THIS IS DEDICATED TO EVERYONE WHO MADE BARRIO AND THE BARRIO PROGRAM HAPPEN: ALL THE PERFORMERS, COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS, THE AUDIENCE OUT THERE TODAY, BOARD AND COUNCIL, AND ESPECIALLY HISTORIC, CULTURE, AND THE STUDENT ADVISORS. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK.
LETTER FROM CULTURE Dear Family and Friends, The Organization of Young Filipino Americans would like to welcome you all to our annual cultural show: Barrio Fiesta! It is an honor and pleasure for us to have you all here today, and we are all very excited to share with you what we have been preparing for the last three months. This years theme for the show is Pagkatuklas, or “Discovery.” As students here at UVa, we are constantly exploring and seeking out what is important to us. Whether it’s identity, passion, culture, or others, we wish to strive for what is best in us as well as what is around us. We hope that through today’s show we can inspire others to never stop discovering themselves as well as the world around them. Our skit this year revolves around OYFA as the members scramble to put together...Barrio! Watch as the members struggle to discover their own identities as well as the identity of the organization as a whole. The skit embodies the journey current as well as past members embarked on during their time in organization. This year we have a new edition to Barrio Fiesta! After the main show, please make your way toward the cafeteria for additional activities. Everyone is welcome to participate! Barrio Fiesta is a wonderful opportunity to share Filipino culture as well as show what it means to be an OYFAN. However, Barrio Fiesta is so much than just a culture show. It is the accumulation of events that have occurred in the past months. It is the planning, the bonding, the excitement, and the frustration that truly defines Barrio Fiesta. It is the blood, sweat, and tears that every member goes through to get to this day. This show would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the choreographers, committee heads, skit directors, and all other members working both onstage and behind the scenes. I would like to thank all families, FIND District 7 Schools, A/APA organizations, and OOFANs for the devotion and encouragement that you have given during this Barrio Fiesta season. Without all the love and support, Barrio Fiesta would not be where it is today. I cannot thank you all enough. I am also grateful to the sponsors and financial donors who have contributed to the show’s production: UVa Student Council, UVa Cultural Planning Board, the Alumni Association, VPCSA, and Dean Groves. I would also like to express our appreciation to Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center and Charlottesville High School for allowing us to use their facilities as a venue for Barrio. Finally, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all the participants in this years production. Thank you all for working so hard these past months in order to put together the production. Everyone’s hard work and dedication is what has given this production life. I would also like to thank the student advisors, Elexa Rallos and Vince Egalla, as well as Misha Capuno for supporting and helping me behind the scenes. It has been an honor and a privilege to have served as your Culture Chair. Thank you all for making my term a memorable experience; I could not have asked for anything better than this. Best, Stephen Ling OYFA Culture Chair 2016-2017
LETTER FROM THE OUTGOING PRESIDENT
Mabuhay Parents, Alumni, Family, and Friends!
Welcome to the Organization of Young Filipino Americans’ Barrio Fiesta 2017: Pagkatuklas! We thank you for supporting our annual culture show that showcases both Filipino and Filipino American culture through the dedication and efforts of our board, council, and general members. Our theme of “Discovery” alludes to the constant personal rediscovery and growth of our members throughout their time at UVA. “Pagkatuklas” also goes hand in hand with Board’s vision of Revitalization, which sought to rediscover key values of the organization and revive OYFA’s original mission. For its 29th year, OYFA strove to better highlight its Filipino and Filipino-American heritage, strengthen connections amongst members and to our alumni, and better engage with the greater UVA and Charlottesville community. As an organization, we have found ways to cherish the Filipino-American and diverse Asian-American identities of our general body, by providing spaces for members to bond organically. Our annual FIlipino Food Night to raise money for the OYFA Excellence Scholarship was a hit and featured some dishes from Little Manila, a local Filipino Charlottesville business. OYFA co-sponsored its first Karaoke Night with the Korean Student Association and built further upon its Kamayan program, where members had the opportunity to make and eat traditional Filipino dishes such as Lumpia. Martial arts experts from Cville Kali also came and taught our members new self defense tactics from the traditional Filipino practice of Kali. We sought to strengthen connections amongst our members through the family system and innovative big / little week events, such as our group workout OYFit and trip to Carter’s Mountain for the Sunset Series. Our Historic Chairs featured a monthly OOFAn vlog to update us on the day-to-day lives of our cherished alumni, and members received helpful professional advice during our first Alumni Panel with the Vietnamese Student Association. OYFAns also got to network with other students during the FIND District VII Olympics and our co-rec team took the trophy home at this year’s invitational football tournament, Winter Classic.
OYFA rediscovered and rebranded itself with stylish new hats and holiday mugs. In this first year of our newfound Advocacy committee, we took an increased responsibility as an organization to educate our members and respond to social, cultural, and political issues in our surroundings. OYFA attended our first Safe Space training to learn more about LGBTQ+ issues and how to be an effective ally, as well as our first Green Dot training to learn more about sexual and domestic violence prevention and intervention strategies. I wanted to personally thank my “ewan kOYFA” board for helping make my job incredibly fulfilling. Alex Zarzuela, the Vice President, trained and motivated the council chairs to strive and make an impact on the university community. Jerome Tirso, the Treasurer, worked diligently with every committee to secure funds for the events and merchandise and ensure we were in good financial standing. Kanata Omori, the Corresponding Secretary, worked closely with committees to plan their events and planned an interactive Fall Symposium, during which our members were able to learn about with Marconi Calindas. Christine Lê, the Recording Secretary, kept our members in the loop by sending out the weekly OYFA and alumni newsletters.
I’d like to thank the outgoing Board and Council for the countless hours and ideas they have each put into this organization to continue its legacy. Also, I would like to congratulate our culture chair and student advisors, Stephen Ling, Elexa Rallos, and Vince Egalla for planning, overseeing, and executing Barrio this year. Despite logistical challenges, Stephen continually impressed us with his ideas for innovation and dedication to the show. Elexa and Vince stepped up to fill a role they did not anticipate, and have played a vital role in the planning and execu tion of this year’s Barrio. Lastly, I’d like to thank all of the Barrio participants both onstage and offstage that made this show possible. Thank you all again for coming and we all hope you enjoy the show! Sincerely, Madelyn Luansing OYFA President 2016 - 2017
LETTER FROM THE INCOMING PRESIDENT
To all Alumni, Parents, Family, and Friends,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Barrio Fiesta 2017: Pagkatuklas. In this 29th year of the organization, this theme of “Discovery” has embodied the process in which our members go through everyday. One cherished motto of our organization goes: “Come as strangers, grow as friends, leave as family.” Although many people join OYFA initially to socialize or enjoy events, they discover a newfound appreciation for the familial and hospitable values of the Filipino culture. With OYFA now being home to over three-hundred and fifty diverse members, we still pride ourselves with maintaining our long-lasting traditions and the inclusive environment where “anyone can be a part of the family”.
I often revisit what OYFA means to me. I can discuss common shared values of support, opportunity, and camaraderie. However, this organization simply acts as a representation of our members. I often express my love for this organization, yet the only thing it does for us is establish a commonality. Through this shared association, I have found countless connections to people from all corners of the University. I have thought that I have seen this organization grow and evolve, but rather I understand it is all about the people and find so much appreciation for the members that better themselves in this environment. My vision for next year is Renewal. I envision OYFA as the best environment to be the best version of oneself. With this emphasis of self-discovery, I hope that OYFA can further empower upon the leadership and professional development of our members. While still prioritizing the missions of the organization of increasing awareness of the Filipino culture and promoting fellowship within the Filipino community, I would like to see a fundamental shift in thinking regarding OYFA to challenge the larger issues that Filipinos and Filipino-Americans face today.
