(I thought about changing the title to “Atenistang Gang Green.” [as one member called me] but decided against it. To clear things up, yes, that’s me. But I’m not the only one, after all. There are quite a few Ateneans who are part of Gang Green, just as I’m sure that there are Lasallians who are part of the Blue Babble Battalion or are now die-hard blue supporters – Ateneo’s 6th man.)
As a start, let me tell you that my grade school (and preparatory, for that matter) years were spent in Montessori de Manila, in BF Homes. That’s around 11-12 years in that school. My four years in high school was spent in De La Salle-Zobel School, in Alabang while my four years in college was spent in the so-called “dark side,” in Ateneo de Manila in Katipunan.
In 2002, my first year in Ateneo, I was cheering for La Salle during UAAP games. I wear green on Thursdays if I’m going to watch the game in Araneta. Some friends told me that they were giving me two years to switch sides. It’s now 2008, 6 years since I first stepped into Ateneo – and I’m still cheering for La Salle.
I’ve been asked over and over again why I support La Salle. I’ve seen many faces register shock when, at games or at EB’s, they ask me what’s my ID number / college and I tell them that I’m from Ateneo, batch 2006. Even my friends in Zobel are surprised when they learn that I’m rooting for the Green Archers (and a proud member of Gang Green, at that) when they know that I went to AdMU. Though some doesn’t verbally ask, the question mark in their faces are there…Why?
It’s easy, really. I’m loyal – whether it to be another person or to an institution, like La Salle. Especially if that person or institution has given me something that I will always cherish – in La Salle’s case, a great education and a firm foundation of important values. I love La Salle and the things that it taught me, the things that it let me experience in my four years of stay. I love La Salle and how it had helped shape and mold me to become who I am today.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I also love Ateneo. I had a great college experience, and I won’t deny that I enjoyed all those required philosophy and theology classes that we had, the 6-9PM classes and exams for other subjects. I loved thinking about things, contemplating about life, myself and any random thing. I liked the campus, with all its trees, the fresh air – hanging out at the beach (our tambayan). I loved my organization and the activities it offered – Expo Tours every semestral breaks, Leadership Seminars, etc. Like La Salle, it had also helped me become who I am right now.
My school ID
I’ve had great experiences in both schools, experiences that will always be close to my heart. I’ve met a lot of people from both schools – the stereotyped Lasallian (mayaman at bobo), the stereotyped Atenean (mahangin at nagmamarunong), and a cross of both, meaning Ateneans acting like the stereotyped Lasallian and vice versa. But then again, I’ve also met wonderful people who have become a big part of my life… and this is what matters the most. (Note: The stereotyped description came from opinions of people from both sides. Peace.)
With all that being said, I love both schools – but La Salle will always be my first love. And as the very cheesy song goes, first love never dies.
I may act like an Atenean, dress like an Atenean, and speak like an Atenean but it will always be La Salle in my heart. I may say “Ang sarap maging Atenista,” and I mean it, but, again, it will always be La Salle in my heart. I cheer for La Salle, but I refrain from bashing Ateneo – as a sign of respect.
I’ve never hidden my loyalties, and I’ve never pretended to study in DLSU. I’m a member of both the La Salle and Ateneo support sites and I’ve always been honest with them in the years that I’ve known them. As I mentioned earlier, I always get the “talaga lang, ha?” looks from the people in the different support sites. Many have bashed me – from both sides – and I can’t do anything about that, but many have also respected my decision – and I truly appreciate them for that.
Was it hard being an Atenean, yet a Lasallian at heart? Not really. It’s all a matter of choice. As can be expected, I have to deal with the kanchaws and asaran (especially now that it’s UAAP season again), the “tell me the truth” questions, the “Oops! Potpot…Busina muna ako kay Karen,” … but its all part of the fun, and it’s not something that I should take personally. In the end, it’s all about respect for one’s choices. As a friend said one Saturday last season during the Post-Game EB/dinner, kanya-kanyang desisyon lang yan, respeto nalang at walang pakelamanan.
I don’t know how people will take what I’ve written – but I just wanted to share this piece because I know that there are Lasallians in AdMU, and Ateneans in DLSU who are “torn”. By the way, congratulations to the Blue Eagles for winning the game last Sunday. Til the next round.