New Book Tackles The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry: How Did It All Begin?

New Book Tackles The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry:  How Did It All Begin?


 New book tackles The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry  How did it all begin (2)


As the UAAP Basketball season approaches its climax with Ateneo, La Salle, FEU and NU (or UE) in the final four lineup, basketball fans are awaiting with bated breath for the final toss up: Could arch-rivals Ateneo and La Salle be meeting each other in the finals?

 Ateneo and La Salle games have drawn the most ardent and passionate crowds. Ticket sales for these ‘Eagle versus Archer’ rubber matches are quickly snapped up by supporters from Katipunan and Taft. Their on-court rivalry has extended into many other competitions and has, at times intensified from good-natured ribbing into ugly tussles between students and alumni from both schools. This has led many to ask: How did the rivalry between schools start in the first place?

 This question is what award-winning columnist, TV host, and author RJ Ledesma tackles extensively with his trademark humor and ironic wit in his latest book entitled Blue Babble, Gang Green: The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry.  In his essays, RJ traces the rivalry back to the late thirties during the first Ateneo-La Salle ‘friendship game’ in the Philippines and even further back to 19th century America when a teaching dispute erupted between the two largest teaching congregations of the Catholic Church – the Jesuits and the Christian Brothers.

He also gets fresh perspectives on the classic rivalry from ‘cross-breeds’: alumni who have gone to both alma maters, including Br. Ricky Laguda, FSC, former President of DLSU and a graduate of Ateneo and Paolo Trillo, team manager of the Ateneo Men’s Senior Basketball team and a high school graduate of De La Salle Zobel. He even interviewed former Superior General Br. Alvaro Echevarria, FSC of the Christian Brothers to find out his thoughts about the rivalry from a ‘global perspective’ (Did you know that Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, the Superior General of the Jesuits, is a ‘cross-breed’ as well? He went to a La Salle school in Barcelona).

RJ humorously compares this rivalry to ‘Toyota versus Crispa, the Spartans versus the Persians, Noranians versus Vilmanians’. Nevertheless, he still manages to find common ground between these rival schools.  In his essays, he notes that there have been ‘edifying areas of intersection between these schools not known to the general public’.  ‘There was a time,’ RJ noted, ‘when the novitiate stage of formation for the La Salle brothers was also in the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches (so both Jesuit and La Salle novices were actually housed in the same compound for some time).’

Blue Babble, Gang Green: The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry from Anvil Publishing is an interesting read for those who have been mesmerized, infuriated or amused by this storied rivalry. It will be available in National Bookstore and Powerbooks later this month. For more information, visit or


New book tackles The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry  How did it all begin (3)

RJ Ledesma’s bibliography is a collection of funny yet insightful commentary on a variety of topics: from women to dating and marriage


RJ has authored five best-selling books, including Lies My Yaya Should Have Told Me, I Do Or I Die and Playing With Pink Parts.  His third and fourth books, Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Me? and It Only Hurts When I Pee are both National Book Awards Finalists.


New Book Tackles The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry:  How Did It All Begin?