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The lackluster hype that is Hibalag 2016

Jayson Semetara | Through the eyes of a foreigner

August; the time of year that all Students feel excited for. Its’ the time of year where we all plan events, meet ups, check out booths, find out when to study for our exams that we’ll be going back to; all that makes the Hibalag booth festival very exciting and lively. However, Is it just me or did this year’s Hibalag festival felt a little, bland? Where was the excitement that made us excited to not have class?

Granted this entire semester felt really slow; announcements for events AND actual events came out extremely late
(example: why was the org fair at the end of June when it should have been the first week of June, when students are back into school and not riddled with classes?). Granted, the whole K-12 school year made our student body smaller, the entire campus had to readjust how to work orgs and events out. Hibalag should have been one of those events that shouldn’t be affected by the twist and turns. So we students waited for the announcement of the Hibalag fair; what events are happening? Who’s going to show up? When will Miss Silliman corronation night be? July came and nothing. August came and nothing. THREE DAYS BEFORE Torch Parade/Parade of lights and we finally know what’s going on. Why so late? I know a few orgs felt discriminated or left out on announcements and planning with COMSO, or felt rushed because of the late announcements, and were not prepared for their own events to collaborate with the Hibalag fair.

Then there’s the focus on this year’s celebration. Both the SU Church and SUHS celebrated their centennial anniversaries. First and foremost, Congratulations on the achievements! The already shorted focus shifted toward these centennials. Already these two were planning their own events to celebrate their achievements! Finally was the whole layout of the events. Why was the Parokya ni Edgar concert held at Freedom Park when its ads and billboards
stated its part of the Silliman Founders week? Sure we Sillimanians had a special section during their concert, but wouldn’t it be better to have them perform on our main stage, giving the foot traffic of all those people to our Hibalag grounds? Why was there a whole bunch of dog shows, and lots of promos about dog rescue, but no direction to which booth were helping with the dog rescue? They even stated that they had a dog adoption booth on the grounds, but didnt’ say who or where it was being hosted?

Overall the grounds this year felt really empty majority of the time, as if no one wanted to go. Poor planning and advertising might have been a factor, maybe even laziness and shortcuts, but I also do feel that we all are off our game because of the weird start of the school year. Lets just hope we get out of this dizzy spell and talk more to the student body about being informed about events and important announcements.

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