Vol. XCI No. 6
Sept. 6, 2019
When thinking of Hibalag, we immediately go to the idea of spending time with friends, family, or batchmates that you haven’t seen in a while since graduation or the last reunion. The soul of the Hibalag festival is the concept of “pagtapok” which means that the core of it is reminiscing and celebrating our relationships with our peers, colleagues, and the Silliman community.
tWS believes that the celebration of Hibalag 2019 and Founders Week could’ve gone smoother and better. It looked on the surface that a major event was cancelled because the administration underestimated their well-marketed “Silliman Spirit.”
Hibalag this year had an almost black-and-white reception from the students and alumni alike. The results from the poll tWS conducted online, the personal sentiments from individual statuses and tweets, and the explicit expressions of frustration of those who were standing outside in the rain, all converge on the fact that the cancellation of the Parada Sillimaniana proved to be sufficient reason why this iteration of Founders Week will go down as the most infamous in recent history.
The best Hibalags are when you’re able to celebrate and at the same time give back to the community. tWS does not deny the statement however, we believe that Hibalag should be in-line with its definition — pagtapok. The fact that the closing bands performed during heavy weather conditions versus the fact that the Parada was cancelled with similar conditions raises a few eyebrows. What “Silliman Spirit” were the organizers really referring to?
tWS believes that the authorities, the organizers, and the leaders, who made the hard decisions did no wrong. They made the choice that they believed to be in the best interest of the constituents that they were responsible for. However, we believe that the statements they made could have had a better representation other than leaving a lasting impression of invalidating the efforts of all those who prepared, those who stood in the rain, and those who pushed through with the parade, despite the weather conditions.