The 2016 SAMAHAN Elections had just ended. While most celebratory events light a symbolic bonfire, PIGLASAPAT had opted to light their celebratory event with a renewed vision for service. Dubbed as Gabi ng Pagliliyab, the club generated a myriad of inspirational talks regarding the history, 30th anniversary, and the promising future of the Pinag-isang Lakas ng Samahan ng mga Progresibong Atenista (PIGLASAPAT).

Mr. Cyril Villarosa, PIGLASAPAT Alumnus, opened the Gabi ng Pagliliyab with a talk on how strong the PIGLASAPAT leaders have become throughout the years. He talked on how it has always been challenging for PIGLASAPAT, owing to the fact that most people do not understand PIGLASAPAT as a political party. But he emphasized that the club has always been able to rise above the circumstances. Villarosa thanked everyone who actively participated in the activities of PIGLASAPAT. He commended PIGLASAPAT this year because in spite of having strong and dominant leaders as it has always been, it did not produce internal conflicts which are common in the past years. Finally, he reminded everyone to keep the fire burning, as PIGLASAPAT finds its way to burn, rise and soar like a phoenix.

Recognizing that PIGLASAPAT values its members, the Gabi ng Pagliliyab progressed with its highlight – the hearing of narratives, experiences, and the general aspirations of each PIGLASAPAT leader.

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Pamela Venezuela

Pamela Venezuela, a member of Batch Kabasigbay, narrated her experiences in her first grasp of SAMAHAN Elections. She enumerated her experiences of how different campus politics is, as compared to high school elections.  As for the overall assessment of PIGLASAPAT, she said that “There is short-term loss but long-term gain. Kami tanan sa first year, nagdecide mi na we’re not going anywhere, that win or lose, up or down, PIGLASAPAT gyud mi.” (There is short-term loss but long-term gain. We, the first year students, decided that we’re not going anywhere that win or lose, up or down, we are PIGLASAPAT.)

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Jair Altiso

Meanwhile, Princess Awa shared on how grateful she is for experiencing a club that genuinely works with People for passion, People for principle, and People for people. Jair Altiso also called on the members to trust the PIGLASAPAT leaders even though their decisions may be unpopular at times.

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Maan Fidel

Maan Fidel, the BM Respresentative-elect, first thanked everyone for helping her even if most members of the campaign team did not know her personally. She emphasized how passionate, committed, and dedicated everyone is, in order to serve the students. Later on, she fortified the call to continue to excel and inspire the students. Finally, she said “Thank you for everything. It feels so good to meet a lot of wonderful people.”

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Vincent Cuzon

Vincent Cuzon talked about his experiences with PIGLASAPAT. He recognized that PIGLASAPAT has a share of internal conflicts and told that the PIGLASAPAT leaders must work towards a common vision for the club, notwithstanding whoever you work with. On the other hand, Mark Barroso, also shared his experiences with PIGLASAPAT as his extended family when he entered Ateneo. He commended this year’s PIGLASAPAT Batch since they have accepted every win and every defeat strongly. He also thanked everyone who helped because he observed that this year, PIGLASAPAT had a strong manpower in the elections. He wished that the 30th year of PIGLASAPAT will pave the way for a tighter and stronger club.

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Bianca Binag, a member of Batch Kabasigbay, said that the 30th year might have been a challenging one, in fact the members had to face a small pain, but ultimately a Phoenix will rise again. She said, “Phoenix tayo. Magsunog at magsunog tayo. Magrise at magrise tayo.” (We are the Phoenix. We will blaze and blaze. We will rise and rise.)  She added that despite the challenges the club had to face, at least, the members still find the value of smiling with each other. Lastly, she said, “We really did not lose. We won. We won in a way that our friendship grew stronger.”

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Mae Barrios (center)

Meanwhile, Mae Barrios, PIGLASAPAT’s candidate for NSM Representative for the 2016 SAMAHAN Elections, narrated her experiences with the club. She said that she was reluctant in the first days of campaign. But, she grew inspired when she saw her supporters campaign for her. She is thankful for the support, especially from the officers of the club. On the other hand, Raphil Saguan, the PIGLASAPAT candidate for Humanities and Letters Representative, said that he was trained as early as last year. He was a former writer of Atenews but later became a member of PIGLASAPAT. He talked about how unstable relationships become when election time comes. You would know who the friends and enemies are. “Dito mo malaman sa election kung sino ‘yong magtingin sa best mo instead sa insecurities.” (It is in the election that you know who looks at your best instead and not your insecurities.)

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Dan Timtim, the BSA-AT Division Representative-elect, talked about how he became the sole candidate for the Division. He talked about the various factors that he had considered before running, which included his parents’ decision, academics, and friends’ decision. When PIGLASAPAT approached him, it finally came to his mind that he had to stand up for his division.  He later thanked everyone that worked with him. He recognized that PIGLASAPAT has a strong base of leaders with passion. “Daog gyapon ta tanan!” (We are all winners!)

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Dexter Villarosa, SAMAHAN Secretary-General-elect, thanked everyone for all the efforts and time poured. He thanked everyone for everything that was sacrificed in order to clinch the one of the top 3 positions in SAMAHAN. But, he expressed his sadness knowing that he will graduate next year without experiencing a PIGLASAPAT President to take the stead. However, he also is very happy that the younger batches have a bright future ahead of them.  “Again, thank you. Let’s keep on inspiring people.”

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Jeos Earl Casilac, PIGLASAPAT President, along with Krystel Nayre, extended thanks to everyone that supported PIGLASAPAT all the way. He said that after few years of being in PIGLASAPAT, it was only this year that he realized what sets PIGLASAPAT apart from other political clubs. PIGLASAPAT is genuinely driven by Passion, Principle and People.  For this year’s standard bearer, Amara Abrina, she thanked everyone that supported her. She commended PIGLASAPAT for being a strong political club for 30 years already. She cited how the club has been fighting for student rights and welfare for the long years in Ateneo. She called everyone to stay optimistic and to continue to fight for PIGLASAPAT’s principles.

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The Gabi ng Pagliliyab 2016 has paved the way for upholding solidarity within the club. It is one of the pioneering events that fortify the legacy of PIGLASAPAT as the longest running socio-political party in the Ateneo de Davao University. There will always be challenges but the Pinag-isang Lakas ng Samahan ng mga Progresibong Atenista will not cease to fight for student rights. It has served Ateneo for 30 years already, and it will continue to serve the students for the next 30 years. Along with this year’s tagline, PIGLASAPAT will continue to push forward an inclusive, dynamic, and genuine collegiate student government – #SamahanTAYO.

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