The Battle of “Cheapness” Begins!
There’s this cheapness I caught online. It is bereft of reason, of reality-based intellect, of objectivity, of sensitivity. In short, it’s full of crap, cheapness, ugliness, and
ignorance. Martin Luther King, Jr. (though he’s not my idol) described this kind of academic decease in this one-liner quotation:
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
“Defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles have their game faces on as they prepare for their first game this season against their archrivals, the De La Salle Green Archers. Atenean Jason Inocencio defends his alma mater and tells us why in basketball, the Blue Eagles are better than the Archers…”
Yeah, right! I’m not defending any of these two ‘archival’ schools. I simply would like to comment on this ‘academic travesty.’ A Wikipedia entry (although do not believe in everything stated in Wikipedia since anybody can just upload his own version of any event or item) confirms that such an “Ateneo-La Salle rivalry” has its roots in the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) basketball competition, the most exciting and most-watched collegiate sports event in the country. Wikipedia defines this grotesque sports-turned-academic rivalry in the following manner:
“The Ateneo-La Salle rivalry is a school rivalry between two private universities in the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University. Both are private, Catholic academic centers within the Metropolitan Manila area. Ateneo Men’s varsity team is known as Ateneo Blue Eagles, Women’s varsity team as Lady Eagles, and high school team as Ateneo Blue Eaglets. La Salle Men’s varsity team is known as De La Salle Green Archers, Women’s varsity team as Lady Archers, and high school team as Junior Archers.” (Emphasis not mine)
After reading a few sentences of Spot.ph article, I posted the following on my Facebook wall:
“Only people with under-developed brain- those whose mentality belongs to the Dark Ages- would make “patol” of this so cheap, so childish “rivalry caboodle. In an informed society, nobody would ever notice such an ugly display of academic arrogance and ignorance.”
I’m one of the very few people who believe in the following statement by Ayn Rand, a Russian-born American philosopher, individualist, and radical for capitalism:
“The important thing about you is what you choose to make happen – your values and choices. That which happened by accident – what family you were born into, in what country, and where you went to school – is totally unimportant.”
But it seems that there are a lot of people in these parts who still have the ‘aristocrat’ genes our society somehow absorbed from our Spanish conquerors. This Ateneo-La Salle rivalry only means one thing: Once a freshman student enrolls in either school, an “enemy” is born. This kind of cheap mentality effectively instills in the minds of the students of either Ateneo or De La Salle to ‘hate’ – or to ‘feel a degree of undefined contempt for’ – their rival school, perhaps including its students or part of its population. Perhaps the object of “hate” or “contempt” is the school or university itself. But one thing is very clear: this kind of so grotesque, so unproductive rivalry can be likened to the holy war between the Christian world and the Muslim world in the Dark Ages. Every member of both “elite” universities is deemed guilty by “enrollment” or by association.
Any form of rivalry is OK so long as it is productive, objective, and helpful to the mental, psychological, or intellectual development of the people involved. A rivalry is
productive if it did not corrupt the minds of the students; if it taught them the value of “earned” excellence, “earned” respect, “earned” prestige, and “earned” admiration. But there are a lot of rivalries whose object is hatred, “unearned prestige, or “unearned” excellence. These rivalries have disastrous effects on the mentality and behavior of the students involved. It instills in them the virtue of “automatic success” or “automatic greatness.”
Hitler and his top propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, perfectly employed such a mind-distorting propaganda and strategy in the 1930s to turn the entire German population into a Jew-hating and inferior race-hating collective of nihilists and racists. They instilled in the minds of the Germans that the ‘Aryan race’ was the greatest race on earth. In Hitler’s mind, to be part of the Aryan race simply meant “automatic” racial superiority or greatness.
In the Philippine setting, you only have to be moneyed and pass the college entrance test to be part of either school’s Hitlerite league. Perhaps you’ve heard some of the following statements from people of either school:
“I married a La Sallian even though I’m an Atenean…”
“My boyfriend is from Ateneo. I’m from DLSU…”
“My school is greater than their school, period….”