Through a framework of appreciation, activation, and aspiration, I strive to achieve a balance between cherishing our traditions with boundarylessness creative thinking. There will be greater emphasis upon alumni relations in order to appreciate and understand our origins in context to the development of OYFA. In the greater context of organizational behavior, I would like to refine new technical and adaptive solutions upon existing problems. Finally, I seek to revitalize the Filipino and Asian-American identity to aspire towards goals bigger than ever thought possible. Through this organization, I hope to see the new leaders of Council tackle existing problems with a new creative approach. This renewed environment of OYFA will be one that values ingenuity and authenticity to allow members to take ownership of their own experiences. I am more than excited to be working with a passionate group of individuals that inspire me already. OYFA’s incoming Executive Board for 2017-2018 is as follows:
Vice President: Jerome Tirso Treasurer: Jane Canteros Corresponding Secretary: Alexa Gavino Recording Secretary: Jaden Aponte
Before I conclude, I would like to express my gratitude for the outgoing Board and Council for everything they have contributed to this organization. Through this year together, we have endured hardship and discovered a better understanding of ourselves as servant leaders. Thanks to you all, OYFA will continue to grow and thrive with a new generation of OYFAns. I would also like to congratulate our culture chair, Stephen Ling, for taking the lead for planning and executing a successful Barrio this year. Your dedication and resilience shows in this Barrio and in our performers. Lastly I would like to thank Vince Egalla and especially Elexa Rallos for taking so much responsibility for making this show a reality. Thank you for coming and we hope you enjoy the show! Sincerely, Joseph Malasa OYFA President 2017-2018
OYFA BOARD 2016 - 2017 MADELYN LUANSING PRESIDENT FOURTH YEAR
ALEX ZARZUELA VICE PRESIDENT FOURTH YEAR
JEROME TIRSO TREASURER THIRD YEAR
RECORDING SECRETARY SECOND YEAR
OYFA COUNCIL 2016 - 2017
HISTORIC CHAIR THIRD YEAR
SCHOLARSHIP CHAIR SECOND YEAR
COMMUNITY CHAIR SECOND YEAR
PUBLIC RELATIONS THIRD YEAR
MEMBERSHIP CHAIR SECOND YEAR
WEBMASTER SECOND YEAR
D7 REPRESENTATIVE THIRD YEAR
ADVOCACY CHAIR SECOND YEAR
SPORTS CHAIR SECOND YEAR
D7 REPRESENTATIVE THIRD YEAR
MEMBERSHIP CHAIR SECOND YEAR
ADVOCACY CHAIR THIRD YEAR
CULTURE CHAIR SECOND YEAR
SOCIAL CHAIR SECOND YEAR
STUDENT ADVISOR FOURTH YEAR
PUBLIC RELATIONS SECOND YEAR
COMMUNITY CHAIR SECOND YEAR
SCHOLARSHIP CHAIR SECOND YEAR
SOCIAL CHAIR SECOND YEAR
HISTORIC CHAIR SECOND YEAR
SPORTS CHAIR SECOND YEAR
STUDENT ADVISOR FOURTH YEAR
NATIONAL ANTHEM THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER FRANCIS SCOTT KEY
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
LUPANG HINIRANG JULIAN FELIPE
Bayang magiliw, Perlas ng Silanganan alab ng puso, sa dibdib mo’y buhay. Lupang Hinirang, duyan ka ng magiting, sa manlulupig, ‘di ka pasisiil. Sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw may dilag ang tula, at awit sa paglayang minamahal. Ang kislap ng watawat mo’y tagumpay na nagniningning, ang bituin at araw niya kailan pa ma’y ‘di magdidilim, Lupa ng araw, ng luwalhati’t pagsinta, Buhay ay langit sa piling mo, Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo.
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS & COMMITTEE HEADS
ALEX ZARZUELA POLKABAL
ALEXA GAVINO SAKPAYA
BRIAN MORRIS ELEXA RALLOS TECH COMMITTEE 4TH YEAR TINIKLING PANDANGGO
JESSICA PHAN FOOD COMMITTEE
JOSEPH MALASA SKIT COMMITTEE
ALLY CALATA SAKPAYA
ANGEL JOMAUD MEGAMODERN
CATHERINE PHAN POLKABAL
CORY EINSMANN POLKABAL
JULIANNA LEE MEGAMODERN
KYCHELLE DEL ROSARIO 4TH YEAR MODERN
REEYA RABENA OLIVER VIYAR PATRICIA GALLEGOS MICHAEL RAMIREZ 1ST YEAR MODERN FIESTA COMMITTEE TECH COMMITTEE 1ST YEAR MODERN
SARAH CHWIKI MALAGUENA
SOPHIA WILLIAMS SAKUTING
ARIELLE REYES SAKUTING
BARRY CHIN IGOROT
JANE CANTEROS DORIAN NGUYEN 1ST YEAR MODERN SKIT COMMITTEE
KYLE NEUNER IGOROT
MADELYN LUANSING 4TH YEAR TINIKLING FOOD COMMITTEE
REYNA HUANG MEGAMODERN
ROSE MESINA ANTHEM COMMITTEE MALAGUENA
VINCE EGALLA STEPHEN LING SOPHIA XIAO FOOD COMMITTEE FIESTA COMMITTEE BACKDROPCOMMITTEE
THANK YOU TO THE CHINESE STUDENT ASSOCIATION FOR PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION FOR BARRIO!
TRADITIONAL DANCES FOURTH YEAR TINIKLING
Tinikling is a traditional Filipino dance that originated from the Visayan Islands on the Island of Leyte. The dance revolves around the clapping together of bamboo sticks as dancers move through them. Enjoy as the OYFA 4th Years perform Tinikling as a part of their grand finale!
Igorot is one of OYFA’s biggest traditions. Showcasing a warrior side of Filipino tribal culture, the dance is a display of confidence and strength.
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS: Elexa Rallos and Madelyn Luansing PARTICIPANTS: Abhishek Gupta, Alex Chen, Alex Zarzuela,
Denis Liu, Dorian Nguyen, Jack Perales, Jaden Aponte, Kenny Kuhn, Michael Ramirez, Michael Woon, Quyen Dang, Rahul Taludhar, Sean Shih, and Tuan Nguyen
Caitlyn Syptak, Conner Healy, Cory Einsmann, Elexa Rallos, Heather Sledd, Jolie Nguyen, Katie Prince, Kevin Phung, Kevin Zeng, Kychelle Del Rosario, Leandro Madejas, Madelyn Luansing, Manny Domingo, Mary Alojado, Rose Mesina, Sarah Chwiki, Truc Vo, Vince Egalla, Vivian Hou, and Zach Abalos
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS: Barry Chin and Kyle Neuner PARTICIPANTS: Andrew Dinh, Brandon Phan, Brian Chin,
In Spanish, “malaguena” literally means “a woman from Malaga”. Malaguena is a lighthearted dance that the Spaniards brought to the Philippines from a region of Spain called Malaga. The version that we chose to represent uses many elbow-flapping movements as well as spinning movements to showcase the dress’ movement.
