The 79TH season of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) officially opened on the evening of September 3, 2016 (Saturday) at the University of Santo Tomas campus in España, Manila.
Season LXXIX featured an ‘Olympic-style’ opening ceremonies, an introduction of a possible new competition, and a showcase of Thomasian traditions.
“Dare to Dream,” the theme of the Season, was captured in a three-part curtain raiser that began with the unveiling of the UAAP Ballroom Formation Dance Competition at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena. The meet unrolled in two disciplines: Standard Ballroom Formation Dance and Latin American Formation Dance. It was initially a demonstration event this year.
The presidents / rectors of the eight universities—Adamson University, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, National University, University of the East, University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas—led the parade of University presidents, UAAP officials, and athletes from the historic UST Arch of the Centuries to the Plaza Mayor, where the ceremonies were held.
The all-student UST Symphony Orchestra electrified the annual celebrations with a performance of the UAAP Hymn and Season LXXIX theme song titled “Dare to Dream.” The Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble, Coro Tomasino, and the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe joined in welcoming the participating schools in Asia’s only Pontifical University. Debuting, too, during the event is UST’s own marching band, Drum Line.
The UAAP flag was carried by student-athletes from the Arch of the Centuries up to the Plaza Mayor followed by the singing of the UAAP hymn by the Litrurgikon Vocal Ensemble and Coro Tomasino accompanied by the UST Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Prof. Herminigildo Ranera. The theme song of Season LXXIX “Dare to Dream” composed by Mr. Ireneo Hernandez of the UST EdTech Center was also sang by the same choirs.
In his message, the UST Rector, the Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., PhD, welcomed everyone to the University and called on the athletes to “aspire to be what they always wanted to be: winners, heroes, and champions.” Relating his message to the theme, Fr. Dagohoy said that “it is only when we dare to dream that we are able to set the goals and go for the win.”
UST Men’s Basketball Team Captain Louie Philippe Vigil led the Oath of Sportsmanship for his fellow athletes, who were congregated in the Plaza Mayor following the parade.
The opening ceremonies ended with the fireworks display emanating from the UST Main Building and a Dare to Dream concert featuring bands like Silent Sanctuary and Sud capped the festivities.