Sunday, October 5, 2008

ASSOC September Storm 2008

A familiar site at ASSOC Gatherings,
Beer, Smiles and FC's

Every year, the Ateneo Social Services Organization for the Community or ASSOC would celebrate its September Storm to welcome the new members of the group. ASSOC is somewhat different from traditional orgs in the Ateneo because it all started out as a big barkada in 1985. Back then prior to 1985, the SMA or Samahang Mag-aaral ng Ateneo (or is it “Magboboso?”) occupied the bench that is where the ASSOC is located now. When the bulk of their barkada graduated and the place was just occupied by remnants of their barkad, ASSOC occupied the place in 1987 and has since been like that the past twenty years.

Atty. Blue Festin talks about getting ready for ASSOC @ 25

Atty. Blue Festin is one of the key founders of the organization which is ruled by only one person, the Taipan. All decisions come from him and he picks and molds the person who will succeed him. This set up has been going on for the past twenty years and so far there has been no “Edsa Revolution type of upheaval for this authoritarian set up mainly because even the Alumni respect the current taipan.

High School Batch 1985 which made up 90% of ASSOC graduated in 1989 and some in 1990, me and some other left over assoc friends started something that most barkadas in the Ateneo do not do – recruit younger people to join the barkada. The primary reason was that we want to immortalize the group and also have a place to stay when we visit the campus. When we joined ASSOC, Blue and company just invited us to stay with the group everyday since we share common interests mainly because me and my constant companion then, 1990 -91 Taipan Neil Bernardo, were members of the Blue Babble Battalion. The only other Freshman Assoc member then was Albert Padua.

Former Blue Eagle Brian Sison welcomes another Blue Eagle,
Eric Salamat to the ASSOC Barkada

The first September storm was held at the house of Edong Eulalia in Sikatuna Village. It was actually a celebration of all September celebrants and like most Assoc members we love to drink so we created a reason to celebrate. Then when we recruited freshmen back in 1990 and 1991 we crafted the sign up sheet so that new members will get to know old ones and made up another drinking session, the BST which is the Back to School Tomaan. Later on they were presented as full pledged Assoc members in the Storm. In 1994, the ASSOC recruited a big chunk of freshmen and the funny part was that we introduced the costume to all incoming members. It was quite a blast since the Assoc aspirants had great costumes – remember the costume of The Crow! Since then, all would be aspirants would don different themed costumes as part of the ritual to be an Assoc member.

Eric and Ryan with Tabs, Dino, Verbo and Assoc B Taipan

The September Storm this year held at Coastnet was something special since a part of the invite said “Let’s celebrate because we won a championship!” Part of the celebration was enjoying the company of two new members who are part of the Blue Eagles – Eric Salamat and Ryan Buenafe. In the 90’s there were members of the Blue Eagles who were Assoc members – Brian Sison (who was also there that night) Ryan Acosta, John Palafox, Jeremy Nishimori , Johan Ramos who was a Blue Eaglet and the last Blue Eagle in my memory is Sonny Tadeo.

Ryan Buenafe passed by to do the traditional

self intro and toast for new ASSOC members

Assoc is now on its twenty third year and hopefully this year we can jumpstart preparations for the 25th year anniversary celebration come 2010. Like what I said to the new guys who just joined, Assoc is the only barkada in the Ateneo with which new members and alumni meet and get to know each other. And like what I have always said in the past in ASSOC, “VIDI, VICI, VENI – I saw, I conquered, I came!” Welcome to new Assoc guys.

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