People & Inspiration

In Focus: What We Can Learn From UP Pep Squad Drummers' Protest Video Against UAAP

In Focus: What We Can Learn From UP Pep Squad Drummers' Protest Video Against UAAP


“In times that you’re expected to make noise, the worse thing to do is to not speak at all.”

It started with a Facebook post and a tweet inviting to do an unusual “hype video” for this year’s UAAP season. When the initial “2 snares 1 bass” policy news broke out, Nowhere To Go But UP volunteer and U.P. alumna Joyce Torrecampo reached out to the University of the Philippines drummers to make a video—continuing the tradition of making videos celebrating athletes in light of recent events they featured the drummers of UP.

Seldane Tagao, a member of the UP Pep Squad Drummers said that it was Joyce's idea to shoot a video. They agreed to it since they want to reach out to everyone involved in the UAAP—athletes, spectators, and supporters alike to show how important drums are in the games. She emphasized the drums’ significance saying, “Sobrang  laking effect ng  pagbawas  ng drums sa atmosphere ng games. The drums will be heard less—if we’ll be heard—and in effect mahihirapan  nang  mag-cheer ang crowd ng same cheer at the same time. It will be harder to create harmony with the crowd.”

The drastic rule change was met by universal backlash from supporters and student-athletes not just from U.P. but also from other universities. Their initial reaction from the rule-change is a valid one, quoting Seldane, “It was really disappointing because drummers are also student-athletes who train hard everyday only to be met with this kind of policy.” Joyce supported Seldane’s sentiment saying, “We are well aware that being an athlete is hard work and the challenges go beyond physical conditions. There are concerns with something as basic as food, accommodation, and gear. “

Joyce stated that it’s just part of UP’s proactive culture saying, “If not for people voicing out their needs, Nowhere To Go But UP as a foundation wouldn't have been formed in the first place. But there are also bigger issues directly affecting the welfare of our students. And these are yet to be voiced out and addressed. NWTGBU will always encourage student athletes to speak up. Our video is a simple reminder that if we stand for the principles we believe in, then there should be no room for reticence.”

Subsequently, the UAAP laxed with the new policy increasing from the initial 2 snares 1 bass rule to 4 snares and 2 bass, almost equal to last season’s 5-2 policy. 

Watch the video below:

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