Last April 4, 2021 (Sunday), the UPLB Street Jazz Dance Company (UPLB SJDC) officially launched their dance series, Revive-Revibe, on their official Facebook page—independently produced by them. The production showcases the different struggles students face due to the pandemic. It recognizes and celebrates the courage and tenacity of students in their efforts to overcome these challenges. Through the episodes of the series, the group aims to stand in solidarity with their fellow students who are going through similar struggles. Watch all of the five (5) episodes in this playlist.
Starting with an introductory episode which shows another concept of home quarantine, the episode is very timely and relatable for the audience especially to students. Entitled as LIKAW, meaning liko (to turn or curve) in Ilokano, the episode highlights the turn or change in everyone’s lifestyle, especially students, when this pandemic unfortunately struck the world. The episode was set back in April 2020 when people were still trying to cope and adjust to the new setup, all while having high hopes of the community quarantine being lifted anytime soon. People may be fed up and bored of staying at home, living through the same routine again and again, but everyone’s overall safety needs to be ensured first and foremost.
For the first episode of the Revive-Revibe, it particularly tackles the declining mental health of students. TALABID is a Hiligaynon word meaning “connection”. The episode sheds light on the issue of mental health through a student’s perspective. Nowadays, people closely associate the meaning of connection with internet connection or one’s connection with other people and the world given the online set-up. However, the episode doesn’t just focus on connection in terms of these things but also, with the self. Thoughts and emotions can be overwhelming and one may lose sight of who they are—a disconnection with the self.
In a bold attempt to tackle one’s privileges and a bold choice of Gloc 9 feat. Al James’ song Lagi, the second episode KALAINAN, a Cebuano word for ‘pagkakaiba’, started with Juan and Maria Lara’s comparative breakfast setup and preparation for their Zoom classes. KALAINAN encourages people to step out of their privilege bubble and see that some students are being left behind due to technical limitations. Truth be told, the Philippines is an internet-challenged country and honestly, even those students who live in the city experience the mishaps of a poor internet connection.
Moving on to the third episode, GUNITA (a Tagalog word meaning “memory” or “recollection”), is an ode to nostalgia. It aims to resonate with the loneliness and the longing for one’s presence especially in our present situation, where distance has become a necessity for survival keeping not just our bodies apart but also our hearts. This distance ensures physical health but subjecting our hearts and minds to a slow and painful death.
For the finale, the company gives us a glimpse into a hopeful future through its fourth episode, HANGKOP, a Waray translation which means “to embrace”. The last episode leaves us with a reminder that we are not alone in this fight which is further emphasized in Munimuni’s Tahanan, the official song used in the episode. Hangkop promises us that things will soon go back to what it once was— and we’ll be able to give the people we call ‘home” a warm hug like we’ve never been before.
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Don’t miss this chance to buy Revive-Revibe’s official merchandise! For more information, you can visit their Facebook page, UPLB Street Jazz Dance Company or check out their Twitter and Instagram accounts, @uplbsjdc.