Gabo's Store in COA RecWeek 2023: Dreamlane
By Arjun Plomantes

In a vibrant and colorful display of the organization's identity, Ateneo Gabay kicked off its highly anticipated Recruitment Week (RecWeek) 2023, titled "Gabo's Store", on Monday, August 28 of this year. Notably, Gabo's Store RecWeek team navigated its preparations under the stern guidelines imposed by the Council of Organizations of the Ateneo – Manila (COA-M), whose theme for the year was "Dreamlane."

During the first iterating week of this project, Gabay had to operate its promotions online via its own social media handles.

Meanwhile, its Org-Led Event (OLE) was supposed to be held at the Faura AVR last August 31. But due to sweltering weather conditions brought by Typhoon Goring, the OLE was cancelled on said date despite the dry run prepared by the core team the prior day, and it was announced that it would be moved on the following day, Friday, September 1.

As the inclement weather persisted, classes remained suspended on September 1, which forced COA-M to ask for Gabay to hold its OLE online at said time. There were about 50 participants via Zoom and 2k people reached with 173 engagements via Facebook livestream.

The rescheduled OLE still featured the following speakers and their talks:

President Willy Santos: Tao po! May adbokasiya po ba?
Education Operations Head Yen De Los Santos: Erya Lang Sa Umaga
Former Scholars’ Adjustment Head and Incumbent Scholar’s Sector Representative Karen Perez: Iskolar Suki or Suking Iskolar
Member Formation Head Rafi Kalalo: Gabay’s Tambays.

The event was hosted by Ri Basco and Arjun Plomantes, both part of the previous academic year’s GHost pool.

In the closing remarks of the OLE, Gabo’s Store Project Heads Amie Escaro and Ren Tagle expressed their appreciation for the aspiring Gabayanos who attended the event even if it were merely online. “Hopefully, makita namin kayo sa Red Brick Road, next week na, so see you guys on Monday [pero wag mag-alala dahil] hanggang Friday naman siya,” Tagle surmised, then called on Escaro to further detail the application process with Ateneo Gabay.

“Malapit na nga ang application week! To summarize yung application process with Ateneo Gabay: First, visit the COA Website and search for Ateneo Gabay under the Sector-Based Cluster (SBC). Second, kapag nakita mo yung [Gabay], may register button which will redirect you to COA form. Third, after filling out, ire-redirect kayo sa a New Member Form which will be directly linked to Ateneo Gabay to gauge your interest check for different projects. Fourth, schedule an individual or group consultation, and then there will be a Gabay OrSem which will be announced very soon on Gabay’s Facebook page,” Escaro said.

“Note lang din na we don’t have an application fee, we’re free-of-charge, walang singil-singilan dito! So, you are more than welcome to apply to Ateneo Gabay,” Escaro added.

To promote Gabay and its impactful initiatives, the team introduced Ateneo Gabay Advocacy Crash Course (A.G.A.C.C.) wherein select committee member showcased their flagship projects. The series was kicked off by Education Operations, followed by Scholars’ Adjustment, Academics, and Member Formation, each day brimming with Gabay's creativity, clever delivery, and even some TikTok-inspired flair and top-notch acting skills.

On September 4, the monsoon-induced class suspensions prevailed. However, the registration forms Escaro mentioned were officially opened. Subsequently, from September 5 to 9, RecWeek hit the ground running with an onsite presence along the Red Brick Road. In every shift, two Gabayanos manned the booth, while another one assumed the role of a rover, rotating every 1.5-hour interval throughout the week.

Throughout the week, various promotions to beef up social media engagement were conducted. These included a YABAG Article Blurb, a product review, a reshare of COA’s SBC feature, a Bagay Ka Ba Sa Gabay? reel, and an ambush interview with Gabayano Alumni on campus.

Ultimately, RecWeek 2023 would not have been possible without the help Escaro and Tagle received from their core team. They are Overseer Lei Espiritu; Marketing Strategy Rhyzen Aguilar, Jean Tolosa, and Stefani Josef; Creatives Cristina Baliton, Michaella Llamas, Franz Atanacio, and Zild Duncan; Secretariats Martin Rivera and Kim Falogme; Logistics Loreine Montemayor, Kyla Estorba, and Yeri Cortado; and, Finance Kels Sta. Maria.

As of September 12, at 8:00 a.m., the official count of prospective Gabayanos with valid applications – those who have completed both the COA Form and the New Member Form – stands at 415. They are poised to join the 461 retained Gabayanos from the previous year, potentially propelling the organization's total membership to 876, pending the successful completion of required outputs and attendance during the upcoming GOrSem scheduled for September 16 this year.