Pasasalamat 2022

By: Mahar Mangahas - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 24,2022 - 08:00 AM

Pasasalamat is what Social Weather Stations, a consciously nonsectarian institution, calls its annual holiday season party. We started using the name 20-plus years ago, upon discovering that a staff member’s religion forbade attending any party and receiving any gift identified with Christmas.

Pasasalamat 2022, this week, was SWS’ first in-person event, in its auditorium with staff and Fellows, since the pandemic began. A time to count our blessings, and be thankful.

Among the staff, there have been no fatalities, and only a few infections, from COVID. Virtually everyone has been vaccinated and boosted. There was no downsizing of regular employees, despite the drastic fall in revenue-generating projects in 2020.

We thank our survey clientele for their continued trust. The annual number of survey projects was record-high in 2022. The balance sheet has fully recovered.

We thank the Filipino people all over the country for continuing to welcome our field interviewers into their homes. The SWS archived data now amount to 1.08 million interviews, from over 700 surveys. (The one million mark was hit in 2019.)

All SWS surveys, including commissioned ones, are permanently archived, and accessible for retrieval. The maximum embargo period is three years after project completion, after which raw data are open for public research. Survey data are not a depletable resource, or “used up” upon being reported once; value is created by extending a series over time, revealing social history.

An SWS survey is a team effort, from agenda setting to question formulation, sampling design, fieldwork, data processing, analysis, report writing, and archiving. The Pasasalamat 2022 program had a Family Feud-type game, in which one survey question was: “What word best describes SWS?” To this, the top answer of the party-goer respondents was: FAMILY.


Ateneo’s advantage in the 2022 Battle of Katipunan: the Blue Babble Battalion. Congratulations to both the Blue Eagles of Ateneo de Manila University and the Fighting Maroons of the University of the Philippines for their classic, evenly-matched, exciting battle for the championship in UAAP men’s basketball. The outcome might have been different had UP’s Zav Lucero been able to play.

I went to both Ateneo (Grade School 1954, High School 1958) and UP (AB 1962, MA 1964). As a tenor sax player in the Ateneo high school band, I attended all the Ateneo games in the 1957 NCAA season, when the Eagles (always called “Blue”) led by Eddie Ocampo won the championship over the Mapua Cardinals.

The next year, I started college at UP and joined its ROTC band (to avoid the bullies again), playing sax at the UAAP 1958 and 1959 seasons. I recall the UP Maroons (not yet “Fighting,” and never “Parrots”) finishing either second or third from the bottom—in those days, UP usually beat National University, and sometimes Manila Central University, too; at the top were UE, UST, and FEU.

The great difference between the Ateneo games in 1957 and the UP games in 1958-59 was the discipline and enthusiasm of the crowds in the Rizal Memorial bleachers.

Ateneans know every cheer by heart, thanks to schoolwide rehearsals with mimeo sheets and cheerleaders before the season starts. Ateneo boys are taught to shout and to shush, ON COMMAND. What Atenean doesn’t know Fabilioh, or the Artillery Yell, or three OBFs followed by Fight Fight Blue and White, or Blue Eagle Spelling—followed by Blue Eagle the King? Not to mention Hail, Ateneo Hail, and the Victory songs?

Our Ateneo band didn’t need to be too musical; we relied mainly on drums, to back up the babble battalion’s mission to shout and stomp VERY LOUD, and scare the enemy into making turnovers. What we did lack were girl cheerleaders.

In contrast, the UP crowd was timid—boys mixed with girls, who screamed but didn’t really shout. No cheer scripts; no cheer organizers. Is the UP side improved today, aside from having very nice dancers?

The UP band had only one piece, Push on UP (which seems forgotten now), aside from the solemn UP Beloved, to fit the occasion. We band members got an official bus to go from Diliman to Taft, but UP students had to find their own transport. Whereas, not only was there an Ateneo bus for the band, but also a convoy of Marikina buses to take the rabid Ateneans, with free tickets, from Loyola Heights to the game—the blue babble battalion was part of the team!

Happy Holidays to all!


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TAGS: Ateneo, Blue Babble Battalion, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, family, Pasasalamat 2022, Social Weather Stations, SWS, UP

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