Written by Gayle Dy, and Moniv Alvarez
Ateneo Gabay celebrated its second-ever Scholars Got Talent (SGT): Excelsior last October 25 at the Leong Hall Roofdeck. It is a part of Scholars’ Night (S Night), which is the culmination of the festivities of the recently past Scholars’ Week (S Week) entitled “Extend”. According to this year’s event head, Clarissa de Ocampo, who agreed to an interview before the event, the S Night was meant to be a night where all scholars come together for camaraderie and fun.
When asked where did the title and theme came from, de Ocampo answered, “The theme mostly comes from S Week. It’s about gratitude and giving back to the scholar’s community, celebrating the scholarship and good quality education that we have here. As for the title, “Excelsior,” it means excellence, which is what we’re trying to prove through hosting our very own Scholar’s Got Talent (SGT) in S Night: that we are more than just academics and that we can excel in other fields too.”
In this year’s SGT, there were a total of 6 contestants, with their talents ranging from singing and dancing to spoken word poetry. After much deliberation from the judges, the third place was awarded to Kyle Andaya (808 Castro), who performed an original song. Meanwhile, Ella Salomon, who performed a spoken-word piece dedicated to her hometown, won second place. Finally, for first place, Kristine Saycon won singing Magbalik by Callalily and It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion.
Meanwhile, Ella Salomon, who performed a spoken-word piece dedicated to her hometown, won second place. Finally, for first place, Kristine Saycon won singing Magbalik by Callalily and It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion. When asked why she chose these songs, she said that she chose Magbalik because “‘Magbalik’ is a very chill and soft song, and it allowed me to share my deep love for OPM and my talent in playing guitar.” As for the second song, she said, “I chose Celine Dion’s ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ because it emphasizes my vocal range. Also, I loved how I can put a lot of emotions into it. ”
Saycon also noted that “In SGT, I met a lot of talented people and I gained new friends. Indeed, it was one of the best gifts that I could ever give to myself.”
When asked about how she felt after her victory was announced, Saycon said: “Even before they announced the winners, my heart was already very happy and full because of that wonderful night. I was actually shocked that I got the top place because all the other contestants were also great. For me, being the SGT champion is just a big bonus, but it is a great privilege and I am really grateful and blessed for it. ”
Aside from SGT, Gaband also delivered a performance of their own. Joshe Tiu, one of the SGT judges, gave an intermission number between the performances with his saxophone solo. Before the awarding ceremony, Jeremiah Vallar, the 2018 Scholars’ Got Talent First Runner Up, performed “Defying Gravity” from the musical “Wicked”.
Aside from performances, Gabay’s Scholar’s Adjustment committee, headed by Kyle Bigcas, also unveiled their new project entitled “Kwentong Scholar”, a collection of stories and articles from scholar alumni and current scholars. The project aims to give the scholars a chance for their voices to be heard and for their stories to be told.
Looking back on the event, de Ocampo stated that it was a success, saying, “I find it successful naman because the scholars were able to present their talents and the other scholars were able to enjoy it, and we also had guests who performed.”
When asked about points of improvement, de Ocampo noted that the promotions could have been better. “Konti lang yung nakakaalam nung event and tsaka yung date kasi marami siyang kasabay na events (Only few people know of the event. The date was also a problem because many events were happening simultaneously.),” she stated. It was also noted that the coordinators lacked manpower, making it more difficult to manage the event. Furthermore, the equipment also malfunctioned during the first half of the event, making all of these points of improvement for next year’s Scholar’s Night.
Saycon shared these sentiments saying: “For me, it was a 10/10 event. Yes, there could be rooms for improvement such as in audio and technical aspects but those mean nothing as compared to the overall effort of the SGT team and the overwhelming support of everyone who participated in the event.”
When de Ocampo was asked about her vision and goal for the project, she said, “It’s for the scholars to come together as one family in the Ateneo community, seeing as there are different types of scholarships catering to each of these students. If I see everyone engaging and socializing with each other, then that’s when I’ll know that the event is a success.”