Back to school, back to rules and regiment. But while uniforms and natural clique selection have whisked you away from the freedom of summer vacation, school can also be the place you find your people and feed your passions. In this Back to School special, BENCH BLOG celebrates the extracurricular activity and the general sense of community it fosters. Whether it’s choir practice or training for a swimming competition, life can start at the final school bell.
CHEERLEADERS, COLEGIO DE SANTA ROSA
Dhanna Leigh Gabiana, Trixia Briones, and Ziska Jacobe (cheer captain)
Hey girls! How have you prepared for the new school year?
Trixia: I feel like this school year is going to be challenging for me. I was an honor student since I was in kindergarten so this year will challenge me to maintain my grades above 85.
Ziska: Last year, natanggal honors ko because of my Science subject, but there are special awards that were given to me naman. I’m really excited kasi gusto ko talagang bumawi.
You guys have cheered together for more than a year already. Does that make you enthusiastic about being friends with each other?
Ziska: Of course, but we also have different barkadas at school. But being part of the cheer squad definitely helped me gain more friends.
Dhanna: Yeah, same with me. I have a barkada apart from the team and most of my friends are my classmates.
Trixia: When we have the time, the whole team usually goes out to have lunch.
Ziska: Yes, sometimes we go out together as a team. After practice or a performance, we sometimes eat out or catch a movie.
Now what has performing in front of a huge crowd at MOA done for you?
Dhanna: Before, I used to have stage fright when I was performing in school. I think the last time I had stage fright was from an English Performance Task at school. But now, I definitely feel a lot more confident in class.
ORCHESTRA, SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG
Jeremy Garia, Raymond Luwalhati, Martin Melendres, Job Mendoza, and Andrew Santos
Are you guys bummed that summer’s over?
Alex: Yeah, but in general, we are still excited that school’s started again.
Andrew: Sa orchestra naman kasi, we’re going to practice new songs. I’m excited to learn the new songs!
Any new skills you’ve developed since you joined the school orchestra?
Alex: I think mas naging responsible kami, especially if elected ka as an officer kasi sobrang daming responsibilities.
Job: And time management. Sir Melvin is strict regarding punctuality. Pag may nalalate, he or she gets locked outside the music room. Kapag consistent yung pagiging late or absent, hindi pinapayagan mag-perform sa event. Although I don’t think it has ever happened.
Are there friendships made among your 90-plus members?
Jeremy: Yung mga madalas nagha-hang out are the members coming from the same batch.
Job: But may times din naman na nagbo-bond kami. We have certain traditions within the club, like we play games inside the music room when the power is out.
School’s tough enough as it is so how do you juggle subjects with an extracurricular activity like this? Some of you are even in the varsity.
Jeremy: ‘Pag gusto, may paraan! Yun lang yun.
FOOTBALL TEAM, MIRIAM COLLEGE
Frances Sarmiento, Bethany Talbot, Yanzi Bautista, and Kamea Mamgrobang
Are you guys stoked for the new school year?
Kamea: I’m just excited to be with my friends and teammates.
Bethany: But the studying part? No (Laughs).
France: Although I’m excited to use my school supplies.
What sparked your interest in being part of the football team?
Kamea: I’ve been playing from four to five years already. This was when I started playing FIFA. I think it was FIFA 2010.
Bethany: I got inspired by my dad.
Yanzi: My older sister plays, and so I decided that I wanted to play too.
Do you guys bond with each other after practice? What do you guys usually do?
Kamea: All the time. Every Friday, we’re at the mall.
Bethany: It really depends on our mood. Sometimes we go trekking somewhere.
France: True! We go out of town to places like Laguna, Bacolod, or to countries like Singapore. We go kayaking, bowling—anywhere, in fact!
Do you think joining the football team had an influence on your character?
France: Well, I became more talkative.
Bethany: We all became more responsible. I feel like since we have a lot of things to do, we were able to balance everything. Our studies and football.
Yanzi: We also became more disciplined, especially with our gadgets.
Bethany: Because during our games, we usually lose our stuff (Laughs).