Our Red Lions lost this Wednesday to a gutsier, hungrier and more fired up Mapua Cardinals, 53-48, to drop to third place in the ongoing elimination round of Season 84 of the NCAA.

Being there was heartbreaking, agonizing to say the least. The players in red and white were slow to the draw, hesitant to take the shot. More than fire, there was confusion in their eyes… The Astrodome was filled by cheering, exultant Mapua fans. The Red Army? Reduced to a measly sum. Wait, wait… Aren’t we the defending champions??

Just behind the RL bench where we were sitting, alumni in utter disgust were cursing our players. They were within earshot of the players on the bench and to the huddle during timeouts. All I could do was shake my head.. Something is terribly wrong here… What the hell is going on with SAN BEDA?

I remember my baptism of fire to the Red Lion fanatic world. I was then, a teenage lass dragged by my Bedan relatives to watch the 1991 NCAA Finals, pitting San Beda against Mapua. Yes, the painful memory of that Benny Cheng buzzer beater.  All throughout the dark ages of the nineties, it was then that I grew up, building my hardcore support for the Red Lions. It was difficult to keep watching them lose. But then you just keep showing up, hoping that they will end up winning. If they did, it just felt like a championship. It was easy to make everyone happy then. Fond memories of that era were Apepe three-pointers, slam dunk exhibitions during the round robins, stomping to the beat of our Indian yell, enjoying the Little Indian halftime show. Babaw lang natin non…

I could say that, more than anything, the twenty-eight year drought had to teach us Bedans the lesson of graciously accepting the pains of defeat. We needed to learn this before we could climb back to the top of the heap.

As we zoom forward to the present time, circa 2008, we have regained our winning ways in the last two years. With that, one could notice that we have so easily forgotten about the past and the lessons we learned. Is it that San Beda, as an institution, has changed? Or the new Bedan has become naive of the tradition of Bedan brothers who came before? Have we allowed that to slowly fade into the shadows? This is disappointing to me and to the Bedans who have hung on to their fond memories of the San Beda of old. While we, at times, have to let go of the old and embrace the new, this is definitely something to hold on to. Something that should stand the test of time, and the wings of change.

I am not the school’s staunchest die hard, top authority or oldest alumnus. I’m just an ordinary alumna, wistfully strolling down memory lane, wishing that we could have some of that Bedan tradition back. I might be too much of a sentimentalist, but maybe we need a little more of that.

More than regrouping is needed, I must say. It is a time for soul-searching and self-rediscovery. We have the talent, but how about heart? What is this NCAA campaign really for? I ask this, not only to the Red Army, but to the players and coaches as well. Is it about self interest, bragging rights and personal glory? If the answer is yes, then let us all bow our heads in shame…

The red and the white does not stand for Escobal, Ekwe, Menor or Lim… These colors stand for the countless men who have worn this jersey proudly throughout the years. Whether in victory or in defeat, the Red and White is SAN BEDA. The glory of competition is not in winning, really, but fighting with heart. This should be the spirit that drives you with every shot, with every rebound, with every steal. Sadly, the greed in winning has blinded us all in the pursuit of an NCAA dynasty. This stigma is eating up even the spirit of our players. This should be addressed immediately. If not, the three peat will just slip from the palm of our hands.

To us who are lost in translation, let’s all go back to our simple code, the last line of our Alma Mater song. Let us remember to whom we give all glory back,

San Beda…

Our Country…

and God!

Pre-recorded or with the band, sing it with heart. Let it guide us all…

With our red badges, let’s throw our fists high up as we go deep down to our core…

Win or lose, we stay together…





  1. Robert says:


    just want to say thank you for the nice article. Makes me feel closer to home while I am abroad. You articulate the thoughts and sentiments of a great many Bedans who cherish the school spirit and conduct themselves accordingly.


  2. Mark Mabanag says:

    Caveat: I posted this msg on an earlier thread as well…

    Hello there!

    Been really enjoying your blogs… Like you, I live outside the Philippines and desperate to watch the NCAA finals between SBC and JRU. From your blogs, it appears that you’re able to catch games online, can you tell me which website offers this service?

    For the record, I’m a Bedan as well.

  3. Mark Mabanag says:

    Thanks for the quick response. Tried the website but the TV5 streaming seems to be not working at the moment. If you’re watching the game online but having problems with the streaming at Pinay Channel, try the link below:

    The streaming appears to be working fine at the moment.

    Animo San Beda!


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