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS: Rose Mesina & Sarah Chwiki PARTICIPANTS: Clair Song, Gabby Garvey, Jessica Phan. Kim Micci Corral, Manyata Bhattarai, and Michaela Lim
Pandanggo sa ilaw is one of the most iconic traditional Filipino dances. Featuring an intense display of balance and precision, the dance can either be an all-female or partner dance.
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHER: Elexa Rallos PARTICIPANTS: Alexa Gavino, Danielle Dacanay, Dorian
Nguyen, Jaden Aponte, Joseph Malasa, Kychelle Del Rosario, Leandro Madejas, Madelyn Luandsing, Manny Domingo, Mark Mora, Oliver Viyar, Reeya Rabena, Reyna Huang, Sophia Xiao, and Stephen Ling
Polkabal is a Spanish influenced dance which is believed to be a combination of two old dances: the polka and the balse (or waltz). Although the name includes balse, there are no waltz steps in it. Polkabal is a traditional dance that is accompanied by a rondalla ensemble.
Also known as the “chicken dance”, Sakpaya is a traditional tribal dance of thanksgiving for a good harvest. The name is derived from the sakpaya birds that are commonly seen flying over the farms. Farmers saw the birds as deities, and the dance originated from them mimicking the sakpaya’s flight.
Alex Zaruela, Catherine Phan, and Cory Einsmann PARTICIPANTS: Abigail Hoang, Caroline Pham, Chris Fassoth, Dana Kim, Dorian Nguyen, Jade Phan, Jennifer Kyaw, Kenny Kuhn, Kevin Thumim, Manny Domingo, Patricia Gallegos, Richard Dizon, and Sussie Owusu-Ansah
The Sakuting dance is the Philippine folk dance that symbolizes a mock fight between the rival groups, Ilocano Christians and non-Christians. It is usually performed during Christmas time as dancers go from door to door.
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS: Arielle Reyes and Sophia Williams PARTICIPANTS: Abhishek Gupta, Alyssa Nghiem, Barry Chin, Danielle Rodgers, Iain Encarnacion, Jane Canteros, Jazelene Guevarra, Jerome Tirson, Kenny Kuhn, and Renae Meana
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS: Alexa Gavino and Ally Calata PARTICIPANTS: Amy Doan, Angel Jomuad, Melissa Lim, Oanh Dao, Pia Mutia, Regina Yap, Rose Montgomery, Roseanna Quinanola, and Thyra Jensen
MODERN DANCES FIRST YEAR MODERN
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS: Dorian Nguyen, Michael Ramirez, and Reeya Rabena PARTICIPANTS: Ami Nguyen, Arielle Reyes, Bao-Han Do, Brandon Kremer, Brandon Phan, Celine Gil, Chelsea Bengson, Cindy Bui,
Corban Cress, Dana Kim, Daniel Choi, Denis Liu, Dorian Nguyen, Gabby Garvey, Jaden Aponte, Jazlene Guevarra, Jessica Phan, Jocelyn Hung, John Ramirez, Jojo Chao, Judy Nguyen, Lily Lin, Michaela Lim, Nhi Nguyen, Paul Luong, Pia Mutia, Pranav Ravichandran, Raymond Huang, Reeya Rabena, Regina Yap, Renae Meana, Roseanna Quinanola, Ryan Yi, Sarah Lei, Sean Shih, Sharon Le, Sophia Williams, and Sophia Xiao
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHERS: Angel Jomuad, Julianna Lee, and Reyna Huang PARTICIPANTS: Aaron Aguhob, Adrien Bernard, Ahra Nam, Alexa Gavino, Ally Calata, Andy Liu, Barry Chin, Anna Wang, Alyssa
Nghien, Barry Chin, Caroline Phan, Catherine Pham, Celine Nguyen, Chris Fassoth, Chris Liu, Claire Song, Claudine Poblete, Daniel Ju, Danielle Dancanay, Danielle Rodgers, Derek Wu, Emily Wu, Emma Kopf, Enrique Aguilar, Hiu Hiu Sau, Iain Encarnacion, Jack Chang, Jane Canteros, Jennifer Kyaw, Jeremy Joo, Jerome Tirso, Jessica Son, Joe Malasa, Kenny Kuhn, Kevin Thumin, Kim Corral, Ky Nguyen, Madison Tang, Manyata Bhattarai, Mark Mora, Melissa Lim, Moises Mendoza, Oliver Viyar, Richard Dizon, Rose Montgomery, Sara Wong, Sarah Vy Tran, Sussie Owusu-Ansah,Tia Javellena, Tuan Nguyen, Utkarsha Bhave, and Viven Ho
FOURTH YEAR MODERN
HEAD CHOREOGRAPHER: Kychelle Del Rosario PARTICIPANTS: Abhishek Gupta, Alex Chen, Alex Zarzuela, Caitlyn
Syptak, Bao-Tran Le, Conner Healy, Cory Einsmann, Elexa Rallos, Heather Sledd, Jolie Nguyen, Katie Prince, Kevin Phung, Kevin Zeng, Leandro Madejas, Madelyn Luansing, Manny Domingo, Mary Alojado, Nikita Rivera, Rose Mesina, Sarah Chwiki, Truc Vo, Vince Egalla, Vivian Hou, and Zach Abalos
FOURTH YEAR FAREWELLS
When you’re in college, it’s a good idea to reach beyond your comfort zone and try something new. That’s why I joined OYFA as a first year to see what’s out there. Throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed being a part of OYFA because it has helped me meet people that I would have otherwise not met; it’s also helped me acquire great experiences that brighten my overall journey at UVA. In particular, the following experiences stood out the most to me: hanging out with my big, meeting my roommate at a 5k, eating lots of good food (especially the korean bbq trip), giving back to OYFA as a webmaster, random hangouts, going to wineries, and last but not least... showing-off dance moves at Barrio!
