Ateneo Blue Eagles

The Ateneo Blue Eagles are the collegiate men's varsity teams of the Ateneo de Manila University that play in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), the premiere collegiate league in the Philippines. The collegiate women's varsity basketball team is called the Lady Eagles. The Ateneo collegiate men's varsity basketball team was not always called the Blue Eagles. It got the name Blue Eagles when Ateneo adopted the Eagle as its mascot in 1938. Prior to that, from 1914 it was known under different names. Ateneo has fifteen collegiate men's varsity teams that participate in fifteen sporting events of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, its mother league. Twenty five years after playing their last game as Blue Eagles, the Board of Directors of the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame review their playing years as Blue Eagles. Those who meet the criteria are inducted into the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame.

Ateneo Blue Eagles
Ateneo de Manila University
Logo of Ateneo Blue Eagles
(NCAA founding member – 1924)
LocationKatipunan Avenue,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Team colors Blue  and  White 
Fight songBlue Eagle the King
Women's teamLady Eagles
Juniors' teamBlue Eaglets
Seniors' general championships

Team identityEdit

Team monikersEdit

When Ateneo started to participate in intercollegiate sports in 1914, its varsity basketball teams were simply referred to by the school community as the Ateneo Seniors and Ateneo Juniors. They were later dubbed the Blue and Whites by the sports press in the early 1920s when Ateneo joined sports leagues. When Ateneo adopted the Eagle as its mascot in 1938, the college team was given a new name: Blue Eagles. The Ateneo Blue Eagles are sometimes called the Hail Mary Quintet by the sports press. This moniker was given to the Blue Eagles in 1926 when the sports press reporters noticed that the team would pray the Hail Mary during game time-outs and would win by the skin of their teeth.[1][2]

The first women's varsity basketball team was formed in 1974. It joined the league called Women's National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA) and was named the Blue Eaglettes. This was later changed to Lady Eagles when they transferred to the UAAP. No written article has been found to date to explain why and to provide the exact year this name change happened.[3][4][5][6][7]

Ateneo is one of the four UAAP member schools that participate in all of the fifteen sporting events of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. Since the Eagle is the mascot of all the varsity teams participating in these sporting events all of them are called Blue Eagles.[8] However, the Guidon which is the school's official student publications have given them specific names to differentiate them when news about their games are reprted. They are as follows:

Sport Men Women
Basketball Blue Eagles Lady Eagles
Football Blue Booters Lady Booters
Volleyball Blue Spikers Lady Eagles
Beach Volleyball Blue Beach Spikers Lady Beach Spikers
Baseball Blue Batters No Team
Softball No team Lady Batters
Badminton Blue Shuttlers Lady Shuttlers
Tennis Blue Netters Lady Netters
Table Tennis Blue Paddlers Lady Paddlers
Track & Field Blue Tracksters Lady Tracksters
Swimming Blue Tankers Lady Tankers
Fencing Blue Fencers Lady Fencers
Judo Blue Judokas Lady Judokas
Taekwondo Blue Jins Lady Jins
Chess Blue Woodpushers Lady Woodpushers

Mascot and colorsEdit

Ateneo has long been involved in intercollegiate sports dating back to 1914. It was a pioneer in Philippine collegiate sports. Ateneo was the first Philippine school to adopt a mascot, and was also the first school to field an organized cheering squad with cheerleaders which was later followed by another first when it introduced a Pep Band to augment the cheerleaders during games.[3][4][5][9]

The choice of an eagle as school mascot holds iconic significance. Conferred with the title "the King", the Blue Eagle is a reference to the "high-flying" Ateneo varsity teams which would "swoop down on the foe and sweep up the fields away" as a dominating force in the field of sports. Furthermore, there is some mythological significance to the eagle as a symbol of power.[5]

The school used to have live eagles as pets in the former Padre Faura campus and later on at the Grade School campus in Loyola Heights. A live eagle would lead the men's varsity basketball team at the start of a game in the NCAA as the team enters the basketball court for their warm-up with the school Band playing the fight song, "Blue Eagle – The King".[5]

Blue and White, being the colors of the school's patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary, were chosen as the school's colors. Thus blue and white are the colors of the uniforms of the varsity teams. Most of the school songs, yells and cheers have the words blue and white.

