A Fiesta Like No Other

By Jacqueline P. Uy and Clarice Jobeth R. Kee
January 22, 2013, 10:02 am

Xavier Days is the biggest and longest party in Northern Mindanao. So XU community, let’s continue to party!” It’s not every day that you get to hear Fr. Bobby Yap, SJ, say this. But on the opening ceremony of the Xavier University Festival Days (XUFD), everyone was just as pumped up and excited as the University President.

Themed “Xavier Engage: Reinforcing Resilience”, XUFD 2012 was not merely a festivity celebrated annually. This year’s was a commemoration of faith and endurance manifested during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Sendong and also for the years to come.

 

Keep calm and party on

Just like any other fiesta, music and dance was an evident ingredient in this year’s Xavier Days. The Festival Night and iMove Concert, both showcasing visual and musical treats, kicked off the first night of the XUFD. And the Xavier Days’ soundtrack did not end there— the XU Main Lane also became a ground for non-stop music, dance, and pure fun courtesy of the several XU Soundtable, student, alumni and guest bands who rocked on in Batong Bitoon 2k12: A Festival Jam.

While bands pumped up the volume on the lane, angelic voices evoked solemnity during the Christmas Carol contest held at the Immaculate Concepcion Chapel. The choirs representing the various colleges serenaded holiday tunes to emanate the spirit of Christmas amidst the hustle and bustle of the festival fever, with the College of Nursing bagging the top spot.

Some activities during the XUFD held deeper meaning and purpose. One of these was Huni sa Mindanaw, an alternative concert that was a response to the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace.

Proving how well-rounded the XU community is, Ateneans harnessed their talent not only in music, but also in the art of dance. The university colleges participated in Kinauyokan: Atin-Neo Dance Festival, a showcase of “Neo” experimental, exploratory, and contemporary cultural dances. The competition hailed the Center for Integrated Technologies as champions while the School of Business and Management and College of Arts and Sciences came in second and third place, respectively.

Mornings at XUFD were also as eventful as they were at night. The Hataw XU Morning Dance Workshop evoked people to “Zumba” their way to fitness from six to eight AM on the third day of the XUFD.

And of course who could ignore the adorable little Ateneans who strut their stuff during the Grade School field demonstration? Surely the older audience was delighted to see such young, promising talents at work.

 

Starry, starry nights

The evenings of Xavier University have never been more festive. The sky lanterns released after the iMove concert made the ambiance most stellar. Participants and on-lookers alike were overwhelmed by the beautiful sea of twinkling lights which took off in remembrance of the hope and lives that have slowly been made whole again after the devastation brought by Sendong. In the nights that followed, walk-in movies became a huge hit. The soccer field transformed itself into a nightly movie theatre with a full audience. The crowd lay under the starry sky and enjoyed blockbuster hits like The Lorax and Evan Almighty— for free.

The ultimate crowd favorite, though, is none other than the Horror House. Your XUFD experience isn’t complete if you ignored this. Getting through the long lines is one thing; but being inside the horror fest is a whole different adventure. For people who couldn’t take the scare and the goosebumps-inducing rumors of people actually passing out after or during their horror house trip, there are other lighter alternatives such as the DoTA Tournament or the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 matches.

To wrap things up, XU bade goodbye to the alluring party on the eve of December 1 st with people amassed in the XU Field for some hip-swaying and to witness the grand fireworks spectacle. The crowd, all one in tilting their heads up for a good view, was ecstatic as fireworks colored the night sky. With Katy Perry’s Firework playing on the background to match the moment, it was the perfect finale to biggest party Cagayan de Oro has come to know.

 

All Other Things

The Xavier Days has gone on for quite some time now; some things remain as they are, while some change for the better. For starters, the plethora of stalls – from food, to drinks, to clothes and the popular photo booth – still greet the crowd, like they have always done in the past. Quiz bees, sports and art activities remain in the itinerary. The speed dating and love booth also continue to be cupid’s assistants or cause of love quarrels and break-ups, depending on how you see it.

Uncanny things happened too, like seeing people walk around with humongous slithering creatures on their necks. And despite the guards whistling with all their might as the clock struck 11, people still had a grand time during the X + SMART-XU Dance Party and Hip Hop Extreme Dance Contest and probably had stiff necks shortly after they gazed in amazement over the stellar fireworks display.

                                                                   ***

Like all other sorts of celebration, the XUFD had its ups and downs; but despite that, there is no denying just how much people enjoyed this party. The university was filled with colors, lights, high spirits, contagious laughter and all sorts of merriment you can think about. With everything that transpired during Xavier Days, people have enough memories to cherish until it’s that time of year again when XU opens its doors for another round of meaningful celebration.C

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