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When @FireQuinito asked me to review the opening ceremony of UAAP Season 74 for TV5’s sports website, I immediately said yes because I knew it was a good gig—I mean, come on, it was touted as an Olympic-style opening ceremony, something to look forward to. On the other hand, I also worried about how hyped this event was: if these superlatives were coming from the media, then I felt sorry for host school, Ateneo; if they did come from Ateneo, wow really?
Olsen Racela will carry the torch and will light up the cauldron when the Season 74 of the UAAP opens Saturday in a one-of-a-kind opening ceremony at the Marikina City Sports Park.
Close to 3,000 athletes competing in the 15 sports disciplines this season will march around the oval in an event with 600 more will be participating in the program with close to 8,000 students, alumni and fans expected to watch at the Marikina Sports Park.
Palou said that the idea of an Olympic-style opening rites began three years ago after they got the hosting rights for 2011. He added that project head Benjo Afuang started preparations in January while the actual rehearsals began April.
Still, I did root for the opening to be a success. As I told @FireQuinito, I didn’t want to be a ‘negatron’ or be branded as a hater because that’s just ugly.
Unfortunately, it rained all day and it took its toll on the event. Performers looked confused, and I suspected this was because they had other things planned were if not for the nasty weather. However, the organizers did say they prepared for this event since January, a long period, and it’s unfortunate they didn’t appear to have come up with more effective contingency measures.
(In situations like this, I’m reminded of what Anderson Cooper said in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy: Hope is not a plan. We cannot just hope for it not to rain, but we also need to plan for it.)
I was most disappointed by the fact that the event had no story or hook, the importance of which I explained in the last part of my story. Too bad. I did read somewhere on Twitter that one of the most important jobs of being the host school is to make sure that game officiations are fair, so hopefully, UAAP Season 74 will be remembered for that.