Athletic associationsEdit

Collegiate leaguesEdit

The Ateneo de Manila University is a member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, the premiere sports league in the country. It fields teams in all fifteen sporting events of the league. Ateneo was a founding member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which was established in 1924. It left the NCAA in 1978 due to the league-wide violence prevalent at the time, and then joined the UAAP in the same year.[10]

Other tournamentsEdit

Aside from the UAAP, the Ateneo Blue Eagles also participates during the UAAP preseason in other sports leagues/tournaments such as the Fil-Oil Flying V Preseason Cup, SMART City Hoops Summer Classic, Breakdown Basketball Invitationals, Philippine Collegiate Championship League (PCCL), Premier Volleyball League, Rizal Football Association (RIFA).[citation needed]

Team sportsEdit


The Blue Eagles have had several rivalries throughout the years. Before the NCAA was founded and into the early years after its foundation (1924), Ateneo's fiercest basketball rivals were the UP Fighting Maroons (then known as the Maroon and Greens).[4][11] Ateneo won its first NCAA seniors basketball title in 1928 while the San Beda Red Lions won their first in 1927, and the two went on to develop a rivalry during the 1930s that lasted up to the 1970s.[citation needed]

While the Ateneo-San Beda rivalry was ongoing, the seed for a future rivalry was planted after an Ateneo loss to La Salle in the championship game of NCAA season 16 (1939–40). Games between Ateneo and La Salle in the NCAA were always hotly contested but not yet tagged by the sportswriters as a rivalry. When Ateneo and La Salle transferred to the UAAP, San Beda was left in the NCAA. Ateneo and La Salle continued their hotly contested games into the UAAP and the sports press started to write about a rivalry.[11] The basketball games between the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers are the most anticipated matches in every UAAP season.[citation needed]

The late Fr. Edgar A. Martin, S.J., Ateneo's college athletic moderator in the 1950s and 1960s, once said that "basketball brings glory to Ateneo". The student-athletes of Ateneo share in this belief.[12] As of the year 2019, Ateneo has 57 combined NCAA (25) and UAAP (32) basketball titles, which include championships won in men's, women's, juniors' and midgets' divisions. This is more than the total number of combined titles in men's, women's, and juniors' divisions held by the University of Santo Tomas, which has 42 (40 UAAP and 2 NCAA), San Beda College, which has 45 NCAA titles, Far Eastern University which has 41 titles (40 UAAP titles and 1 NCAA title), Colegio de San Juan de Letran with 29 NCAA titles, De La Salle University, which has 27 (11 in the NCAA and 16 in the UAAP), and Mapúa Institute of Technology with 29 NCAA titles.[citation needed]


Blue Eagles
NCAA (14)
  • 1928
  • 1931
  • 1932
  • 1933
  • 1937
  • 1941
  • 1953
  • 1954
  • 1957
  • 1958
  • 1961
  • 1969
  • 1975
  • 1976
UAAP (11)
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 2002
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
Lady Eagles
UAAP (2)
  • 2005
  • 2007

In men's basketball, the Ateneo Blue Eagles have won 24 titles as of 2018, 14 in the NCAA and 10 in the UAAP. The Lady Eagles have won two UAAP titles.

UAAP Finals AppearancesEdit

Blue Eagles (15)
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2006
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
Lady Blue Eagles (5)
  • 1987
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2015

The Blue Eagles made fifteen trips to the UAAP Finals, and the Lady Eagles had five trips.

Other Leagues and TournamentsEdit

In addition to the NCAA and UAAP championships, recent victories of the Blue Eagles include the back-to-back titles (2008 and 2009), the 2011 and 2014 championship in the annual Philippine University Games, the championship of the Fr. Martin Summer Cup in 2006, 2010 and 2012, and the 2008 Nike Summer League. The Blue Eagles also won championship in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup in 2011 and 2018. These were won since participating in 2007. In 2018, the Blue Eagles participated in the SMART City Hoops / 1st Collegiate Summer Classic Tournament and the Breakdown Basketball Invitationals where they won the championships.[citation needed]

At the national level, the Blue Eagles won the title of the 2007 Collegiate Champions League, and its successor, the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) in 2009, 2010, 2018 and 2019.[citation needed]

The Blue Eagles also competed at the 2018 William Jones Cup,[13] an international tournament in Taiwan for both club and national teams.


