Quantcast
Latest Stories

Gut Feel

Do the five-peat, Ateneans! Do it for us senior citizens

By

I’m an Ateneo alumnus. Mention La Salle and our UAAP battle, and my hibernating animosity toward the Green Archers stirs back to life. I want La Salle beaten to a pulp.

It’s an ancient grudge. The animosity began when I entered Ateneo High School in the early ’50s, in the Padre Faura campus.

I came to Ateneo as a shy 13-year-old promdi from the boondocks of Majayjay, Laguna. I spoke carabao English. American Jesuit scholastics from New York promptly transformed me into a creature called an Atenista, an elitist term at the time.

The Jesuits straightened out my bad grammar, and improved my English idioms by making me write daily, imitating well-chosen paragraphs from the novels of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe.

For snob appeal, we studied Caesar’s Gallic War in Latin (Galia divisa est in tres partes), complete with conjugations, declensions and parsing of sentences.

To banish the inferiority complex of promdi boys like me, the Jesuits imbued us with a thing called “The Ateneo Spirit,” a competitive mind-set, a kind of killer instinct, coaxed and activated during the basketball games against La Salle.

At the Rizal Memorial court, we cheered at the top of our lungs until we were hoarse. It worked like magic. Beating La Salle was pure bliss. Moro Lorenzo scored more moon shots. Ning Ramos blocked more La Salle shots. And Choly “Cagayan Cyclone” Gaston stole more balls. Tito Eduque, Ramoncito Campos and Eddie Sharuf were simply exasperated.

When the fight heated up and got physical, bakbakan (rumbles) followed right after the game in the dark alleys of Vito Cruz, right at the backdoor of La Salle. We counted black eyes on Monday mornings.

Ateneo transferred to Loyola Heights in 1953, and I took the B.S. course in Journalism. The Jesuit system of ratio studiorum is a holistic program, loaded with scholastic philosophy, theology, Greek and Roman history, classical literature, theater arts and sports.

The intrepid and globetrotting Jesuits were savvy in branding their educational and formative models. Humanism and eloquence were branded as sapiensa et eloquentia, a sound mind in a sound body was called mens sana et corpore sano, and that palpable Ignatian spirit—for the greater glory of God—was inscripted in letterheads as Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Lux in Domino (Light in the Lord) was the official Ateneo trademark.

Sportswriters tagged our basketball team as “The Hail Mary Quintet” for its propensity to pray Hail Marys during tight moments of the game.

Virgil and Cicero

I realized how distinct we were from La Sallians. While we sweated it out with our epistemology, logic and ontology, the works of Virgil and the speeches of Cicero, the history of the Renaissance and the staging of Shakespeare tragedies, Hamlet and Macbeth, La Salle guys were wrestling with their trigonometry, calculus, accounting sheets, management and banking courses.

Ateneans idolize our iconic alumni. We idolized José Rizal and Gregorio del Pilar for patriotism, and Fr. Horacio de la Costa for intellectual brilliance. In the Senate, Ateneo alumni Soc Rodrigo, Raul Manglapus and Manny Pelaez displayed their political flair. Bert Avellana directed winning films in Asian film fests.

In contrast to Ateneo’s Jesuits, the low-profile Christian brothers of La Salle were not fond of sloganeering. La Salle had a single-minded motto: Moral, Religion, Culture. Very sedate.

La Salle alumni were mostly entrenched in the kastilaloy executive suites of San Miguel Corporation, the Ayala Group of Companies, and multinational local banking institutions.

A banker from La Salle once said Ateneans tend to overrate themselves (hubris?). Why? Are La Sallians unassuming?

In basketball of the late ’50s, no one outhustled Ed Ocampo, outrebounded Frankie Rabat and outshot Bobby Littawa. La Salle flaunted Kurt Bachmann, Rene Wassmer and Henry Ferraren.

In the ’60s, the seeds of nationalism planted by an Atenean intellectual, Sen. Claro M. Recto, bore fruit. Radical students from UP and the university belt in downtown Manila were shouting, “Yankee Go Home!” while burning American flags in front of the US Embassy on Roxas Boulevard.

It was fashionable to hate white imperialists, including colonialists of old. My animosity toward La Salle conjured a nationalistic bias directed against the mestizos known as coño kids.

The original coños were Spanish colonialists led by Gov. Gen. Ramon Blanco, who orchestrated the execution by firing squad of Dr. José Rizal in 1896. Rizal happened to be Ateneo’s most illustrious and admired alumnus of all time.

Warranted or not, I entertained the thought that some mestizo coño kids were probable descendants of the Iberian coño men associated with the persecution and death of José Rizal. I wanted revenge, even if only a psychic vengeance. Rizal was not only my brother Atenean, he was also my province mate from Laguna.

Defending honor and glory

We Ateneans knew La Salle hated our guts. Rumor has it that the bitter feud started in 1939, when La Salle beat Ateneo for the NCAA championship. During La Salle’s victory motorcade, they threw fried chickens (fried eagles) in front of the Ateneo Padre Faura gate. Since then, Ateneo-La Salle games became super-hyped, with families of Ateneans and La Sallians joining in one collective show of defending the schools’ honor and glory.

My spy told me that at the recent La Salle 100th anniversary, the most lustily cheered event was a patently anti-Atenean gimmick. On stage, their show ended when the green archer shot an arrow into the air, and lo and behold, a dead blue eagle fell from the sky. (Did TV director and La Sallian Fritz Infante cook this up?)

I say, “Cheap thrill!” Shame on them for using their noble anniversary as a venue for jealousy and hate. (And what would my tisoy critic, Bobby Kraut, say to justify this childish act?)

An Ateneo-La Salle battle in any court is like a duel to death. No mercy. The bitter rivalry can be suspended only when a blue eagle and a green archer play for our country in international games, as exemplified by Ateneo’s Chris Tiu and La Salle’s JV Casio. Chris and JV provide the hustle and shooting power in winning games for the Philippines.

But during Ateneo-La Salle games, Chris and JV join their respective cheering sections. The feud resumes. (I don’t know whose side my friend, ex- J. Walter Thompson big boss J.J. Calero, is on. He studied at both La Salle and Ateneo. Does that mean he’s half-bird, half-man?)

For 2012, we true blue Ateneans go for the five-peat. Nothing less. We’ve got our five turbo-charged mean machines—Slaughter, Ravena, Salva, Buenafe and Tiongson. C’mon guys, do the high fives and blast them all.

Give us a five-peat to honor the late and legendary sports heroes of my time—Moro “Moonshot” Lorenzo, Choly “Cagayan Cyclone” Gaston, Frankie “Rajah of the Rebound” Rabat and Ed “Leech Guard” Ocampo.

Put the incredible five-peat on the pedestal of Ateneo sports. Gimme five!

Do it for us, senior citizen-alumni in our sunset years. We will still shout, “One big fight!” when you go for the kill.

E-mail hgordonez@gmail.com


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Ateneans , Ateneo , Atenista , Cicero , La Salle , UAAP , Virgil

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1687164013 Daniel Almirez

    But despite our rivalry it was La Salle who offered Ateneans a home in the Taft campus during World War 2 (the Japanese had shut down the Ateneo campus)… good luck on your drive for a 5 peat…..   from a la sallite…. lsgh 78



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  8. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  9. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  10. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  9. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • 6.6-quake hits off PNG’s Bougainville – USGS
  • Bus passengers foil bombing in Sultan Kudarat
  • Traffic from provinces to Manila light on Black Saturday
  • Sub search for missing plane to be done in week
  • Gloomy weather on Black Saturday–Pagasa
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
    Marketplace