ALEX ZARZUELA I feel incredibly blessed to have been part of this OYFAmily for the past 4 years. This organization has given me the opportunity to have made so many wonderful memories with extraordinary people. I’m currently writing this while I’m on the way to Florida to go on a cruise with my fellow OYFA 4th years. When I joined OYFA as a 1st year, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I’ve learned how to step out of my comfort zone, learned how to dance modern dances AND even choreograph traditional dances. I’ve traveled to New York, Connecticut, Myrtle beach, and now the BAHAMAS with my OYFAmily! I’ve never been so involved in an organization and I’m grateful to have spent my time at UVA with other Filipino Americans and those who share an interest in learning more about the culture. To my Historic, Social, & VP lineages: be innovative, stay excited, and always remember to take a step back from all your hard work (look at all that you’ve accomplished & feel proud of yourself). In each of these positions you’ll be able to develop so many skills… but you already know that. At the end of the day, you’ll really be learning more about yourself. I encourage you all to make the most out of your time on OYFA B&C, it’s truly a rewarding experience. To my littles, grandlittles & gglittles: I’m so glad that I’ve been able to meet so much of my lineage before I graduate, I’m super excited to come back to visit UVA to see all of you!! Stay in touch with me and update me on your lives. I’m always here if you have any questions about anything at all. HMU if you need anything -- a dress, shoes, late night cookies, etc. (*ahem* I’m going to need some of my clothes back before I leave). S/O to Alex Chen & Heather Sledd for being amazing co-bigs! To my roommates, Heather & Madelyn: Thank you for washing your dishes, taking out the trash, and sharing your food. But most importantly, thank you for making our little apartment more than just chores and living together. Coming home you guys meant so much to me, I love you both! To my 4th Year Class: From our 1st year Chemistry study sessions to our 4th year winery trips, I would not have wanted to go through this with anyone else. You guys are such hard workers and I know that you’ll do amazing wherever you go! To my Council, thank you for your dedication to this organization. I feel so honored to have served as your VP this past year. I hope that your experience on Council this year has been fun and worthwhile. I am so proud of how much each of you have grown as leaders and as young adults. To Cory, thank you for standing by me and helping me through my terms of Social chair & VP. I truly could not have done it without you (I definitely didn’t have enough hands/the strength to carry everything). If I could give you an honorary Council member award, I would, because you have helped me put together so many events, drove me & others to places as far as Connecticut, made last minute grocery trips to Kroger & Costco with me, picked up food for OYFA when I couldn’t, lifted equipment for events, and so so much more. ALSO, thank you for helping us win IM Basketball games & the Championship for Winter Classic this year. Thank you for joining OYFA and thank you for all of your love and support! I’m extremely grateful that OYFA brought us together. You’re an amazing boyfriend! Lastly, I’d like to thank my families: To Ermita, stay golden. You all have been such a great OYFA Family. Thank you for your positive energy & for cheering on your family members during those intense, competitive games. S/O to Richard Dizon for being so hype, helping me stay organized, and for reminding me of all the small details! Thank you to my parents, brother & sister. Your support has helped me so much. Thank you for visiting me in Charlottesville and always taking care of me! I love you.
To my lineage: I don’t know what my college experience would have been like without you guys. You’ve each had such a tremendously positive impact on my time here and I’m so lucky to have you all in my life. Rebecca, here’s to our brunches that turn into lunches. Gabe, here’s to struggling through all those classes together. Michaele (Lindsey and JoJo too), here’s to service lineage, life talks over cookout and homemade meals. Nikki, here’s to dinners downtown, especially the messy burgers. Talia, here’s to fancy dinners and good bread. Judy, here’s to enjoying the little things and finding adventure in everything. Sophia, I know you aren’t technically my OYFA little but you’re still my little. You’re basically me and it’s great. Thanks for keeping me young. Lastly, I couldn’t have been done all of this without my partner from the start, Conner. Thanks for being my co-big and figuring out things with me along the way.
To my big: Kuya, you are the reason I’m here today and for that I have to say a giant thank you. You made my first year so special and introduced me to some of the most important people in my life. You were the big brother I had wished for all those years ago. Thank you for always being there for me and for supporting me throughout the years. I love you kuya! To my class: WE DID IT. Stay cool. HAGS. But really, guys we did it. We’ve made it through some of the hardest and most confusing years of our lives. We’re smarter, stronger, and fiercer than when we started those four long years ago. Here’s to us. I love y’all, stay in touch. To my family: Mom and Dad, I bet when I started college you didn’t expect to find yourselves at one of these things, did you? Thank you guys for always being there to support me. From my very first ballet recital, to my high school soccer games and dive competitions, to my first Barrio, you’ve both always rooted for me and pushed me to do what I want and enjoy all that life has to offer. Even though this may be your last Barrio, I hope you’ve enjoyed it! Special thank you to Emma and Kung Kung for making all of my Barrios, I love you guys! To Elexa and Kychelle: You guys are my best friends in the entire world. We’ve grown up so much together in these four years. I love you both so much and
I don’t think I could’ve gotten through these past few years without you guys. Kychelle, my twin, you get me better than anyone. You are my support at all times and always know exactly what to say. You are patient and kind and gorgeous and I am so lucky to call you my best friend. No matter what, I’m always here for you! It’s ya girl, Elexa. You are one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. You’ve shown me how to stand up for myself, how to stay strong, and how to be the best me. You are my motivation and are always pushing me to be my best self. I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t of met you first year. I know in my heart that you two will most definitely be friends for life. I LOVE YOU BOTH TO THE MOON AND BACK. LET’S GET HYPE FOR EUROPE! To squad: Fam. You guys are the real MVPs. I am so lucky to have you all as a group of friends to go on adventures with and to share lifelong memories with. Hope I don’t lose the bet though. To alums: Thank you guys for providing me with diverse role models to look up to. Each of you have had your own distinct impact on me and my decisions don’t uring my four years here. From the classes I took, to the leadership roles I applied for, you guys helped shape my experiences here. I miss you guys so much!
I joined OYFA my third year at UVA which turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. My first event that I attended where I found out about OYFA was a party where I met my girlfriend Alex Zarzuela. I had actually never heard of OYFA and figured I’m half Filipino so I should join. Soon after that, class of 2016’s Richard Lay invited me to play on the IM basketball team and I continued going to all the events after that. Being a part of a group of great people has positively impacted my college experience and has given me a place to belong and a great way to meet a lot of people. Being a part of OYFA there is always an event going on and people to talk to. My favorite experiences with OYFA are all the memories from playing sports. I miss playing sports in high school, and playing sports in front of the OYFA crowd cheering for us is hype. Winning the co-rec Winter Classic football tournament this year with our passionate QB Vincent Choy was a great way to finish up my OYFA sports career. Participating in Barrio is also a lot of fun and a great experience to do with fun people. Barrio is the only time I have done organized dance so it’s out of my element and definitely something I’ll always remember. My college years have been a great journey and I’m thankful to always be a member of OYFA.
I want to thank my family for supporting me throughout my four years at the University of Virginia. I want to thank all my friends, peers, and professors for making my college experience one of a kind. I want to thank OYFA for accepting me as a young blood first year and providing me with some of the best friends I could ever ask for (S/O to the #squadron). For underclassmen reading this, college is definitely filled with the best years of a young personâ€™s life. Cherish every day you are at UVa because you will likely not have such a unique experience once you graduate. Every single interaction you have with someone has significance whether you think so or not. Grades are important, but developing close relationships with people is equally as important. Even though it feels like only yesterday I moved in to Shannon as an inexperienced first year, I am excited for what lies ahead for life after UVa. My plan is to work as a paralegal in Washington, D.C. for two years before attending law school. Iâ€™ll be living in NOVA, so hit me up and go Hoos!!!