  • 2005 – Lady Eagles – National Students Basketball Championships / Home and Away Invitational League
  • 2006 – Blue Eagles – Fr. Martin Summer Cup
  • 2007 – Blue Eagles – Collegiate Champions League
  • 2008 – Blue Eagles – Philippine University Games / Nike Summer League
  • 2009 – Blue Eagles – Philippine University Games / Philippine Collegiate Champions League
  • 2010 – Blue Eagles – Fr. Martin Summer Cup / Philippine Collegiate Champions League
  • 2011 – Blue Eagles – Philippine University Games / Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup

Notable basketball alumniEdit

3x3 BasketballEdit

Ateneo won the UAAP Season 81 3x3 Basketball tournament on its second and final year as a demonstration sport before it became an official sport in UAAP Season 82.[14][15]


The Ateneo Volleyball Program enjoyed a modest success in the NCAA, having won a total of nine championships during a ten-year period from 1967 to 1976. The men's team had two titles and one from the women's, while the juniors team had won six titles. Ateneo dominated NCAA volleyball in the mid-1970s. In the UAAP, Ateneo has won five championships so far since transferring from the NCAA in 1978. These titles were won by the Lady Eagle Spikers in Season 76 (2013–14) and Season 77 (2014–15) and by the Blue Eagle Spikers in Season 77 (2014–15), Season 78 (2015–16) and Season 79 (2016–17), finally ending a title drought of more than 30 years in UAAP volleyball.


Blue Spikers
NCAA (2)
  • Season 51 (1975–76)
  • Season 52 (1976–77)
UAAP (3)
  • Season 77 (2014–15)
  • Season 78 (2015–16)
  • Season 79 (2016–17)
Lady Eagles
NCAA (1) Season 52 (1976–77)
UAAP (3)
  • Season 76 (2013–14)
  • Season 77 (2014–15)
  • Season 81 (2018–19)

Double ChampionshipsEdit

Blue Spikers / Lady Eagles
NCAA Season (1) Season 52 (1976–77)[16]
UAAP Season (1) Season 77 (2014–15)

UAAP Finals AppearancesEdit

Blue Eagles (5)
  • Season 76 (2013–14)
  • Season 77 (2014–15)
  • Season 78 (2015–16)
  • Season 79 (2016–17)
  • Season 80 (2017–18)
Lady Blue Eagles (6)
  • Season 74 (2011–12)
  • Season 75 (2012–13)
  • Season 76 (2013–14)
  • Season 77 (2014–15)
  • Season 78 (2015–16)
  • Season 79 (2016–17)
  • Season 81 (2018–19)
The Ateneo Blue Eagles Volleyball TeamEdit

The men's volleyball team were back-to-back champions in NCAA Seasons 51 and 52, and were 3-peat champions in UAAP Seasons 77 to 79. The Blue Eagles were also able to achieve a perfect season in the UAAP Season 79 men's volleyball tournament.[17]

The Ateneo Lady Eagles Volleyball TeamEdit

Notable volleyball playersEdit

Men's DivisionEdit
Women's DivisionEdit


The Ateneo varsity football teams have won a total 19 championships, 9 in the NCAA and 10 in the UAAP. In the NCAA, the seniors have won 6 titles. The Blue Booters were the first to win a football championship in the NCAA when they won the title on the maiden season of the NCAA in 1924. They also won their first back-to-back (1953 and 1954) championship in the NCAA. In the UAAP, the seniors (men) have won 8 titles. The Blue Booters were three-peat champions after winning in Seasons 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06, a record that still holds today. Football was introduced in the UAAP Juniors Division as a demonstration sport in season 70 (2007–08) and declared a regular sport in season 72 (2009–10)

