunteers can visit the group’s Facebook page: Basadours.
Another was Let’s Do It Philippines, a movement composed of organizations and individuals all over the country that aim to “green the entire country” by organizing community clean-ups. It was spearheaded through a clean-up in Gilutungan Island on Sept. 20 last year. This year, on the same date, a nationwide clean-up will be facilitated by different organizations, aiming to gather five million volunteers with their tagline #IAm5Million. To know more about the movement, people are invited to visit their Facebook page: Let’s Do It Philippines.
Young Minds Academy (YMA), a program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. that cultivates youth leaders through citizenship and leadership trainings, was also present. YMA goes on for eight months — seven months of sessions and seminars in preparation for the creation of a community-based project and a month of implementation of the said project. YMA, now on their ninth season, is currently on the panel interview phase for new trainees.
Lastly, participating GADJA 2015 was Gawad Kalinga, a nationwide foundation whose goal is to eradicate poverty for five million Filipino families by 2024 through providing services on child and youth development, community building, environment, food sufficiency, health and infrastructure. They are currently looking for volunteers for their upcoming Bayani Challenge 2015 this April 9 to June 12. To know more about the challenge and their campaign, visit their website at http://www.gkworld1.com/bc2015.
Together with the advocacy-based booths, entrepreneurs also set up kiosks to sell their food and merchandise products.
All proceeds of the event will be used for the creation of murals and the restoration of sidewalks, pedestrian lanes, waiting sheds and public schools all over Cebu.
The organizers, composed of Carolinian students led by Patrick Dy, are planning to collaborate with the other participating universities in facilitating more GADJA events in the future.