The power behind the sound | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

ON PAOLO: graphic tee and skinny jeans, Bershka. PHOTO BY TOFF TIOZON
ON PAOLO: graphic tee and skinny jeans, Bershka. PHOTO BY TOFF TIOZON

Meet Carlos Magno and Paolo Abejero. Both are with the Animo Squad as drummers and cheerleaders. Carlos is a third year Marketing student, while Paolo is on his second year in Computer Science.

 

This is the first season for both to alternate as drummers and cheerleaders.

 

“For me, I’d have to say the training for drummers is more tiring,” says Carlos. “Drumming is very physical, we need to keep up our strength; imagine, we’re playing drums for four quarters, that’s like two hours!”

 

PHOTO BY TOFF TIOZON

Revving up the team spirit of a huge crowd is tough work, and, as we learned, very physical. “Though I was a drummer in my high school pep squad at San Beda Alabang, becoming a cheerleader and drummer for the Animo Squad was still very challenging,” adds Carlos. “To a drummer, committing to training is hard. During UAAP season, training is every day. If there’s a game on a Sunday, you’re training ‘til Saturday,” he says.

 

Cheerleading has always been Carlos’ passion. “This has been my passion since high school.”

 

ONCARLOS: graphic tee, Bershka; khaki slim pants, Suite Blanco. PHOTO BY TOFF TIOZON

For Paolo, joining the Animo Squad wasn’t among his original plans. “It was an accident, actually. I only accompanied a friend who was trying out for the squad, but then I had an extra pair of shorts and a shirt in my bag, so I decided to join tryouts at the last minute; my high school friends who saw me on TV performing were surprised.”

 

Training is very rigorous, but when you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter. “I live far from school, in Sucat, so it takes me two hours to get home sometimes. Mahirap i-balance yung sleep and studies. Sometimes I’d get home around 11 p.m. since practice ended at 9 p.m., minsan pag-uwi ko gusto ko na lang matulog.”

 

Though the two are adept at lifting cheerdancers and lending stability to their airborne members, the two guys are also hard at work doing their own balancing acts, that of cheerleading and maintaining good grades. Getting into the pep squad may have been easy for the two, but staying in the team requires a grade point average. One has to make sure one doesn’t fail subjects.

 

The two guys think what they’re doing is worth all the hard work and sacrifice. “The best thing about being in the squad? I love the feeling of hearing the drums and the roar of the crowd,” says Carlos. “Pag minahal mo ang isang bagay, mamahalin ka din niya, so push lang,” says Paolo.

 

 

 

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