Football Championships

Notable football playersEdit

Men's Division


Baseball ChampionshipsEdit

Blue Batters
NCAA Season (2)
  • 1927–28
  • 1965–66
UAAP Season (4)
  • 2012–13
  • 2013–14
  • 2014–15
  • 2016–17

Notable baseball playersEdit

Men's DivisionEdit
Women's DivisionEdit


This is Ateneo's ranking in the team sports in the UAAP since 1986, the year the UAAP became an eight member-school league:

UAAP Season Basketball Football Volleyball Baseball Softball
Men's Women's Men's Women's Men's Women's Men's Women's
49 (1986–87) Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
50 (1987–88) 1st 2nd 5th Unknown Unknown Unknwon 5th Unknown
51 (1988–89) 1st Unknown 4th Unknown Unknown Unknown 5th Unknown
52 (1989–90) 4th Unknown 2nd Unknown Unknown Unknown 4th Unknown
53 (1990–91) 3rd Unknown 5th Unknown Unknown Unknown 5th Unknown
54 (1991–92) 5th Unknown 4th Unknown Unknown Unknown 5th Unknown
55 (1992–93) 5th Unknown 6th Unknown Unknown Unknown 6th Unknown
56 (1993–94) 6th Unknown 7th Unknown 8th 6th 6th Unknown
57 (1994–95) 6th Unknown 6th Unknown 6th 5th 6th Unknown
58 (1995–96) 7th Unknown 1st Unknown 8th 5th 6th Unknown
59 (1996–97) 5th 7th 2nd 2nd Did not join 5th 6th 5th
60 (1997–98) 6th Unknown 2nd Unknown 8th Did not join 6th Unknown
61 (1998–99) 6th 7th 1st 4th 8th 8th 6th 6th
62 (1999–00) 3rd Unknown 2nd Unknown 8th 8th 6th Unknown
63 (2000–01) 3rd Unknown 2nd Unknown 8th 8th 6th Unknown
64 (2001–02) 2nd Unknown 3rd Unknown 8th 6th 6th Unknown
65 (2002–03) 1st Unknown 2nd Unknown 8th 6th 5th Unknown
66 (2003–04) 2nd Unknown 1st Unknown 8th 6th 6th Unknown
67 (2004–05) 2nd 2nd 1st Unknown 8th 7th 4th Unknown
68 (2005–06) 2nd 1st 1st 5th 8th 6th 3rd 6th
69 (2006–07) 2nd 3rd 4th 4th 5th 5th 4th 5th
70 (2007–08) 3rd 1st 2nd 4th 7th 4th 5th 6th
71(2008–09) 1st 6th 6th 4th 4th 5th 3rd 5th
72 (2009–10) 1st 6th 4th 5th 3rd 3rd 6th 5th
73 (2010–11) 1st 7th 6th 4th 6th 4th 4th 5th
74 (2011–12) 1st 5th 5th 5th 7th 2nd 2nd 5th
75 (2012–13) 1st 4th 1st 4th 6th 2nd 1st 6th
76 (2013–14) 5th 8th 7th 3rd 2nd 1st 1st 7th
77 (2014–15) 4th 5th 4th 3rd 1st 1st 1st 7th
78 (2015–16) 3rd 2nd 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 2nd 7th
79 (2016–17) 2nd 6th 1st 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 7th
80 (2017–18) 1st 6th 3rd 4th 2nd 3rd 3rd 7th
81 (2018–19) 1st 6th 1st 5th 3rd 1st 2nd 7th
82 (2019–20) 1st 6th


Overall/General Championships
Ateneo has not won a UAAP General Championship in the seniors division since joining the UAAP in 1978. Its best finish was a third place in Season 75 (2012–13) and Season 79 (2016–17).

