For this year’s Date with Kuya Jes—or DWKJ as it is better known among Gabayanos—the Spiritual Formation (SF) committee prepared a unique production in the form of a staged variety show held last February 23, Monday, on the MVP Roofdeck.
As early as 4:30 pm, Gabayanos occupied with finishing school requirements were settling into the audience area laid out for them in the middle of the roofdeck, with only the surrounding bright and color decorations to indicate what the night held for them. By 5:00 pm, the program was opened by one of the project heads, Bianca Arvesu, who introduced the theme of the event: Konek Ka Dyan!, a deliberate reference to the Chill Program’s current theme of “Connections: Recognizing Identity and Purpose Through Assessing Relationships.” DKWJ, after all, also served as the culmination of the Chill Program for the 2nd Semester.
First up was an opening dance number by some Gabayanos (trivia: Gabay’s president was one of the dancers!) to the songs “Uptown Funk” and “Bang Bang”. After this, the first batch of Chill Awards were given. Following tradition, chillmates who were perfect in attendance were awarded, as well as chillmates who made a certain impact on the other members of their chill group. The next segment in the program was entitled Bet On Your Freshie, and here, two representatives per Angkan (a newbie and an upperclassman) were called to the front. Competitive tasks for the newbies/freshies were discussed while their respective upperclassmen were asked to “bet on their freshie” by declaring a guess on how much of the task would be completed. Whoever guesses farthest from reality would be eliminated. Unfortunately, by the end of the first round, Dynami got the boot.
True to the concept of variety shows on television, the end of the first hour of the program was puctuated with a quick “commercial break”. Parodized commercials featuring Gabayanos were shown onscreen, much to the audience’s amusement. This revelation of talent continued when the program resumed with a series of Sessionistas-style song performances featuring various SF members. Each singer began his/her portion with an introduction reminiscent of a particular Chill module, and the reflection that only music can trigger was apparent on the audience’s faces as they listened intently.
The relaxing serenade was then followed by a suspense buildup as to who would be awarded Dakilang KJ. The award is supposedly for the Gabayano who has been a living example of Kuya Jes among his/her orgmates. Nominations were received online weeks before the event, and Paul John Palomares was declared winner. He received a sash to commemorate his recognition, and the audience showed their approval. This was followed by another batch of chill awards and a second commercial break.
For the next segment, a fishbowl filled with slips of paper was brought out. Upon registration, the audience were each given a slip of paper with a certain number which would serve as sort of a raffle ticket, and it is to this understanding that all were waiting for the lucky number to be picked out. To the audience’s surprise, that segment turned out to be a staged skit, featuring some Gabayanos who acted like members of a family under unfortunate circumstances. This was again followed by another batch of chill awards and a third commercial break. Upon continuation of the program, the second round of Bet On Your Freshie was held and Dikaosyni was eliminated, leaving Pallikaria and Synesi in the running. Then again, the jackpot round proved that Synesi was the better angkan player.
Finally, to end the event, the outgoing SF Head, Jesha Gregorio, took the stage to give a synthesis of what transpired. She expounded on the notion that DWKJ—or any date with Kuya Jes—does not entail a spectacle or a grand event. Like what happened in the somewhat informal variety show, this occurs in fellowship with our fellows, including, but not limited to our orgmates. She also emphasized on the possibility of praying not only in solemn places, but also in just doing ordinary things offered to God. To build up on this, she and the other DWKJ project head and incoming SF Head, JP Dela Cruz, led the audience in dancing the closing prayer for the event, “Magpasalamat”.
And with that, the Chill Program officially came to an end. But before this article does, SF wishes to remind Gabayanos to stay tuned for the last SF project, a year-end recollection!
Project Heads: John Paul Dela Cruz and Bianca Arvesu
Programs: Arvin Mangalindan, Donald Bertulfo, Janice Dimaano and Ronnie Moranas
Logistics: Carla Buenaobra, Hershee Tantiado, Cheryl Santillan and James Hernandez
Secretariat: Clarice Cortes and Paul John Palomares
Finance: Adriel Joseph De Leon and Neil Tuason
Documentation and Promotions: Jayson Estores, King Reinier Palma, Romelle Contienda and Aldrin Ward
Article written by Jesha Camille Gregorio, 3 BS HSc