UCSB’s Kapatirang Pilipino club now has a four-foot tall trophy to prove its spirit.
KP won first place overall in the 15th annual “Friendship Games” Saturday at Cal State Fullerton. Close to 80 of the group’s 150 members attended the event, which drew about 4,000 people.
The club competed against approximately 40 other campus’ Filipino clubs from California, Arizona and Texas, including defending champion and this year’s runner-up USC, in events that test the groups’ abilities to work in teams. There were five events, all judged by a stopwatch: “The Nasty,” “Conveyer Belt,” “Tidal Wave,” “Alpine Green” and “Ground Hog.” The events involved everything from exchanging a PVC pipe between members’ legs and filling a barrel with a leaky bucket to crawling between a line of people’s legs and four-person groups walking while attached to giant skis.
The top four teams went on to the “Final Rampage,” which, as KP Co-chair Christine Corpuz described, is similar to a miniature obstacle course.
“I think what helped was the pride and spirit in our club. Anytime we competed we were the loudest club,” she said. “[The Friendship Games are] really important because it’s one of the only times we can represent ourselves among other schools’ Filipino organizations. It also sets a tone for the rest of the year.”
Most members of the group didn’t expect such a strong finish.
“It was unbelievable – I didn’t expect us to win as much, but as we started winning more and more, I had the feeling it was our day,” KP Outreach Chair Joemari Cedero said.
“A lot of it was just determination because we had never won one before,” KP Co-social Chair Dean Arcamo said.
KP Sports Chair Mark Perucho, who helped train the club for competition with three practices over a two-week period, said KP has improved dramatically from disappointing results in recent years.
“Two years ago we came in close to last, and this year we came in first in four of the five events, so that was definitely the highlight for us,” he said.
KP, a Filipino cultural awareness student group on campus, has participated in the Friendship Games for 10 years, Corpuz said. KP meets every other Wednesday. For information about the group, call Christine Corpuz at 968-0807.