  • Seniors:
    • NCAA (1) – 1968–69
3x3 Basketball Championships
  • Blue Eagles: (Tournaments from 2017–18 until 2018–19 were classified as a Demonstration Sport)
    • UAAP (1) – 2018–19
Basketball Championships
  • Blue Eagles:
    • NCAA (14) – 1928–29, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1937–38, 1941–42, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1961–62, 1969–70, 1975–76, 1976–77
    • UAAP (11) – 1987–88, 1988–89, 2002–03, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
  • Lady Eagles:
    • UAAP (2) – 2005–06, 2007–08
Baseball Championships
  • Blue Batters:
    • NCAA (2) – 1927–28, 1965–66
    • UAAP (4) – 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17
Football Championships
  • Blue Booters:
    • NCAA (6) – 1924–25, 1941–42, 1951–52, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1967–68
    • UAAP (8) – 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2012–13, 2016–17, 2018–19
Volleyball Championships
  • Blue Spikers:
    • NCAA (2) – 1975–76, 1976–77
    • UAAP (3) – 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17
  • Lady Spikers:
    • NCAA (1) – 1976–77
    • UAAP (3) – 2013–14, 2014–15, 2018–19
Badminton Championships
  • Blue Shuttlers:
    • UAAP (6) – 1995–96, 1996–97, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2011–12, 2013–14
  • Lady Shuttlers:
    • UAAP (5) – 2003–04, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2018–19, 2019–20
Lawn Tennis Championships
  • Blue Netters:
    • NCAA (1) – 1939–40
    • UAAP (1) – 2000–01
Fencing Championships
  • Lady Fencers:
    • UAAP (2) – 2006–07, 2018–19
Swimming Championships
  • Blue Tankers:
    • UAAP (7) – 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
  • Lady Tankers:
    • UAAP (6) – 2008–09, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
Judo Championships
  • Blue Judokas:
    • UAAP (8) – 1997–98, 2004–05, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18
Athletics (track and field) Championships
  • Blue Tracksters: (Tournaments from 1925–26 until 1952–53 consisted of events in relay and track and field)
    • NCAA (9) – 1925–56 (relay), 1934–35 (relay), 1949–50 (T/F), 1960–61, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70

Sports traditionsEdit

The Ateneo has rich traditions in things that are related to sports. Most of these traditions have been introduced by the sports-loving American Jesuits after they took over the administration of Ateneo in 1912. However, the sports related traditions that the American Jesuits introduced in the Ateneo were not original ideas but copied from American schools. Team mascot, pep band, organized cheering, cheerleaders and bonfires were all American sports innovations.


  • The Blue Babble Battalion

Cheering by Ateneo students during games against other schools existed as early as 1914 when Ateneo started to participate in intercollegiate sports. But it was more of an individual or a small group in the Ateneo gallery shouting spontaneous encouragements to the Blue and White team or heckling the opponents. There were no cheerleaders to lead the whole Ateneo gallery to cheer in unison with prepared cheers so as to produce loud and solid-volume cheerings.

Ateneo was the first school to field an organized cheering squad in the Philippines. Inspired by how American colleges made use of organized cheering to bolster their teams' morale, Fr. Austin Dowd, S.J introduced this organized cheering form to the Philippines. He recruited the first three cheerleaders of Ateneo, namely, Leon Ma. "Rah-jah" Guerrero HS '31 AB '35, "Crown Prince" Elpediforo Cuna HS '30 AB '34 and Jumpin' Jess Paredes HS '31 AB '35. During those early years, there were only three cheerleaders each NCAA season and they were fondly called the "Princes of Personality". The name Blue Babble Battalion came much later. There is no official record in Ateneo history when this name was introduced. Ateneo alumni old-timers only recall that this name was already in use in the 1950s. However, cheerleader Jesse Paredes, HS '54 AB '58 (son of one of the pioneer cheerleaders of Ateneo, Jess Paredes), clarified that "the Blue Babble Battalion was the Ateneo gallery, not the cheerleaders. That is why it is a battalion".[4][9][18]

