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NU Pep Squad Coach Ghicka Bernabe Retires After 7th UAAP Cheerdance Title

NU Pep Squad Coach Ghicka Bernabe Retires After 7th UAAP Cheerdance Title

Ghicka Bernabe NU Pep Squad

Ghicka Bernabe, coach of the NU Pep Squad. PHOTO UAAP

MANILA, Philippines—Ghicka Bernabe, the architect of the National University Pep Squad’s rapid rise to success, is stepping down as coach.

Bernabe announced his retirement on Saturday after leading NU to his seventh championship in the UAAP Cheerdance competition at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Siguro wala nang mas ibang emosyon ako na mailalabas ngayon kundi happiness kasi since ito yung last season ko and i have worked with NU Pep Squad for 12 years, and with the 12s, nine seasons out of nine seasons, nakakuha tayo seven championships and maybe two podiums,” said Bernabe.

(I guess there is no other feeling for me right now than happiness since this is my last season and I have been working with the NU Pep Squad for 12 years and with the 12s we have been able to win seven championships and two podium finishes).

“Siguro yung happiness ko ngayon ma malaki pa sa arena. Ganun siya. I at least saw last season ko man, hindi ko nabigo ang bawat supporters and all NU Pep Squad with kayang kaya ibalik this trophy in NU Pep Squad,” she added.

(I feel like my happiness is bigger than this arena because I know if this is really my last season I haven’t let down the NU Pep Squad supporters who can easily be brought back the title.)

When asked how she wanted her legacy to be remembered, Bernabe became emotional.

“Maybe I’m not the right person to say what legacy I will leave. Maybe with my members and coaches, they are the ones who can say what Coach Ghicka left behind,” she said tearfully.

“But if you ask me, my whole time at NU is memorable and very important. For me, it’s emotional because I’m happy for the team but technically it’s my last day.

Bernabe started managing NU in 2010 after competing for the Far East University cheering squad from 2005 to 2009.

Coaching, however, was not really part of his initial plans.

“Before, I didn’t see myself as someone who would work as a coach. I just didn’t see it, but when I saw the improvement and our ability to be champions, I saw it. I thank the management who trusted me.

NU Pep Squad captain Daniela Silos has described Bernabe as a ‘life coach’.

“Coach is not only a team coach, but also a life coach. There are times when our training is two hours long while her sermon is also two hours long because she gives so many examples and ‘experiences that always leave marks in our hearts and minds,’ said Silos.

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