On the darkest hours during inevitable setbacks, our school spirits during NCAA games may be carried away easily without the hype of the banging of the drums and the echoes of majestic trumpets. Yet we still hear the familiar chants and beats in unison that make our doubtful hearts flutter with joy and undying hope.
Those spirit-lifters who play non-stop beats during games or any institutional events in the Colegio are members of the Letran Band.
THE BAND THROUGH THE YEARS
The group was originally founded in the early 1930’s and during the 70’s the band has already started playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) alongside the Letran Cheering Squad.
As part of the NCAA Band United, the Letran Band is one of the founders and pioneer members of the said organization that collaborates with other school bands in the same group such as Lyceum of the Philippines University, Mapua University, and Jose Rizal University.
Though the band may seem to be standing firm through the years, they have also braved challenges along the way.
While members are also students, conflicting schedules have never been a huge problem for them. The band still manages to attend every game there is; be it a championship match, a do-or-die, or just a regular game.
According to the current senior president of the band Allen Lapapan, the band has reached its peak but still continues to increase its trainees and members compared to the past years.
One of their newest recruits is Aldrain Borja. As a newbie, Borja wishes to contribute by prolonging the culture of the band.
“As for the Letran community, we give them the excitement [during] the games in NCAA and other events in Letran,” said Borja.
Unexpectedly for Lapapan and other members of the band, the benefits which they get from the school – such as scholarships – are just bonuses. Performing and playing for Letran is their sole reason why they continue what they do.
“Okay lang kahit walang scholarship. Kasi nung pumasok ako noon dati hindi ko alam na may scholarship. Gusto ko lang talaga matuto tsaka tumugtog. Bonus na lang yung magkaroon ng scholarship. Nag e-enjoy ka rin naman pag pumapalo ka dun,” bared Lapapan.
KEEPING IT TOGETHER
Camaraderie is the strongest foundation for the future of the band. While superiority works to some organizations, Lapapan as the leader said that it is not the answer to discipline the group.
“Yung legacy naming mga officer ngayon is ‘yung wala kaming superiority,” the president said, but quickly admitting, “Nandoon yung bonding.”
In fact every month the current president plans to hold gatherings to keep the team together. He thinks it’s a great way to keep the group intact and continuously build a healthy relationship since they’ll perform in a number of upcoming occasions and NCAA events throughout the year.
“Hindi pa din dapat mawawala yung pag-galang. Pinaliwanag naman namin sakanila na pag sa labas ng banda tropa tropa,” Lapapan bared.
FUTURE OF THE BAND
Lapapan feels upright when he said that the band has a bright future with the performance of the current officers and band members itself. Yes, it’s because of the bond the members have shared throughout their stay with the squad.
However for the entire team, it’s always about putting a show for their beloved alma mater. It’s only fitting to describe them as unsung heroes who never get the same appreciation our athletes receive. Yet, it won’t matter at the end of the day because we all know that they don’t do it for themselves, the scholarship, or the other benefits, they do it for you – the Letran Community.
May it be during NCAA games or simple occasions inside the Colegio, it is undeniable that the band will always be part of our journey and has witnessed several generations that have entered and passed the gates of Letran.
Rest assured that the band will continue its legacy and sole purpose to lift our spirits. May it be during games or any Letran event; we will always cherish the sounds, cheers, and beats they make – the kind of noise you’ll always want to hear.