In the 1940s up to the 1980s, the Ateneo gallery that is called the Blue Babble Battalion referred to the Ateneo spectators in the bleachers section of the coliseum or gym because almost all of the Ateneo gallery was seated there. It was composed mostly of high school students, some Jesuit scholastics and faculty.[4] All of the cheerleaders and the pep band were also there. According to the alumni of the 1950s, one of the reasons they watched from the bleachers section was that they were given a 50% discount if they bought their bleachers tickets for NCAA games at the school cashier's office. They paid only fifty centavos for a one Peso ticket.[6] This preference for the bleachers section changed when the UAAP games started to be held regularly at the Araneta Coliseum in the 2000s. Ateneo students watched the games from both the bleachers and upper box sections of the coliseum, resulting in cheerleaders being thinly spread over a wider area. The Jesuits and faculty deserted totally the bleachers section and watched the games from the lower sections of the coliseum. This reference to the Ateneo gallery as the Blue Babble Battalion was lost over time. Alumni old-timers point to the demographic changes in the Ateneo gallery as one of the causes for this loss. The once solid Ateneo gallery in the bleachers is now dispersed and even mixed with the crowd of the opposing school.[4][19]

  • The Sixth Man

The name Blue Babble Battalion would be resurrected later but as the name of a student organization. The Ateneo cheerleaders, cheerdancers, cheerlifters and pep band grouped themselves together under the name Blue Babble Battalion.[20] With the loss of this name to the cheerleaders, the Ateneo community started to call the Ateneo gallery as the Sixth Man (in a basketball game).[21][22][23] Sports articles published by the school and Guidon, the official student newspaper of Ateneo, showed that up to the 1980s there were references to the Ateneo gallery as the Blue Babble Battalion, and the name Sixth Man started to appear in sports articles as early as the year 2000.

Ateneo Cheers, Yells and Songs
Ateneo's cheering tradition consists of cheers, yells and songs that imbibed the Ateneo spirit. They added much to the clapping of hands and stomping of feet by inspiring and willing the school varsity teams to victory time and again. There are no records of when and who wrote the Ateneo's cheers and yells. The cheers are said to have been inspired by Roman traditions. Contrary to popular belief, the cheers themselves have no literal meaning such as Fabilioh and Halikinu, which some mistake for Greek or Latin words. They are just letters put together and have a rhythmic sound.[9][24] The yells of Ateneo are one to three words of encouragement such as "Fight", "Animo Ateneo" and "Get that ball". The Ateneo songs are the opposite of the cheers. They are all intelligible and the composers of some of them are known. After the eagle was officially chosen as the school's mascot, the fight song, "Blue Eagle – The King" was composed by Raul Manglapus (AB '39) in the summer of 1939. The marching song, "Cheer, cheer and Go!" was composed by Lamberto Avellana (AB '37). Some songs like "Hail! Ateneo Hail!" and the Ateneo Cadet Corps March were adopted and modified from cheer songs of American Jesuit schools, such as Fordham. The music were borrowed and new lyrics were written or the proper names were just changed. A cheerbook, titled On Wings Of Blue was published in the 1930s and reprinted in the 1950s and 1987. This first edition contains all the songs, cheers and notes compiled from since the cheering tradition began before the foundation of the NCAA. This small blue booklet featured as well, interesting tidbits about things Atenean such as the colors, shield, motto and the mascot of the school. The 1998 edition has gone through some revisions, including the addition of the Song for Mary.

Ateneo Cheer Rallies
No article has been found so far to establish when Ateneo's historic tradition of cheer rallies started. Alumni old-timers can only remember that they participated in cheer rallies in the 1950s. Cheer rallies were not continuously held. There were periods of several years when the tradition was dormant. The cheer rallies of yesteryears and of today are a lot different in terms of participants and purpose. In the former, only high school students participated while the whole University and alumni participated in the latter. The cheer rallies of earlier years were held to teach and practice the cheers.[25] Today's cheer rallies' main purpose is as a send-off to all the university varsity athletes as they embark on their journey to the battlefield of sports.[26]

