Ever since its last face-to-face event in 2018, with 5 years of anticipation building up to it, UNITE 2023: Festival Day makes the comeback of the school year on May 12 at the ARG theater. From 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., various performances took their turns entertaining a sea of energetic Benildeans.
The lineup for UNITE 2023: Festival Day was a delightfully diverse bag as it brought several notable performers to the stage, some new and some we’ve already seen perform this school year. DJ Yung Masa hyped up the crowd before and after the event proper, blasting beats throughout the theater of glow sticks and flashing lights, alongside a nostalgic dance number from Benilde’s very own Saint Benilde Romançon Dance Company, a nice way to set the mood.
Drag Queens Ms. Poblaxion and Gandares came back with their own performances alongside their drag families. Poblaxion stuns the crowd with a one-to-one performance of Beyonce’s Super Bowl 2013 Halftime Show alongside drag queens Lala Oopsie and Aleena Flare. Gandares brought the house down with slower performances of multiple burlesque numbers, one to the popular song Lady Marmalade, on the mainstage with the House of Jats Angels, featuring multiple stunning costume changes one right after the other.
UNITE also included multiple bands, some of which were contestants in the previous Battle of the Bands competition this year. Starting off with Why July who serenades the crowd while the winner of UNITE 2023’s Battle of the Bands competition Joao gave a chilling performance. Of Mercury followed up and got the crowd dancing to the beat.
Nearing the end of the night was Benilde singer-songwriter and alumni Ena Mori who sang some of her most popular songs and got the crowd to join her in performing her song SOS. Audiences were jumping on their feet and surprised when her friend and also known singer-songwriter Zild Benitez came onto the stage to play the bass. To close off the performances, band One Click Straight rocked the night away with a set that made the crowd jump and headbang to their guitar riffs and vocals.
The night faded as different winners for the raffle were announced throughout the performances. Winners got to receive a pass to CONQUEST 2023 and a shirt from Wallflower. DJ Yung Masa played for the rest of the night as the festival began winding down.
While there were some technical difficulties here and there, the UNITE team’s efforts were clear as day throughout the overall success of the event from Battle of the Bands to the festival itself. The continuation of pre-pandemic Benildean life is clearer than ever with more classic Benildean cultural nights coming back in full force.
Catch more from the Student Trainers’ upcoming events and jam into UNITE 2023: Festival Day’s live recording on their Facebook page here.