CelaFest: The Kick-off Festival

A new school year has begun. For Ateneo Celadon, what better way to welcome it—along with the fresh new faces of eager freshmen—than a special celebration? A festival, which is exactly what Celadon held on July 9, 2014. From its first day until its culminating activity on July 12, “CelaFest” once again proved that the university’s prestigious Chinese-Filipino students’ organization knew just how to start this new beginning with a bang.

Following a record-breaking number of members for the organization during RecWeek (Recruitment Week)—over nine hundred members in total—there was no time to waste to show all of these fresh faces just how colorfully exciting it is to be part of the Celadon community. Red and gold festival flags and streamers surrounded the SEC C Foyer. Inside was a fusion realm of tradition and fun. Game booths and freebie corners lined up the sides of the area, with different surprises each day.

A mainstay favorite was the angpao game booth, where one shoots towards one of the money pouches hanging on the opposite side using a makeshift slingshot in an attempt to knock one down and claim the prize it holds. Prizes ranged from gift certificates and coupons for the ice cream parlor Bono Gelato to money giveaways such as the five hundred-peso jackpot prize, among the other hidden gems. Apart from this, mahjong tables and card game circles scattered all over the venue, where fellow Celadoneans (old and new) could play friendly rounds while becoming friendly with each other as well over a game of Taboo, monopoly deal, or even chess, and ending with the daily movie screenings held in the center of the foyer.

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At the heart of the growing Celadon family are the flocks, and that entailed an even more exciting event: the flock games. After classes have ended at half past four in the afternoon all the way until six in the evening, the new members consisting of mostly freshmen got to know their fellow org-mates through this bonding event for these smaller family units called “flocks”. A friendly competition of sorts, flock-heads led their little troops in a series of group-dynamics style activities on the first two days of Celafest. The first of the many more memories they may soon make with their flocks, these two days of fun and excitement will certainly be one root of the growing love these new faces will hopefully nourish towards their fellow Celadoneans and something they can blissfully reminisce about in the coming days.

“Flock games was a great way for new Celadoneans to meet and befriend others. It made me feel more a part of the organization,” remarks Yana Ocampo, a freshman.

To cap off the first of the many festivities ahead, and to make sure there are many more possible celebrations to come, Celadon’s executive board held its first general assembly of the year. On July 12, Saturday, Celadon President Aldrin Chua and Executive Vice President Monique Ocampo started off the meeting with the opening remarks and prayer respectively, in Escaler Hall. Names were introduced, and positions and faces were recognized. This general assembly presented the teams behind all the busy departments that were responsible for making Celadon as successful and vibrant as it can be. Future projects were enumerated and opened for new applicants, including the revival of Chinoy Magazine (not yet announced as Elements Magazine) after its two-year hiatus. This gave members new chances to begin their active organization run and participation and their first glimpse at what the premiere Chinese-Filipino organization of Ateneo de Manila University is all about, a proper welcome to the rich culture and tradition this community so ardently strives to share with everyone.

The fun and games have not ended just yet. Members were led to the roof deck of the Manny V. Pangilinan building for some last few rounds of games and bonding. It started off with the highlight game of musical chairs with a playfully mischievous twist (those who find themselves without a seat for every time chairs are removed must sit on the lap of another member who has a chair) and ended with some less tedious activities such as the concluding free time meant to encourage the members to bond with their flocks and have a bite from the free munchies provided.

For the most part, CelaFest carried out its mission to serve rich culture and ample excitement like a delectable platter of cold cuts on a round table; carefully chosen, put together and served just right, while not giving out its grandest of selections just yet, leaving the people hungry for more to come.

Written By Shannen Pua

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