To the Class of 2020: Enjoy your four years at UVA while you can, it’ll zoom by faster than you think! Dorian, boy, you extra af! Regina, you are so perfect omg! Dana, I love your personality, keep it real! Reeya, thank you for being so compassionate and wonderful. Roseanna, please keep your snapchat game up, I love it, haha. Amy, Mikey, and everyone else, I’ll miss you, my babies! To the Class of 2019: Joe, I am so excited to see what you’re going to do with OYFA. Feel free to call me for hours at a time haha. Name twin, keep killing the game, you are perfect! Oliver, thank you for being my Sayaw sa Bangko partner last year and not killing me. Stephen, thank you for making my last Barrio wonderful! Melissa, Carol, Celine, Abigail, Christine, Barry, Chris, Hayden, Ky, and all, get ready to become upperclassmen! Enjoy your third year and I’m excited to see you all *legally* at bars. To the Class of 2018: Ally, IT’S YOUR TURN! Your last of everything is coming up! Tia, thank you for all the real talks and for always making life fun. Richard, continue to “do the most.” Jerome, thank you for being my Zipcar co-chair, scrambling together submissions, and good luck carrying on the VP Lineage, you’ll do amazing! Dani, please stay perfect, you are wonderful. Sara, thank you for your genuine and sweet personality, stay in touch! Patricia, hopefully I can come back and we can make an OYFA truck! Thank you for your beautiful and strong personality! Jane, your passion and drive is absolutely inspirational, you will be an amazing nurse one day! Mary, thank you for the cutest Secret Santa gift and I’m so happy to have seen you grow at UVA! To Angel, Reyna, Kanata , Danielle, Rose, Aaron, and everyone else, thank you to all of you guys for being in my council as VP. You guys make me so proud. Finally, YOUR FOURTH YEAR WILL GO BY SO FAST! Put down your textbooks and go out! You’ll regret not doing so *tear.* To 2017: We did it! (Cry omg). Thank you for the long hours of practice, we gave it our all and I’m so excited for what waits us ahead. Stay in touch, I’ll miss you all! To my Lineage: Steph, keep slaying, girl. We can obsess over Naruto and dogs together forever. Jaden, I’m so incredibly proud of you! Keep it up and know I’m always here for you! Kathy, you are absolutely amazing, you flawless human being! Nikki, continue to stay beautiful inside and out! Megana, continue to rock everything you do, gorgeous! Ariana, you my OG little, keep it real, thanks for being you. Aleeza, you are so cute! Good luck with everything! Monica, my twin, I am going to miss you so much, we need to go on that double date sometime! Keep me up to date on everything, your life is a rollercoaster, girl! I’m going to miss all of you guys so much! To my Bigs: Christine, thank you for your loving and genuine soul; we need to stay in touch after we both graduate! Michael, I am so proud of you and keep rocking it in med school! To my grand big: Arnel, thank you making my first year amazing and I miss you! To Squad: Leangelo, you are such a great friend, see you in Hell. Kris, thanks for keeping it real always and being the best to talk to. Daniel, hello, friend! I enjoy our talks! Matt, thank you for your bright personality, you always make me laugh! Michael, I honestly don’t know where to start. You have been so incredibly supportive for the past ~two years, thank you for making me feel like a princess. Finally, thank you to my mom and dad for pushing me every step of the way. I am the woman I am today because of your love. And to my family: my Lolo and Lola, Marian, and Josiah, thank you for always supporting me and keeping me afloat. I love you!
HEATHER SLEDD Hello OYFA,
Thanks for all the memories and lifelong friendships you have given me during these past four years. To my littles, I will miss you tremendously, but you can still expect some visits from me because I won’t be too far next year. Thanks for putting up with your lazy big. Each one of you is something special; keep doing you and take college slow, it ends too fast :( To the Class of 2017, we did it. I’m proud to have shared my experiences in oyfa with you all and can’t believe our time has come. I love you all <3 With much OYFA love, Heather
I am absolutely baffled as to how these last four years have passed by so fast as it’s now our last barrio together as the class of 2017. Coming together as first years, I remember how eager and excited we were in culture fest and our first barrio. We all began getting busy within our majors and other extracurriculars in our second and third years and it got harder to stay together but every barrio, we’d all show up at practice and it’s like no time has passed. Now at our last barrio together, sentiments are high and we’re all exhausted but I’m so grateful to have had all of you amazing and wonderful people and friends along these four years. Thank you guys for making OYFA so fun. Mary, you have been such a light in my life and always keep me grounded as a dear friend and blessed roommate. Elexa, Caitlyn, and Kychelle, you guys always keep me laughing and are always real with me, thank you fam. Graduation is upon us and the future is so uncertain but each of you of class of 2017 are going to do such great things out there and I can’t wait to see to where we go! I would like to give infinite thanks to my parents, who have given me so much unconditional love and endless support. I would’ve never been able to had this fantastic opportunity to study here at UVA and get involved with OYFA where I’ve met such astounding people who have helped me to become who I am today. Thank you to my big Doan for inviting me over to your place during reveals and we just talked and got to know each other. It was the first time I felt comfortable and not afraid about reaching out when I came in as a first year, anxious and nervous about making friends. Thank you to my sisters of Gamma Phi Beta who have pushed me to be the best person I can be and where I have found some of my closest friends. Thank you to my littles for always believing in me and loving me as your big. Katie, I always appreciate your humor and keeping it real with me. Sussie, stay as cute as you are. Robbin, I’m sorry that I have to leave you but you’re awesome and I will definitely come back! To the rest of the classes of OYFA, I hope that you all appreciate everyone that you have now and take the time to hang out and just get to know each other with open arms and open minds. Continue to be kind and reach out to others, you’ll hear some amazing stories out there and know some really cool people!! Thank you to everyone who came to watch! Bless up y’all.
KEVIN PHUNG HellOYFAAA4AA!!! As I lay here trying to self-reflect, I can’t help but feel lost once again. I’m trying so hard to pinpoint a specific memory that embodies what both OYFA and UVA means to me, but that’s just it. I can’t. I am forever grateful for all the friendships and memories I’ve made because they have all shaped who I am today. Each year here has given me an experience to cherish and looking at you all reminds me when I was in your shoes. Class of 2020 – Blank Slate | You’re fresh out of high school thinking you’re on top of the world. Committed to one of the best public universities in the nation and feeling like nothing can stop you…until you get that first feeling of rejection. Whether this rejection is a grade, a CIO, or a person, you can’t help but feel like you don’t deserve to be here. Don’t. You’ve all worked this hard to get here, so don’t give up. Learn to appreciate and expand your reach, because rejection is only going to help make you a better person. You still have 3 years to experience both the acceptances and rejections that UVA has to offer. Class of 2019 – Introspection | No longer a baby, but still inexperienced. Still trying to figure out where you belong and if what you’re doing is actually what you want to do. You’re continuing to grow your network, but you feel like you’re being boxed into the constraints of “UVA.” Don’t feel like you need to be pushed into and defined by a label. Don’t feel like you need to have everything figured out, because you still have 2 years ahead of you. Use this time to really strengthen your friendships and continue to self-discover. Take a breath and really soak in what UVA has to offer. Class of 2018 – Empowerment | A moment of panic as you realize you only have 1 year left. You look around and see some of your peers with everything figured out. You can’t help but feel like you’re behind. 2 years experienced with UVA culture, but many years inexperienced in what’s soon to come. You painted a picture of what you expect your life to be, but nothing is going your way. You should realize now that life isn’t always going to go the way you want it to. Look into other perspectives and continue to try new things. Hone your skills and abilities and empower those who’d like to learn. Don’t feel pressured about the job search because let’s be honest, many of you still don’t know what you want to do. Class of 2017 – Reality | Still in shock, we’ve made it this far. Some of us have already figured the rest of our lives while others are deciding the next step for tomorrow. Some of us are stressed trying to decide what we’ve really done and if we actually made an impact during our time here. But the one thing we all have in common, is that we’re scared. We’re scared of leaving behind our friends and family. We’re scared of stepping into the dark of what we call the real world. We’re scared of popping this UVA bubble where even the imperfections are perfect. We’re scared that we won’t make it. But just remember that we’re all taking this big step together. I’m so proud of us all for making it this far and I know I can always lean on any of you for anything. Remember to keep those that you love close and never let that die. Lineage | To Enrique, Mark, Ky, Abigail, Andy, and Mira (and all your lils <3) – I’m so happy that I’ve gotten the chance to know each and every one of you. You’ve all helped mature me and understand what being a big truly means. I would love to be here to see you all become 4th years, but I know that you guys don’t need me because in the first year of meeting each of you, I could tell you were all more than capable of making it. Friends | There’s so much to say and so little space to say it. ~Look out for personal letters~ Aaron & Jasmin | Good luck.
