Marching to a Lasting Legacy

Niele Alizier Rosani | Managing Editor & Brielle Dominique Borja | Staffer | The OLPSian Times

The Blue Marching Condors’ Conservare Splash | Courtesy of the Official Blue Marching Condors’ Facebook Page

Seventy-three members. Five (local and national) championships. Four mentors. One band. One lasting legacy. 

OLPS’ Blue Marching Condors (BMC) has made its name in and out of Antipolo for the power, pride, and dedication they present in every performance and drill they have done. The upcoming competition on Sunday is no different, as this is their first competition since 2019.

Para sa mga bata…‘yun ‘yung passion eh. […] Dito ilalabas ng bata kung ano ‘yung pinagpractisan nila, kung paano nag-improve ‘yung sarili nila. […] Dito na nila shinowcase ‘yung pinagpaguran nila—kung ano ‘yung kaya nila gawin,” comments BMC’s auxiliary director Ramon Elivera about what the upcoming competition means for them. BMC’s drum tech Chester Torred calls it a ‘battle of pride’, especially for the school.

Competing Locally and Nationally
Every December in a pre-pandemic period, OLPSians flock to the grounds of Ynares Center in a sea of blue to show support to BMC in their fight for the championship title in the Antipolo City Christmas Fiesta Drum and Lyre Competition.

From 2013-2014 and 2016, they emerged as champions in the Antipolo City Drum and Lyre Competition. In 2015 and 2017-2018, BMC claimed the 2nd runner-up title, while clinching the 1st runner-up title in 2019. Along with their championship titles, BMC has also claimed numerous special awards every year recognizing their costumes, marching, and choreography. 

With 3 championships under their belt in Antipolo, 2018 marked the year BMC first joined a national drum and lyre competition. BMC joined the 2018 DBCOPI National Competition and bagged the championship title, alongside other special awards. 

They continued their streak the following year, emerging as back-to-back champions in the 2019 competition and earning all ten special awards.

Struggles and Sacrifices
Behind the awards, challenges arise in one way or another. Loss of old members proved to be difficult, especially after the pandemic that halted all drum and lyre competitions and performances. 

Galing sila sa quarantine season. Napakahaba nun, so pagbalik nila sa banda, naninibago sila. Una sa sistema ng turuan. Tapos ‘yung mga dating may experience na parang bumalik sa pagiging bago,” music director German Reyes adds.

Preparing for competitions is no walk in the park as their members describe. As per 2nd-year BMC majorettes Issa Lalaguna and Alyanna Casas, joining BMC entails certain sacrifices. 

Casas describes having a difficult time adjusting when she first joined. Having to sacrifice time for academic activities and social life proved to be difficult at first. Exhaustion after rigorous practices also restricted their time for schoolwork, adds Lalaguna. 

The same sentiments were echoed by other members and their mentors, as well. John Kier Fatalla, BMC’s visual director, describes their preparation as difficult, ‘madugo’ as he calls it. 

Keeping the fire burning
Despite it, BMC bassist Andrew Alcala puts it, the exhaustion and pressure became a source of inspiration and kept their passion for the craft ablaze.

‘Yung BMC po parang naging source of inspiration na po namin sa mga ginagawa namin. Kumbaga, namo-motivate kami ng BMC na kahit nakakapagod, mahirap, […] pero ‘yung passion kasi… basta naglalagablab siya sa puso mo kahit nakakapagod, tuloy pa rin,” he says.

Expectations, despite the pressure that comes with it, motivates BMC president Wayne Mateo to deliver their best in Sunday’s competition. He adds, “Sobrang daming nag-aantay sa amin, sobrang daming nag-eexpect sa amin, ‘di namin sila ile-let down.

Bonded by passion
Others might call it a group, but for them, BMC is not just an organization but rather a family bonded by their passion.

Ever since kasi, sinasabi ko sa kanila, gusto kong maalala niyo ang BMC [na] hindi lang siya organization. […] Gusto kong ipa-feel sa kanila na family tayo. […] Kaya ayoko rin na i-address nila akong ‘sir’, gusto ko ‘kuya’ lang na gagabayan sila kung anong gustong gawin nila or kung anong tama na dapat nilang gawin na gusto naming ma-achieve in the future,” says Fatalla. 

Reyes reminisces how members of The Soaring Condors, the drum and lyre group of the grade school department, are now BMC members. “[…] Nakakatuwa, ‘yung mga hawak ko nung sa TSC, sila na ‘yung humaharap sa BMC, which is dati pangarap lang nila ‘yun, eh. Bata pa lang sila naririnig ko sa kanila na, “Pag highschool ako, Sir, ako gusto ko sasali kami ng BMC,” he adds. Despite the years the pandemic took and other struggles, BMC shows they are bonded by their passion for the craft no matter what.

Years after not securing the championship title, BMC eyes the highest achievement in Sunday’s competition. 

Fatalla hopes that their months-long preparations and sacrifices are worth it. “Galingan lang natin, guys. Kung ano ang mangyari, ‘yun na ‘yon. I-apply niyo lang and natutunan niyo in the past months na nagpa-practice tayo. Focus tayo sa goal and kami [ng coaches] naniniwala kami na kayang-kaya niyo.” Fatalla calls this year’s program a long time coming, initially conceived way back 2019 for the 2020 competition. Reyes confidently describes them as more prepared than ever for this year’s competition.

As for what to expect, they (unsurprisingly and understandably) don’t say anything explicit. Rather, they hope for their supporters to go all out in Ynares Center on Sunday. 

The road to the competition may have been rocky but Sunday’s performance will only prove one thing: a lasting legacy to behold.

Other stories.

A woman? Yes, a woman.

This month of March, we celebrate and recognize women all around the world for their contributions in shaping feminism–breaking boundaries and bending stereotypes.
Read More

Melodies and Advocacies

These past few days, people have been scouring the internet for some spare tickets as the University of the Philippines Diliman began hosting their annual UP Fair this week.
Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top