The three-day run of INTERAKTIV 2023, the annual Frosh orientation program spearheaded by Student Trainers (STRAINS), truly was the greatest show, as it hosted nearly 1,200 Frosh—the biggest number of in-person attendees since the pandemic.
This year’s INTERAKTIV embodied the Benildean spirit and energy by orienting and welcoming the Frosh with welcoming smiles. This year’s concept of promoting inclusion, individuality, and personal growth manifested in its theme #TheINTERAKTIVshow as incoming students from the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS) participated for the first time in the history of INTERAKTIV.
INTERAKTIV 2023’s theme was heavily inspired by “The Greatest Showman” as elements of the film were integrated throughout the event; from the Frosh chant led by the electrifying Benilde Blazers Pep Squad, down to the Benilde Culture and Arts Unit’s (BCAU) showstopping performance. There were also many activities and programs: from the Greenway Square program in the Taft campus, to the (Design and Arts) D+A and AKIC classroom orientations, to the series of grand performances by different student organizations in the ARG Theater, the participants have truly gotten a taste of the authentic Benildean experience!
“Nandiyan na sila!”
The program kicked off with an energetic greeting at the Greenway Square care of the Benilde Pep Squad and orientors. Behind the curtains of a glittery performance was of course a theme of identity. There was a new challenge for the organizing team in order to not only honor each other’s identity and uniqueness, but also champion Benilde’s inclusion.
In an official interview with The Benildean, Talks Head and ID 121 Diplomacy and International Affairs student Alyssa Gonzaga shared how there were many new processes made in order to properly include and accommodate Deaf Frosh from SDEAS into the program given that this was the first time they joined the face-to-face INTERAKTIV experience.
“‘Pag nakita mo pa lang sila [...] the hearing and the Deaf community were really able to connect, parang lahat ng pagod sa [pagaayos ng] mga new SDEAS processes mawawala,” she shared while emphasizing the responsibility and intricacy of planning that came with championing inclusion.
Their team’s goal was achieved as Deaf and hearing communities were able to connect with one another throughout the program; interpreters were also available to ensure no one was left behind.
While this was the first time INTERAKTIV toured Benilde's campuses, owing to severe weather, only Frosh from the first day were able to explore the AKIC campus. Fortunately, the greatest show knows no bounds, and bonding activities and introductions to the various College campuses continued safely and dry at the D+A Campus instead.
The three-day recurring event for all the Frosh of different degree programs has finally come to an end, completing one of three INTERAKTIV events per academic year.
As INTERAKTIV finds its footing back from the pandemic slowly and safely, it’s no surprise that it only grows to become a better representation of the Benildean experience—one that is filled with creativity, excellence, and inclusion.
But the curtains aren’t closed yet and the spotlights are still warm as STRAINS has launched its INTERAKTIV 1.0 2023 website that will usher the Frosh with the necessary knowledge to start their Benilde life! For further details, make sure to visit the STRAINS official Facebook page.
Once again, welcome Frosh and transferees of ID123!