Hey everybody! It’s currently 11:33 PM and 25 minutes away from the submission deadline so I’m just going to cram as much as I can into this space as quickly as possible From proudly and shamelessly carrying massive bamboo poles around Grounds and passing into manhood through Igorot, to jamming out at Filipino Food Night, to chilling in random apartment gatherings, to digging out my rusty trumpet skills to perform the national anthem in Barrio, my time in OYFA has been filled with energy, family, and happiness. I can’t imagine spending my time here at UVA any other way. To Daniel and Richard, thank you for being the best OYFA bigs I could ever ask for. To Allannnn, thank you for being the best grand-big and putting up with all of our incessant poking and teasing. Umm, byeeeeee. To Quyen, my first OYFA little, even though much of our time that we spent together wasn’t actually in OYFA hangouts, I’m glad we were able to be connected through the big-little system (thanks Allan), and that I was able to find a friend who loves anime as much as I do. To Zach, Manny, Daniel, and the rest of the mechxicans gang, it was a pleasure bonding together through pulling near all-nighters in the Mech Lounge for 20 page meth lab and mech lab reports, watching Manny make and throw paper airplanes at 2 am or later in the morning and proceeding to join in, making the best mech systems extra credit video ever (I’ll Make a Mode out of You), and all sorts of random other shenanigans. To Manny (again), thank you for being the T-Rex to my Baymax, and adventuring together with me as the best dynamic duo ever known to mankind. To Denis, I’m so glad to have picked up another little this year, and even though I haven’t had the chance to hang out with you as much as I’d like this year, I’m happy that we got the chance to bond through basketball games. To Kevin (Thumin), thank you for being the best basketball game buddy I never knew I wanted. To Madelyn, Alex, and Mary, thank you for your kind patience and assistance in helping me guide ALC this year. To Kychelle, your dancing skills amaze me, and your hugs always make my day. To Joe, your maturity, wokeness, and straight-forward personality amazes me, and I’m glad to have met you and gotten to know you better through APALTI and OYFA. To Melissa, I was surprised when I found out there was another MechE’s in OYFA, and I’m happy to have been able to share a little of my experiences and (hopefully) be of help in your academic/career path. To Celine, thank you for being the best birthday buddy. :D To the Class of 2017, thank you for putting up with me since day one, and despite me floating in and out, accepting me like family every time I come back. If I missed you, I sincerely apologize, and know that I have all of you in my heart. And to OYFA, thank you for making my time at UVA a blast. Good Times, Go Hoos. Zengarang signing out.
KYCHELLE DEL ROSARIO
I literally waited until the last second to start writing this because I was in such denial that I even had to write this at all. So here goes: To my family, thank you for your undying love and support through all the years. To Mom and Dad, welcome to your 12th and last Barrio! Finally, right? You deserve an award or something... Thank you for always looking out for me, worrying about me, for giving me advice and keeping me accountable. I love you both so much. To my sisters, thanks for instilling in me a love for UVA from the start and teaching me the Good Ol’ Song before I even applied to go here. It came in handy! Thanks for the laughter and weird jokes, for life advice and always having my back. Love you guys. To my roomies, Elexa and Caitlyn, I am so lucky that we had to struggle with each other in Orgo together, because without that I wouldn’t have found my day ones, my literal best friends forever. I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere without you guys and not being in the same city as you two. It’s gonna be so weird, but I know there’ll be more years for us to come. Can’t wait to get lost in Europe with you two! I love you guys more than you know. To my 4th years, we made it! I’m proud of us. Thank you for dealing with me and my yelling during all our modern practices lol. Madelyn, you’ll forever be my favorite and only coach. Manny & Abhishek, thanks for fun times being stranded in Lambeth. Heather, I’m glad I made you audition for AKAdeMiX when you did <3 To Lauren, my big, thank you for tolerating me and my lameness lmao. Even though you abuse me I love you still! Charles, glittle, love you bb. Stay ticklish and be on guard next time I see you. Tahir I love you too :-* Reyna, my one and only little, I’m gonna miss you and seeing you everyday more than anything. From working in Naveen’s lab together, to freaking out about AKAdeMiX problems, to me sneaking out of my own apartment to hang at Carrollton with you and Stephen, to being spicy and elite, to California and wishing we could dance there forever: The memories I made with you the past three years are gonna be with me forever. I love you so so much! Stephen, take care of her and I’ll be back to kill u on ur 21st heheh. And I’m so proud of you for putting together this amazing Barrio. I’ll remember it forever. To Daniel: Lmao, #tb to #Origins, both Barrio and ours :3 At this point it’s almost been a year and I can’t believe it’s passed this fast. You have become so much more to me than I’d have ever expected. You’ve made me laugh so much and open up to you so quickly. Thank you for all the love, support and comfort you have given me this past year and I can’t wait for even more with you <3 To Squad: Thanks for so many fun nights with Quiplash (nubs and chins), Adult Loaded Questions, that one messed up t-shirt game, BG&KD, ski trip, and to our future trips (CHICAGO? DIDNEY WORL???). I can’t wait for all the fun times and to join y’all as an alumna! Let’s hope this bet doesn’t happen pls. Also s/o to Matthew Anthony Dizon Lapuz. OYFA, you’ve given me so much the past four years. Thanks for the memories.
