Writer’s Recap: Celebrating selfless love in ‘Agape—Live in Love’

Last February 15, the Laguna Campus Student Government (LCSG) had its first onsite acquaintance party titled, Agape: Live in Love. The event stood for two interchangeable meanings—first, to “live” life in love, and second, to party “live” on campus—and sought to celebrate the universal theme of selfless love. 

Merriment suffused the One Mission Park as attendees trickled in, marking the first of many onsite campus experiences. Likewise, the organizers’ zeal was evident in the beautiful stage setup, a wide array of food concessionaires, and the extensive assortment of college booths spanning the event vicinity. 

At long last

The month-long preparations for the acquaintanceship party were facilitated by two internal organizing bodies: LCSG’s Executive Board members and student representatives from each college department. Beyond the entertainment, the event sought to raise funds for future outreach activities with the Lasallian Mission Office.

Wrapped behind the audience area, the booths catered to the attendees’ diverse needs and fancies. Concretizing the essence of heart’s day, the Br. Andrew Gonzalez College of Education representatives managed the kissing booth, lacing threads of affection between the attendees. Memento Amores, the booth manned by the College of Computer Studies, quested to immortalize visitors’ affections through photograph packages, conveying that “photos are mementos or [a] remembrance of love.” 

Meanwhile, the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business kindled tenderness and banter with a dedication booth, collecting sentiments scrawled onto memo pads to be read out loud by the hosts at different junctures of the program. Treading the intersection between love and games, the Gokongwei College of Engineering posed a challenge to the attendees through Heartstopper’s Darts. Lastly, paying heed to the visitors’ utmost comfort and enjoyment, the College of Liberal Arts booth offered rentable board games complete with comfortable bean bags to play on. 

The party goes on beyond screens

Hosts Tracy Valerie Dumaraos and Allen Tatualla encouraged the audience to enjoy as students from the Laguna and Manila campuses shared their talents and enthusiasm through performances that enticed the crowd and made them look forward to the next presentations. 

Members of the audience were clearly enthusiastic to be there, with their excited eyes and beaming smiles. After more than two years of confined fun only seen and felt on screens, the joy of finally experiencing face-to-face social interactions is indeed incomparable. 

The hosts could not hide their enthusiasm as well. Tatualla exuberantly shared, “It feels great kasi back to face-to-face na ang event dito sa Laguna and unti-unti na muling nabubuhay ‘yung campus.” They expressed with glee and gratitude how excited they were to experience their first on-site hosting gig. 

(…the campus is slowly becoming more alive.)

Sobrang grateful kami kasi binigyan kami ng chance to perform sa event na ito,” one of the dancers for Indak Lasalyano Dance Company happily expressed. The event did not only highlight selfless love, it also made people feel more alive. As they danced to the beat of the music, sang their hearts out, and related to the poetry recited on stage, the Lasallian community was once again making new memories in the flesh. 

(We are so grateful for the chance we were given to perform in this event.)

Love presented in different ways

Aside from the Indak Lasalyano Dance Company, other artists also moved toward the stage and moved the crowd with their passion and enthusiasm. 

Yurela Natividad (III, IBS), awardee of the Leandro V. Locsin Artist of the Year, charmed the stage with her graceful movements. Heads turned as she swayed and spun with her hands in the air, the ends of her white dress flowing, complementing her bright aura. 

As the program flowed, Laguna campus student artist Psalm Gabriel Leyba put the light on another angle of selfless love. “Pero si Kristo tinubos tayo noong araw ng Kanyang kamatayan,” he rapped onstage. Psalm emphasized that while Valentine’s season is normally filled with bouquets of flowers, chocolates, and sweet messages, it is still important to commemorate God’s eternal love. He added that the death of Jesus to save the world from its sins defined agape. 

(But Christ saved us through His death.)

When the evening came, the cold breeze and the soft lights on the stage made for a heartwarming atmosphere. Under the starry sky, more people flocked to the grass, set up their picnic mats, and cozied up. The time inspired pondering, more so when Ulysses Regala (III, BSBA) set the stage for nostalgia. Taking the crowd down memory lane, he crooned songs meant for people who recalled their old romantic encounters. 

An intense encounter with love was conveyed through a poem by Rain Ebrada, an Operation & Logistics officer of DLSU Laguna College of Science. “She is not in your possession no matter how bad you want her to be,” Ebrada lamented in her piece, As They Were Remembered. Drawing her inspiration from Thinly Veiled Passion by Sakura Togane, Rain’s piece captured the sentiment of unrequited love. 

Elijah Yuey, vocalist and guitarist of the band NELLA, enchanted the crowd with her captivating charisma onstage. Yuey also performed Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls, her angelic voice making the audience cherish their time spent at the event. 

As the evening progressed, so did the deepening of emotions in the event. Brent Go of DLSU Green Music Collective engulfed the crowd in his entrancing voice, filling the park with comfort as the audience found solace in the music and the starry sky. 

Amid dance numbers, spoken poetry recitals, and heartfelt songs, love was also expressed candidly as the hosts read the messages from the dedication booth. Oohs and awws were heard from the crowd as each profession of love was read. However, the theme of heartbreak was added into the mix as woes of love were expressed through spoken poetry. Tip-toeing on the often-confusing line between romantic and platonic love, “Ganito kasakit ang pag-ibig,” Dumaraos recited a poem. “Nakakapanghina ang selos na wala sa lugar,” she lamented ruefully. 

(Love hurts this much. It is heartbreaking to feel jealousy when you have no right to feel that way.)

As the momentous event came to a close, the audience was asked to gather around in front of the stage as DJ Ben, the party’s guest DJ, spun his mixes, marking the start of the rave party. The students brought out their hottest moves on the Agape dance floor, with people forming a dance circle. The pop song remixes hyped up the crowd, a truly merry way to conclude the fun-filled celebration. 

A celebration of love

Everyone danced the night away, sang to the rhythm of the music, and watched the amazing performances feeling the spirit of love within them. 

This sentiment became even more poignant as the event also emphasized unity and belongingness seen through the collaboration between the campus government, the colleges, the houses, and the whole student community. This bond and connection became even more pronounced in person—a testament to the Lasallian’s transcendental love and spirit for one another, one that transcends beyond the screens. With the event’s success, the students can brightly look forward to more of these occasions and student interactions, as Agape: Live in Love only marks the start of many more to come. 

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