Celebrating with Kirk Long
There is one thing I like in being an Atenean – its rich tradition. One tradition that has been passed from the generation of former Senator Raul Manglapus to the present years is the Bonfire that is the celebration of the championship of the Ateneo Blue Eagles Basketball team. During the time that the 1987 Ateneo Blue Eagles won its first ever UAAP Basketball title, everybody trooped back to the Ateneo to celebrate in front of the Blue Eagle Gym. It was the first championship of the Ateneo in the UAAP and they did it in grand fashion after being in the UAAP for the 10th straight season.
The Bonfire then was quite simple and the stage was set in front of the Blue Eagle gym with the actual bonfire being set up at the parking area. The program was quite impromptu because I remember singing my version of “the Love cats” of the Cure which i entitled “The UPCAT.” One thing that everyone present there remembers was the one truck of san miguel beer supposedly promised by the prominent Alumni at that time. The beer came unfortunately it was just one Tricycle of Miguelito (less than 320 ml San Miguel Beer) that everyone drank just to celebrate the win.
Nowadays, the Bonfire has become a pseudo – reunion and one of the much awaited events. All Ateneo sports teams pray that the Bonfire would push through because All champion teams get recognized in this event. Every Ateneo batch are raring to watch the Blue Eagles play but the venue could only hold a couple of thousands while the Bonfire is an event that simply more than 10,000 Ateneans go to. One thing worth listening to is what the Blue Eagles would tell say about their journey towards the championship and a promise of another title.
For me, its all about seeing friends who i have not seen in years. More than taht I make it a point to have more laughts with the Blue Eagle faithfuls who I have the luxury of sharing countless stories about the Hail Mary team for the past twenty five years. I am so blessed that the team I root for is still the UAAP Men’s Basketball champions. Congratulations to the Ateneo Blue Eagles and hope to see you again next year at our Annual Bonfire Celebration.