A Look Back at Urong Sulong: The UP SAMASKOM 46th Anniversary Special

UP SAMASKOM, the premiere academic performing media organization in UP, has wrapped up its assemblage of online festivities in celebration of its 46th Anniversary last March 19, 2021. 

Titled Urong-Sulong: The UP Samaskom 46th Anniversary Special, the organization started with Are You In or Out?: UP Samaskom Olympics held last February. The month-long event looked to strengthen UP SAMASKOM’s camaraderie with fun virtual games and gimmicks. 

 

Another kick-starter was Tumalikod Man Sa’yo. An homage to Filipino teleseryes and inspired by the classic bida kontra-bida dynamic, the online series craftily told the story of sisters Querbellina and Viveca with innovative humor. Its episodes were aired every Saturday of last February via Facebook live and are now available on UP SAMASKOM’s Youtube channel for viewing on-demand.

 

This was followed by the online exhibit Nosi Balasi: The Magic Behind UP SAMASKOM last March 6 on Facebook and Instagram. The exhibit put the spotlight on the many faces that contributed to the legacy of the organization. Apart from being a breeding ground of talent and creativity, the exhibit showed that the real magic lies in the connections built within the home that is UP Samaskom. The organization is set to induct 18 new members this March 27, officially accepting more creative and talented individuals in the family. 

 

Originally annually delivered on stage, the country’s longest-running musical comedy variety show, Live Ang Istoryang Dinebelop ng SAMASKOM or Live AIDS was withheld last year due to the onset of the COVID pandemic. 

 

Now having adjusted to digital platforms, UP SAMASKOM showed three of its best Live AIDS skits through LAngit, Baby LAngit na ‘To!,  a series of online viewing on their Facebook page. Held March 9, 11, and 13 of the year, the performances were nothing short of witty, brave, and loud. 

 

Two of the skits touched upon the Scarborough Shoal issue, something that has long challenged the country’s sovereignty. With our current political relations with China, these skits remain relevant to this day.

 

The anniversary celebration ended with a powerful roundtable discussion on creative burnout. Sunog, Mga Kapatid!: A Roundtable Discussion on Creative Burnout in Media During the Pandemic was held on March 19, 2021, graced by the insights of director Lauren Dyogi, film creator JP Habac, internet personality Macoy Averilla (a.k.a. Macoy Dubs), and UP Diliman professors Fernando Austria Jr. and Eloi Hernandez. 

 

Carefully navigating through the topic, the esteemed speakers emphasized the importance of creativity in a time like ours. And while not necessarily considered as “essentials”, direk Dyogi reiterated how creatives are helping the general public in keeping their sanity. And while productivity is always encouraged, direk JP mentioned how rest is part of the creative process. 

 

Hindi tayo makina. Hindi tayo ‘yung kapag pinukpok ay may lalabas,” he said.

 

Professors Austria and Hernandez also discussed how they would practice compassion whenever one of their students would express their exhaustion or stress. “Compassion muna, huwag mo na pipilitin,” prof. Austria said.

 

Macoy added to this by mentioning how depression and anxiety have become commonplace in compassionless industries because of toxic working conditions. They then shared how they demanded better working policies via group chat. 

 

Likening the situation to the country’s state, the speakers then said that now is the perfect time to speak up, through creativity, organization, and proper channels. 

 

While the existence of creative burnout remains debatable, we are left with one certainty. There is a dire need for a clarion call to demand better environments for creatives. Albeit not considered as front liners, the creative industry is struggling to carry the people’s sanity on their backs.






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