  • Cheer Rallies of Yesteryears

In the 1950s and 1960s, cheer rallies were held in early June in preparation for the opening of the NCAA season. The cheer rallies were held in the high school covered courts and attended only by the high school students. After the flag ceremony on a Monday morning, classes were suspended for one period to hold the cheer rally which was led by the college cheerleaders. The high school student population was divided into eight groups. Each group was composed of a mixture of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students. Each group would yell the same cheer. There were eight pennants each with an image of different bird species attached to poles. The group that cheered the loudest got the pennant with the image of the eagle, and the group with the lowest noise volume was given the pennant with the image of the crow. Seldom used cheers were practised and the juniors and seniors basketball varsity teams were paraded on the stage. The team captain (King Eagle) of the seniors basketball team gave a short pep talk to the gathered students, promising the school to do their best to win the championship and asking the students to support the team by attending the games.[27]

  • Cheer Rallies of Today

Today's cheer rallies are big production events. It even has a name, the Big Blue Eagle Cheer Rally. They have a festive atmosphere. Held at the Blue Eagle gym, there are musical performances by Atenean music bands and video presentations of notable moments of previous season's campaign. Demonstration squads from different sports like volleyball, taekwondo and judo show their techniques on the hardwood. The Blue Babble Battalion is next as the cheerleders lead the crowd in cheering while the cheerdancers perform their cheering moves. The last part of the event is a basketball game between the current Blue Eagle team and an alumni Blue Eagle team. The top officials of the university are in attendance. The university president, vice-presidents and Directors of various school units are present. They are joined by the alumni. It is a university-wide affair. The crowd is composed of students from the grade school, high school and college. All the varsity athletes from said school departments are paraded before the crowd. The affair is ended with an inspirational talk by the university president who wishes the athletes success in their respective campaigns. Finally the crowd sings the Song for Mary.[26][28]

The Blue Bonfire
Just as the Romans welcomed home their victorious army with a big celebration, so does the Ateneo community welcome home their victorious athletes with a celebratory bonfire. Whenever the men's or women's varsity basketball team win a UAAP championship, a bonfire is held in October. This traditional celebration fetes not only the Blue Eagles and the Lady Eagles, but also all the other varsity teams that won championships during the first semester of the UAAP season. Students, alumni, family members and friends of Ateneans, as well as die-hard fans attend the event to cheer their favorite athletes and to have their picture taken with them in front of the bonfire. They also ask the players to autograph their Ateneo shirt, ball, slam book, magazine featuring their favorite player or other belongings. All the players and coaches are formally presented to the crowd by asking them to go up the stage where some of them give short talks. The program emcees ask questions from the team which answers the crowd are interested to hear. There are many food booths to choose from and local bands to entertain. This celebratory bonfire is the culmination of the school's first semester sports season which started earlier in July with a cheer rally. A second bonfire is held in March to celebrate championships won in the second semester.

This bonfire tradition dates back to 1932 or possibly even earlier when the Blue Eagles won their first NCAA championship in 1928. The 1932 bonfire was held at the Luneta Park.[29]


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  2. ^ "Five-peat".
  3. ^ a b Roman A. Cruz, Jr. "The Ateneo Story." Aegis. 1959
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Ateneo de Manila University".
  5. ^ a b c d "Ateneo de Manila University". Archived from the original on 2011-02-14.
  6. ^ a b "bleachers brew".
  7. ^ "bleachers brew".
  8. ^ "Blue Eagle flying high". The GUIDON.
  9. ^ a b c "Ateneo de Manila University".
  10. ^ History 2006–2007
  11. ^ a b The Guidon, July 1993.
  12. ^ Ateneo Alumni Guidon, 1990.
  13. ^ Lozada, Bong (6 July 2018). "Ateneo to represent PH in 2018 Jones Cup". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
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  16. ^ "Bonfire blues". BusinessMirror. March 22, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
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  18. ^ "Atenean Night".
  19. ^ "Spread wide". Archived from the original on 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  20. ^ "Blue Babble Battalion".
  21. ^ "Sixth man Rises".
  22. ^ "UAAP Finals".
  23. ^ "Ateneo de Manila University".
  24. ^ "Behind the Babble". Archived from the original on 2012-03-03.
  25. ^ Ateneo Alumni Guidon, 1989.
  26. ^ a b "2005 Rally" (PDF).
  27. ^ Alumni guidon
  28. ^ "Prepare for Glory!".
  29. ^ "bleachers brew".