by Iya de Claro (Class 2023)
Last November 29, 2018, a particularly cloudy day, the UP Medical Students’ Society held Tao Rin Pala 45: Routes.
Members of the UP Manila-Philippine General Hospital community and guests from various institutions flocked to The Fleur de Lis Auditorium at St. Paul University Manila, taking time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the much-awaited annual event.
The main theme of the program was Routes, and performances showcased streets as their sub-themes. Featured streets included Ongpin, Jupiter, Mabini, Pedro Gil, and Padre Faura, among many others. Hosting the program were Bea Baron of Class 2023, EJ Remoreras and Hans Bondoc of Class 2022, and Kyle Eugenio of Class 2019.
The event kicked off with a wonderful 10-minute opening performance from UPCM’s newcomers, Class 2023. The dance took the audience through the busy, student-filled streets of Katipunan Avenue, the groovy Jupiter Street, the rally-laden historical EDSA, the burlesque Mabini Street, and our very own home—Taft-PGH. The class truly made history that night with their stunning and touching performance. The opening segment was followed by the opening remarks of Dr. Blesile Mantaring, who spoke in behalf of Chancellor Padilla. Dean Charlotte Chiong then welcomed everyone with a short speech discussing her own experiences with Tao Rin Pala, ending with a call to chant for the UP Fighting Maroons.
After the opening remarks, it was time for the organizations, departments and other classes to perform. UP Meridian started off the rest of the show with an Ongpin Street-themed performance, which featured songs from the Taiwanese drama Meteor Garden, and a Mandarin cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow.” Next came UP Physician-Scientists Association, whose interpretation of the sub-theme Mabini Street began with Marian Rivera’s infamous rendition of Rihanna’s “Unfaithful.” The Department of Pediatrics’ colorful performance, which featured the hustle and bustle of EDSA, followed. Class 2022 performed next, showcasing Roxas Boulevard as their sub-theme. The last of the first round of performers was the Department of Anatomy’s light and fun blacklight performance that took inspiration from Pedro Gil Street, the street UPCM calls home.
The next round of performers began with Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity’s interpretation of Ma. Orosa Street, followed by a heavenly blacklight performance from UP Agape, inspired by Taft Avenue. Mu Sigma Sorority performed third with their dance based on Tomas Morato Avenue. The next performance was that of Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity with their cool Maginhawa Street-inspired performance. UP Pagsama was the second to the last performers for the second segment, which featured Kalayaan Avenue as their sub-theme. Pangkalusugang Lingkod Bayan ended the segment with a powerful spoken word performance of “Hindi Diyos ang Doktor,” inspired by Katipunan Avenue, that left a great impact on the audience.
After the second round of performers, it was finally time for the long-awaited Chorale competition, In Transit. Members of each class composed and performed their own songs. The competition, hosted by Oico Brillante of Class 2020 and Dondie Casanova of Class 2019, started off with Class 2023 performing their piece, “Saan Nga Ba Patungo?”. Next up came Class 2022 with their song, “Abot Tanaw.” The last class to perform, Class 2021, ended the competition with their performance of their piece, “Iisa Hanggang Dulo.”
The long stream of dance performances continued, with the Department of Medicine and their good-vibes-only performance to the sub-theme Escolta. Next up was the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with another burlesque, Mabini Street-inspired performance. The third to perform for this segment was the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority with their upbeat dance that showcased Gil Puyat Avenue, which featured a mix of songs that included “Candyman” by Christina Aguilera. One’s True Nature’s performance followed, their sub-theme being Hidalgo Street. Class 2021’s performance was set of dances based on the sub-theme Jupiter Street.
UP Medical Students’ Society president, Pia Arevalo, then addressed the audience a statement on current issues. She invited the community to stand together in times like this. The speech was followed by MSS Band’s renditions of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears, and “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
The show went back to regular programming with the final set of performances, starting with that of UP Medical Students for Social Responsibility, whose performance took inspiration from Divisoria’s Ylaya Street. Next up was Regional Students Organization’s emotion-driven performance to the sub-theme Paseo de Roxas Avenue. Medicine Student Council followed with their very relatable performance based on Recto Avenue. Classes 2024 and 2025, the babies of the College of Medicine, took the stage with their dazzling, Bonifacio High Street-inspired performance that featured songs like Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” among others. The performances ended with the Department of Surgery’s mind-blowing performance inspired by General Luna Avenue, which involved water guns and bubble machines.
There were also four special performances throughout the night. First up was UP MedRhythmics’ fun performance, which opened with the Little Einsteins theme. Next was Kroo Crew’s well-choreographed performance followed after the second segment. Third came UP Classical Ensemble’s rendition of “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s Moana really resonated with the crowd. Finally, Indayog capped off the night with their own set of dances.
Awards were given at the end of the night to commemorate those who succeeded in winning the various categories.
Class 2022 was hailed as People’s Choice, for having accumulated the most piso votes. Class 2021 won the award for Best Choreography, while Phi Lambda Delta sorority earned the award for Best Musical Score.
The Male Stunner of the night was Alvek Ecaldre, while the Female Stunner was Jana Negre.
With regard to the chorale competition, Class 2023 won Best in Attendance, while Class 2022 earned three awards: Best in Original Piece, Best in Performance, and Overall Champion. Tao Rin Pala 45: Routes was really something special. One could say that this year’s was yet another success.
Surely, the UPCM-PGH community is looking forward to the next Tao Rin Pala.