“I’m currently courting a La Sallian junior. I’m from Ateneo…”
“I went to _____. Definitely we have better facilities…”
… and so on… So what? What’s the big deal? C’mon… get back to reality, peeps. Get real!
Here’s the rest of the Spot.ph article. Please don’t puke on your computer/laptop keyboard!
10. La Salle gets into fights with other schools and their players take cheap shots.
In this instance, after La Salle’s Rico Maierhofer commits a hard foul on University of the East’s Mark Borboran, UE’s Mark Fampulme stands up for his teammate. What escalates the situation is a bench player from DLSU, Brian Ilad, clocking Fampulme with from behind. Real classy move.
9. Ateneo school officials don’t hit opposing basketball players.
During the 2005 UAAP Finals, a heated exchange occurred between the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and the Green Archers. One would usually expect the action to be between players from the opposing teams. However, DLSU assistant team manager Manny Salgado snuck from behind FEU’s superstar Arwin Santos and hit him with a closed fist. Cheap shot is an understatement.
8. La Salle was once suspended for an entire season for fielding ineligible players on their varsity team.
In 2005, La Salle fielded two players who apparently weren’t eligible to play in the UAAP wars. Mark Benitez and Tim Gatchalian supposedly submitted fake Philippine Educational Placement and Testing Certificates of Rating (PETCR) to gain entry into DLSU. Claiming that they voluntarily suspended these players before the UAAP Finals against FEU, La Salle said their school was innocent. The UAAP board disagreed, suspending the school from all athletic competition in Season 69 of the UAAP.
7. Ateneo wins big games over La Salle with defense.
Game 1 of the 2002 UAAP Finals saw Blue Eagle Larry Fonacier block Green Archer Mark Cardona not once, but twice, to preserve the win. Six years later, Ateneo’s Nonoy Baclao blocked La Salle’s Rico Maierhofer to earn their own Game 1 win. Defense really does win championships.
6. The Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion gets their spelling right.
In this video, the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion actually spelled the words “One big fight” during their routine. They didn’t just point an arrow or have their cheerleaders threaten to go all Robin Hood on the blue side of the Araneta Coliseum. Oh and a few years ago, La Salle’s Pep Squad even spelled “La Salle” wrong during the Cheerdance Competition. Seriously.
5. When Ateneo hits game-winners, the entire coliseum shakes.
Whether it be a game that could lead to an appearance in the UAAP Finals or an actual game in the Finals, Ateneo knows drama. Gec Chia’s buzzer beater elevated Ateneo over University of the East to enter the 2002 UAAP Finals (which they eventually won). Doug Kramer’s sneaky lay-in at the buzzer won Game 1 of the 2006 UAAP Finals for Ateneo, although they eventually lost to University of Santo Tomas.
4. Ateneo loves winning UAAP championships, especially when it is against the archrivals from De La Salle.
In the long and storied history between Ateneo and La Salle, every so often they meet in the Finals. Since both teams have been part of the UAAP in the late 1980s, they’ve met in the UAAP Finals four times. The record: Ateneo 3, La Salle 1. There is nothing sweeter than beating your archrival for the most treasured prize in collegiate basketball.
3. Ateneo has produced statesmen and heroes like Jose Rizal and Ninoy Aquino. La Salle has produced Ogie Alcasid, Randy Santiago, and Edu Manzano.
That’s pretty self-explanatory. National heroes versus comedians and singers? Yeah, we thought so too.
2. Ateneo has been around for 150 years. La Salle hasn’t even hit the century mark yet.
2009 marks the year of the Ateneo de Manila’s sesquicentennial or 150th year, as it was founded in 1859. The De La Salle College didn’t exist until 1911. Of course, the University of Santo Tomas has been around for almost 400 years so that trumps all schools in the Philippines, but this article is only between Ateneo and La Salle.
1. Because “win or lose, it’s the school we choose!”
More than a line in the school hymn, it is symbolic of the Ateneo spirit. In sports, where one side wins and another loses, this one line states that even in the face of defeat, the pride of being from the Ateneo keeps our heads held high and that there is no shame in losing to an adversary.