It’s crazy looking back on all the memories, a lifetime’s worth, and feeling as if it just flashed by. To my littles - Vincent, thanks for starting the squadron, I’m incredibly proud to claim you as my OG little. Katherine, you’ve been such a wonderful little. You’re involved in so much I don’t even know how you manage yet you do and I’m confident you’ll do great things. Diego, Jamel, Bryan, and Rahul, yall keep doing you and know that I support all that you do. Class of 2020 - Mikey, you a fool. Sarah, teach me to be like you. Roseanna why you always trying to fight me? Jaden, never stop killing it - easy. And to the rest of 2020, I wish I had gotten to know more of you but good luck and make the most of your time here! Class of 2019 - Stephen and Moises, you two are literally some of the best people I know. Larry, wise beyond your years, thanks for all the no invites. Alexa, don’t let anybody ever tell you otherwise - you’re definitely Worth It. Abigail, when you become an optometrist I’ll come to you for eye surgery. Joe, BLAP BLAP BLAP. Mark, my friend and the multitalented man, keep running. Carol, the golden child, keep setting the example. Stephanie, who am I supposed to trust now? And to Oliver, Ky, Maddie, Celine, Hiu Hiu (you need to wear your glasses more), Kyle, lil Viv, Ahra (sorry I always gave you such a hard time, it was out of love), and Christine, it’s been a pleasure watching all of you grow. To some of you I know I’m no longer father and I’ve become a cool kid now, but hopefully we don’t become former friends. I’m so proud of all of you and I’ll miss you all so much. Stay golden. Class of 2018 - To the other members of the squadron Kanata and Ervin, balling just won’t be the same without yall. To the bruhs, I’ll never forget those rice nights. Jasmin, the day one, we’ve been through so much and have so many memories together. You’ll always be my homie. Reyna, don’t forget about all us little people once you become a doctor and have all the money to buy all the puppies you want. Enrique, Iain, and Cosib, my physics buddies, I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this but I’ll miss struggling through class with yall. Julianna, I don’t think anything will ever top the flip squad of 2016. Aye doe Claudine peace doe. Aaron you’re such a snake. Angel, you’re one of the funniest people I know and I appreciate that I’m a person you can confide in, you deserve the best of the world. Sarah, you’re a beautiful soul and I wish I had gotten to know you earlier. To my Boo - How wonderful it’s been. I wanted to especially thank you for introducing me to a whole new world of food. I’m not entirely sure how I used to live without eating thai or sushi at least once a week with you, but I’m so glad it’s you’re a part of my life now. You know how I feel. Class of 2017 - David, if you read this at Barrio as part of the audience I’m going off. Viv, you’re one of my best friends, and I’m really going to miss declining all your invites to go out. Alex, I’ll miss your positivity and how you see the best in people. Madelyn, Kankanay fam wouldn’t have been nearly as great without its Kank-Ina. Manny, thanks for being my co-chair and making sports fun. Zach and Katie, I’m such a fan. KPhung I hate you. And to Kych, Elexa, Caitlyn, Heather, Truc, Michaele, Vince, Rose, Sarah, Abhi, Quang, Conner, and everyone else, congratulations on all you have accomplished! This is it! We’ve put in a lot of work the past four years and I know we have bright futures ahead of us! Let’s take the stage one last time! Thank you everyone, for making my experience here all the more memorable. Sincerely, Leandro
OYFA has been significant part of my time at UVA. The friends I’ve made--my family away from home--have made such a large impact in my life. It has been truly heartwarming to have had their support through life’s ups and downs for the past four years. To the alum, thank you all for your support and advice. To Kim, your refreshing perspective never fails to help me through tough times. To my big, Camille, thank you for always being there for me and making the rest of the adult world seem less daunting. Class of 2017, it’s been real y’all. From first year studying in PLSB, second year sleepovers, winery trips, game nights, and our cruise. Our struggle class finally made it! It’s only a few more weeks before we walk the lawn together, and I cannot wait to cherish all the moments we have left. To my Kankama Leandro and Binondad Vince, thanks for being the best dads OYFA has ever seen. I love my butt buddy, struggle for life, and roomie Heather To the Class of 2018, my first babies. Keep slaying the game! To my favorite anak, Danielle, stay confident and keep your handwriting game strong! To my other less loved anak, Richard, cop me plane tickets so I can visit you in Seattle! To Ally, my bottom, travel more and make sure you visit me! To my unders, Patricia, Brian, Oanh, Dani, and John, make the most of your last year!! I have no doubt you’ll all live it up and it has been a pleasure working with and getting to know each one of you. Shoutout to my baes Enrique, Claudine, Rose, Angel, Ariana, and Meiya.
To the Class of 2019, good luck with your third year! You’re all incredibly smart and studious but don’t forget to enjoy it along the way. My unders, Celine, Carol, Abigail, and Melissa, it’s been a blessing to work with you ladies and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish! To the Class of 2020, our last babies class. Your energy is truly uplifting. I look forward to seeing how you all leave your legacy on OYFA and coming back for each of your Barrios! To my board, ewan kOYFA. You all are my rock Alex, thank you for keeping me sane. We’ve grown together over the years in more ways than I could put into words. And I’d say we make quite the team. Jerome, I have been blessed to learn so much from you in our two years. Never stop being confident in yourself! I cannot wait to see what you accomplish as VP next year. Kanata, I miss you and our netflix binge sessions incredibly. I know you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to. Christine (“gagambita”), thank you for teaching me how to make mac and cheese! I’ve loved our deep car conversations. Slay third year and never forget how incredibly talented you are. To new Board, I cannot wait to see what incredible new heights you bring the organization to. To my successor, Joseph, your passion is inspiring. Jane, I’m so proud of your growth. Alexa, don’t ever doubt your capabilities because you, girl, are incredible. Jaden, I cannot wait to see your ideas blossom! To my lineage, you’re all pretty cool. @Kat and @Hannah Enjoy your fourth year!! But make sure you go to class. @Oliver, Stop being so needy. Look after your cosib. Always take a shot of Bacardi before doing homework. Love u. @Sophia Your adventure at UVA is just starting and I can’t wait to see how it goes for you. I’m so glad to have gotten you as my little this year shoutout to my many grandlittles, Julia, Bhadra, Raymond, Sarah. @ChickenCoop, Julia, Grace, Lynette, Chun--I know y’all love me more than Manny. Thanks for the spontaneous meals and photoshoots at the Art Park! Lastly, thank you to my parents whose dedication and support have given me the incredible opportunity to attend UVA and be a part of this OYFAmily. It is through your love of our Filipino culture and your powerful examples that I empower me to be a better person each and every day.
These past four years in OYFA have been something else. First year was probably the most eye opening. I sort of learned how to play football, found out that I can somewhat dance, and most of all made friends that I will always remember. Second year came and “Sports”, with my co-chair “Dro”, was now ours. With ROTC keeping me busy, I knew this was the year that I had to do something to give back to OYFA (ironically that’s been my mindset all these years). The page “Chilling Out with OYFA” came to be and I couldn’t have been prouder of “Dro” and I to have created something that actually became a footprint within OYFA. Second year was also my first Barrio that I could be in and I ended up “smacking” the other Igorot Chieftain in the face, hehe. Then third year creeped up on me. That was most likely my most busiest year ever and I actually don’t remember much about it except for Barrio. I could have fallen to my demise in Sayaw Sa Bangko and one of my Igorot “boys” has more muscle than the entire tribe. So here I am now, a graduating fourth year aerospace engineer filipino pilot. To what I can sum up about this year is that it was the most fun I’ve ever had. I was the T-Rex that got on stage to be hypnotized, crowned Mr. OYFA 2017, became a Co-Rec Champion in Winter Classic, accumulated so much attire that I could wear “OYFA” everyday for two weeks, drank, learned how to properly carve on a snowboard and ride a black diamond, bought more stuff on Amazon, and... You get the point now. OYFA isn’t just a club to me. It is a family that I will never leave behind. Some day, I might be the OOFAN to do the blog for the general meeting (I’m looking at you new historic chairs). Maybe I’ll also have time to fly back here to actually watch Barrio. But all that will be in the past and I’ll have YouTube videos to remind me of how much fun OYFA was.
