From denial to acceptance, now put your hands up!

FEU Advocate
March 18, 2024 06:00

By Yuichi Desquitado

The early days of March had become an emotional ride for Tamaraws, especially for those who are clinching to complete their Wellness and Recreation Program (WRP) hours much faster with the commencement of the WRP Festival of Talents. Despite the high anticipation of the event, many Tamaraws were at a loss as they were greeted while scanning the QR codes with, “This form is no longer accepting responses, and has been set to automatically close by”

Yet one Tamaraw has seemed to master the five stages of grief as they slayed their way from denial, right up to acceptance, but also adding another stage–dance.

Generation Z is said to be more optimistic when facing negativities compared to previous generations. We developed a variety of coping mechanisms whenever faced with turmoil along the way, such as poking fun and seeing the “silver lining” out of everything negative, as how Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray said in her iconic address.

Tamaraws are no strangers to this optimistic culture as we ourselves always try to charge on hurdle after hurdle–one of which is the WRP Festival of Talents registration fiasco.

Ephemeral registration forms

The One Piyu Community (OPC) Facebook group witnessed the dismay of students over the quick depletion of slots for the said festival despite less than an hour of being announced in Canvas, FEU’s learning management system. This marks the Tamaraw’s journey through the five stages of grief, starting with denial and anger.

Second-year Architecture student Yuri Khyle Cunanan inquired OPC if she shares the same fate with other Tamaraws regarding the registration’s short-lived availability. The registration was made public at 9 p.m. on Canvas. 

“Hello po! Closed na po ba agad [‘yung] registrations sa [WRP Festival]??? [Kapo-post] lang sa [Canvas] ko around [9 p.m.] pero lahat closed na. [Bakit] po ganto[?] (Hello! Are the forms already closed? They were just posted around 9 p.m. but they were already closed. Why is it like this?),” the sophomore student asked on her post in the said Facebook group.

Cunanan is not an isolated case as a few others expressed the same concern over at OPC. As students are now boarding the Bargaining stage, they hypothesized that the quick depletion of the slots may be attributed to the publicity materials used being uploaded earlier than the time of its announcement. 

According to time stamps in Canvas, the publicity materials used were uploaded on March 1, while the event was announced the next day at 9 p.m.

FEU Advocate attempted to inquire for an explanation from the WRP Office, yet they refused to cite any comments on the said matter.

Tamaraws welcomed the closed registration forms along with the fourth stage, Depression, with a cocktail of emotions. Some were bitter by its sudden depletion despite their genuine intent to enjoy the event. 

On the other hand, a few were hopeless as they found the activity to be a chance of redemption for their seemingly lacking hours of WRP credit as opposed to the required amount of 20 hours.

As they approached the final destination of acceptance, one of the unfortunate students did not let such a misfortune put an end to their passion for dancing. 

“Now put your hands up!”

During the warm noon of March 3, Pat Ariola posted their dance cover of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” on their personal Facebook page. It garnered 5,600 reactions and 139,000 views by the time of the writing.

“While practicing, I spontaneously decided to do the video wearing my WRP Uniform just to add a touch of my randomness. Since I was happy and laughing about my video, I wanted to share it with my friends on Facebook for no particular reason. While thinking of the caption, I remembered that I wasn't able to secure a slot for the WRP Festival. Due to this, I thought of making the caption of the video as my audition for the festival as a joke, but still having hopes that somehow there would be a miracle,” Ariola shared in an interview with FEU Advocate.

Third-year Business Administration student Pat Ariola drew inspiration from a dance cover on TikTok and thought of recreating it with their cousin. Their genuine decision to do it in WRP uniform and writing the caption that way captured the hearts and laughs of many Tamaraws, which caused the reverberation of the viral video across OPC and different Facebook timelines.

Just like most of the unlucky students, Ariola was also saddened by the turnout of the registrations. They anticipated the registration “religiously,” but an hour too late blocked them from being part of the Hip-Hop team.

“I felt sad and disappointed. I was sad because I was  really looking forward to being part of the [Hip-Hop] team, not only for the credits but simply because I love dancing, even though I'm not good at it,” the Business Administration student said. They added that they felt even “more disappointed” after learning that the slots were depleted just minutes after the announcement.

Ariola recalled that it was their friend “Shane” who became the catalyst of the video’s impressive engagements among the Tamaraw community, especially in OPC. Despite feeling embarrassed at first, it quickly melted away bit by bit as Ariola was showered with support from the community.

“After it went viral, I saw a lot of comments jokingly requesting that the team should give me a chance or that they will also ‘audition’ for the Festival. But the comment that struck me the most was by a fellow Tamaraw saying that she was also disappointed or ‘badtrip’ that day because of WRP, but it was gone after watching my video,” Ariola recounted. 

Hopeful as they were, Ariola already accepted that they have to go back to their regular programming of booking WRP sessions and just wait for more announcements from the office. 

Ariola did “put a ring” on something they truly love as they chose to continue booking Hip-Hop as their WRP session in the future.

“At first, I was still hopeful that the forms would reopen, but now that it is close to impossible, I will go back to registering for the weekly [Hip-Hop] classes of WRP and wait for future announcements regarding extra credits,” the Hip-Hop enjoyer said.

Pat Ariola is one of many who were defeated to secure a spot in the WRP Festival, but just like them, there is no point in sulking in the corner and waiting for change to come. Change must come from us for the students are the supposed winner of wellness that WRP aims to fulfill.

No student must race or one-up one another just to secure a spot in receiving “wellness” and “recreation” amid the hectic academic life. We are equally students of an institute that promised its students an opportunity to forge a sound mind and body while having a fun and safe space to try everything you once wished to experience.

“Wellness and Recreation” will just be “Stress and Suffering” if the concerned offices alone are not devoted to developing an effective system of implementation and feedback. When the time comes that students are not shunned and blamed for every adverse we beseech the rightful offices to heed, there is no silver lining.