The University of Santo Tomas Senior High School dance organization “Galvanize” won the 9th High Schoolers Asian Hip Hop Championship held in Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong on May 5, 2019. Besting 17 other participating teams from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Thailand, and the Philippines, the 14-member Senior High School team brought home 8,000 HKD and the championship trophy.
The winning team was composed of: team captain Gabriel Joaquin Estrada, Keith Anderson, Matthan Henri Ang, Miguel Francisco Bacani, Jonas Belgica, Julia Mae Del Rosario, Lia Rizabella Escudero, Andria Lopez, Ma. Kaela Joselle Madrunio, Yuri Miranda, Niña Marie Reyes, Dylan Ruiz, Regina Priscila Sacdalan, and Reynante Talactac IV.
The competition was organized by the School of Hip-hop managed by Youth Outreach Organization in Hong Kong.
The UST team became eligible for the international competition by bagging the first place in the Asian Hip-hop Philippines Dance Competition held at Tanghalang Pasigueno in Pasig, Metro Manila on November 11, 2018.
“The preparations were tedious for this competition (in Hong Kong), because it’s the first time that a group from the Senior High School will fly abroad for a competition,” said founding adviser and choreographer Mr. Reinhel Angelo Sicat in an online interview with The Academia. He added that in the previous academic year, UST Galvanize would often win in the regional competitions, but not in the national level.
“Through the continuous effort of the team, our competitions this year went in favor of our group, the [Asian Hiphop Philippine Qualifiers – High Schoolers Division] and the UAAP Streetdance Competition,” said Sicat.
It is this determined mindset that Galvanize brought with them to the stage in Hong Kong. Sicat further explained, that despite hurdles such as a member’s injury, and a sudden change of venue due to the unpredictable weather that resulted in a stage almost too small for the 14 team members to execute their winning dance moves, Galvanize was not discouraged.
Established in 2016, Galvanize is ably helmed by its advisers, Mr. Reinhel Angelo Sicat, Ms. Hera Alexan Benitez, and Mr Jake Rovin Morales. It also enjoys the whole-hearted support of the Senior High School administration and the parents of the members, according to Sicat.