Shoutout to OYFA for connecting me to some of my most favorite and most amazing people I’ve met throughout these 4 years. This one’s for all of you. To the fam: Connor, thank you for being the sassy, innuendo-making, supportive, and nonjudgmental glue of the family. I can’t imagine second year without our impromptu meals, especially that time we went to Michie Tavern where I lowkey thought you were kidnapping me lol. Rose, your tweets are fire and your Spotify playlists are fire and you are fire. Super tempted to throw in a meme here because it doesn’t seem appropriate to give you a shoutout without one, but pls imagine the appropriate Pepe or GoT GIF as necessary while reading this. Thank you for getting dem digits (aka mine) at Wing Night two years ago and following through on Cookout runs. Dani, you are one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet and it’s seriously mind-blowing. I’m so proud of everything you’ve done and continue to do! Abs, thank you for being a real homie. I don’t always see you, but I know you’re always there for me and always willing to listen. Patricia, you know what you are. I hate you, but somehow I love you anyway. Melissa, I’m super proud to call you my great god-little. You’re so easy to talk to, and you are genuinely unafraid to be yourself. To the lineage: Eclair, somehow you always seemed to know the right times to text me, whether it was to offer your support, congratulate me for something, or ask me about concerts lmao. Thank you for being the coolest big ever. Sussie, I still remember the reveal party when Jolie awkwardly tackled you from behind lol. It took a few hugs that you may or may not have wanted at first, but hopefully you’ve accepted that being tackled by hugs is how I’ll greet you every time. Katie, I’m grateful that we’ve seen each other so much more this last year. I never would have gained an appreciation for your dancing to King Kunta otherwise. Faith, it is literally unbelievable how similar we are and quite honestly, I feel so lucky to have gotten you as my little. Thank you for our real talks, your genuine concern for others, your empathy, and your endless support. Baohan, you’re absolutely killing it your first year here. Though I won’t be here for your next three years, just know I’m always a text away if you need me! P.S. I promise we’ll hang out more during the next month or two. And last but never ever the least, Jolie: Thank you for being a great co-big and for being there since day one. College wouldn’t be the same if we’d never talked that first day of Chem lab and you hadn’t worn shorts. Love you all.
My time with OYFA, although short-lived, has been filled with enjoyable moments with some of the most welcoming people I’vee met. As a third-year transfer, I wasn’t expecting to have much of a social life, but I was lucky enough to find friends who not only partied and went to events with me but also laughed at cultural Filipino jokes and bonded with me over pancit and adobo. OYFA quickly became my family starting from my big Sarah, my one and only little Olivia, and the class of 2017. Sarah, from giving me rides everywhere to picking up alcohol for me when I wasn’t old enough to insisting that we choreo Malagueña together, you’ve guided me through my first year and encouraged me to push myself further on my final year at UVA. Thank you for reassuring me at times when I had doubted myself. Thank you even more for reminding me to live a little aka ditch homework and go to bars with you lmaoo. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures after UVa, you better keep me updated! #PhillyLife Olivia, you are sweet and wild and loving and litty all at the same time! I’m so happy to have you as my little and to have had the opportunity to know the free-spirited person that you are. I’m incredibly proud of your accomplishments and your ability to balance work and play. I know two more years at UVa will be a breeze for you, and I’m so excited to live more college years vicarously through your stories. Love you Livy <3 To the Class of 2017, we’re almost done! I’m not sure if I’ve said this enough or said this at all, but UVa wouldn’t have become what I now know it to be if it wasn’t for ya’ll. Thanks for the good times and for all the love! I know you’ll all be moving on to doing great things because you are great people and we are a great class ;) Keep in touch! To everyone in OYFA, even though I will no longer be in Charlottesville, I want you to know that you can always reach out to me for anything! You are all my family, and I will always want to recall good memories! Love, Rose Mesina
It’s been quite a ride; you guys have made my past four years fun and memorable. To those of you who have just joined, I’m excited for the memories you have yet to create in the coming years. To all the returning members, make your remaining year(s) count, I promise you they will fly by! To my lineage: Manyata, my first little, I’m so thankful I’ve gotten to spend the past 3 years with you. I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through half my classes without you. We laugh, complain, and struggle together; I knew after the first few classes with you that we’d end up becoming great friends, and well, here we are. Good luck with your fourth year, I know you’ll do amazing things! Jessica, my youngest little, you’re the energetic, eager, fun, ratchet little that I needed for my old, fourth-year self. Your stories never fail to amuse and surprise me. Keep doing you these next 3 years, I know whatever you strive for you’ll be successful. Olivia, my grandlittle, thank you for all the survivor hours and fun times we’ve had, good luck with your next 2 years! And finally, Rose, I saved you for last simply because you’re graduating with me! We did it!! You’re the kindest, most patient, and funniest person to be around, it’s no wonder everyone loves you; I am honored that I got to be your big. I’m so proud of us for choreographing Malagueña for Barrio this year! You’re going to do great things in Timor next year with the Peace Corps and I wish you all the best! To Sussie and Jen, thank you for keeping my little grounded, haha. The dynamic of your friendships never cease to amuse me (all the facebook status hacks and group chat insults). Both of you have also played a key role in my success in my classes. Who else would save me seats and keep me sane? Best of luck to both of you next year as you apply to med school and other programs!
Class of 2017: I can’t believe our time has come. I still remember when we were scrambling from the Stadium Garage to the Band Building the night before Barrio our 1st year. Elexa, we raised the best family our 3rd year, Kalinga <3. Kychelle, thank you for making all four of my Barrios amazing and being ever so patient with a struggling dancer such as myself. And to all the other fourth years, thank you for all the memories and positive influences you’ve had over my life. I wish us all the best of luck with our future endeavors and I’ll see y’all at YAR!
TRUC VO Even though I was never super super active, OYFA has always made me feel at home whenever I did come out and truly feel like part of the OYFAmily. A big shoutout to the rest of the class of 2017 for always welcoming me with open arms despite me hardly ever coming out to anything first year. Another huge huge shoutout to my big, Marc! You loved me and were always there for me especially when I was struggling with Japanese even though I was a very MIA little<3 Some of my favorite memories at UVA include Barrio my first year and Megamodern last year and going vineyard hopping with my fellow fourth years. I wish I could go back in time to get to know everyone better; but I can’t, so I’ll just have to make the most of my time for the rest of the semester! Thanks OYFA for taking me in and making me feel loved whenever I come out and I’ll still be around next year finishing up my masters so I’m not gone quite yet(:
VINCE EGALLA Later yâ€™all.
Cheers to our Fourth Years, “Welcome Littles! We love you!” From the moment we joined OYFA, you immediately embraced us with open arms. You welcomed us with warm smiles and an eagerness to share the OYFA experience just as the preceding years have done for you. You presented us with a home away from home, and you never failed to make us feel welcomed and loved at this university. Looking back on this past year, it’s incredible to see how close we have become in such a small amount of time. We are speechless in thinking that our time with you here is coming to an end, and we wish that we could push off the goodbyes to keep you with us to experience this year’s crazy memories for one last time. We want one last dance, one last trip, one last late night, and one last family night with you; just one last time to remind us about all the memories we have made together. There is one thing we can tell you that we don’t want, and that is for you to leave us. It’s crazy to think that a lot of our little “firsts” have become your big “lasts.” Though your time here is coming to an end, we promise to continue sharing your enthusiasm and love for this organization during our time here at U.Va. Although this may seem like a good time to be sad, you shouldn’t be. When you really stop and think, this is an incredible and exciting time in your life. Yes, your time here is hanging by a thread, but once that thread falls, you’ll be falling head first into your next big steps in life. Whereas it has been a year of new beginnings for the first years, these next couple years will also present new beginnings for you. You’ll experience your first real job, your first step into graduate’s school, or even your first move towards your career. Most importantly, it will be your first big step past undergraduate’s school. We know that you will succeed in anything and everything you do in these next exciting years of your life. And as you prepare to take on these future endeavors, know that we are always here rooting for you and are anxiously awaiting to see your new accomplishments. If you ever happen to find yourself in Charlottesville, we will be here, ready with the same warm welcomes as you once gave us. Once a family, always a family. Thanks for all the laughs, the late nights, the good times go hoos, and all the memories. From all of us in OYFA, to you all, we wish you the best of luck. Love, The OYFA Classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020