Darna Who?! – Aiana Lontok and Her Famous Elbow


(Enter scary/suspense music. Jen jen jen JEEEEN…)

c/o Anya Ong hahaha!

*had to edit the caption of the 3rd photo, with corrections from Aiana herself* 

A re-post (and more) of my “investigation” on what happened to Aiana Lontok of the DLSU Animo Squad, in last Saturday’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition. I may not have all the details, I only watched the routine online and talked to a couple of people who were there in Araneta :

“i watched the video on over and over again, i think I saw where it happened. yung all girls nag frontwalk and 1 collapsed (3:06)–was that Aiana ? i tried following her in the video (i think that was her na di na nagtumble in some parts of the routine after that accident). completely understandable because hello?? dislocated joint/s??!

the transition to scorpions (4:50-5:05). did a one-hand cartwheel instead of a frontwalk – Bilis lang lang mag-isip right!? then when she was she was spotting Iya, she held her arm pero todo spot talaga siya and focus! if it was me, baka umiiyak na ko sa side with my lagundi leaves as tissue! i ♥ it!

(talagang inimbistigahan ba? haha!) Congrats again everyone. I’m still high, but i can only imagine the current team- lagpas milkyway sa saya. WOOOT!”

Why this girl is AWESOMAZING:
1. She dislocated her elbow (at first we thought it was her shoulder) after about 2 minutes into the routine 
2. She pushed through the whole freakin’ performance – spotted, caught, tumbled, flew. She could have stepped out and nursed her arm the rest of the time, but NO. She finished the whole thing – Halimaw lang
If you can’t imagine how a dislocated limb works… well, it doesn’t. Basically that limb would just flail around, like a dead plant. I don’t know how she managed to make IT work. super awesome.
3. People are calling her a “hero” because if she had given up, the team wouldn’t have placed, as a lot of stunts wouldn’t hit without her. 
    This was supposed to be the double cupie. she went up but dismounted early. (4:31-4:42 of the video above)
    Photo by Adi Bontuyan

    Aiana’s xray (taken by her sister)

Aiana’s on your left-hand side. OMG. Hello elbow!!! and I think this is one of the 2-2-1 pyramids where she had to catch the top most flyer…with THAT arm.

5:30 – 5:46 in the video: Im GUESSING this pyramid is the one on your left-hand side too, so see what are the transition moves Aiana had to do – Shoulder sit, POP to shoulder stand (yes, weight on elbow!), CAUGHT the top flyer and popped off. After that I couldn’t see her anymore in the video. She worked through the injury THAT well. RESPECT.

OK so i confirmed it with the hero herself :) this is a photo of the transition to the double cupie, not the pyramid. STILL. For you to get up to this position? A flyer needs to push herself up, using her arms, against the arms of her base/bases.
Aiana confirmed that after this she went to the back of the pyramid and decided to spot instead of doing the backwalk in front of it. Great thinking!! If she pushed with her tumbling passes, she would have collapsed over and over. After that I couldn’t see her anymore in the video. She worked through the injury THAT well. Still, RESPECT.
Photo by Adi Bontuyan

The team got in the top 3 (1st runner up)out of 8 universities. This barrier in the competition is pretty hard to break, and just getting 3rd place would be such an accomplishment already. The last time the squad got in the top 3 was in 1998 – a pretty long drought! The highest place the team ever reached since that was 4th, back in 2005 (the last competition for me since I graduated the following year already). As one of the alumni supporters, this is just a great feat and we are so proud!
Sabi ko nga, “…superhero talaga. walang sinabi si darna, na may assistant pang Ding para sa bato. Si Aiana MISMO ang bato! Lakas!”
From her interview with Inquirer- 
“I can’t disregard the effort that the team gave just to protect myself,” she told the Inquirer. “I’ll do it all over again for my team. We worked really hard every day and [we] literally [shed] blood, sweat and tears.” 

“Cheerleading is considered as a sport and I know that every squad trains as hard as the athletes from other sports—sometimes even harder,” she said.  “The UAAP should count us to make cheerdancers feel as important as the other athletes.” 

“I did not want to let my family and my team down. I did not want to give up. 

 (Full article here)
For other team sports, like basketball for example – a dislocated ANYTHING means you sit down and not play. Someone else will be there to substitute, the game goes on. In cheerleading: NONE. Either you do it NOW and win, or you stop and wait another year to compete, wasting ALL the hours and efforts you and your team put in that single routine.
I bet if Narda – the regular, superpower-deficient girl – dislocated her elbow, she wouldn’t have been even able to pick up the “bato” , put it in her mouth to swallow and scream “Darna!”. She’ll just scream… IN PAIN.
Here’s a BETTER view of Aiana with her struggle against the Elbow of Death . Try to follow her throughout the routine from the first frontwalk at 2:31.
2:31 – 1st Frontwalk from hell. Aiana’s the last girl on the left-most line of girls. She did not stop, even for a second.
2:39 – 2nd Frontwalk, and HELLO ELBOW
2:45 – She didn’t do the back handspring anymore. 
2:50 – Did a cartwheel on a guy. Imagine “hugging” someone as tight as you can with an injured arm. She walks over to the next blocking holding it. I can only imagine the pain!
3:02 –  She front spots and CATCHES the flyer from the toss. OMG. She still did that? seriously? She even made sure the flyer dismounted properly.
3:34 – dance sequence with props. She’s the last girl at the back, left-hand side. She was swinging the bolo and shield still? IDOL.
3:56 – DOUBLE freakin CUPIE. she got up but dismounted early. Completely acceptable. I can’t even believe she was able to get up there! Then they headed to another dance sequence.. with those bolos… turning and swinging of dislocated elbow… I CRINGE.
4:13-4:17 – Running one-hand cartwheel, left-most. This was supposed to be a running frontwalk based on the other girls in the same line as Aiana. Watch her hold her arm before taking off, and after while she’s spotting. She’s  STILL SO READY to catch in case the flyer (Iya) falls. What?!?!?!
Ok after that I lost her.
Feel free to comment, I might be wrong in what I saw from the videos. I can’t see all their faces! Would appreciate it if you can correct me, and I’ll be happy to edit this post :)
Kudos to you Aiana and congratulations to the DLSU Animo Squad! WOOOHOOOO!!!
Photos: Adi Bontuyan- www.goarchers.com / http://www.facebook.com/adibontuyan
April Lontok

where the heart is

 DLSU-ADMU 2nd Round Halftime Season 74
August 28, 2011Araneta Coliseum

Good to be back on the hard court. I was only able to practice once, the uniform I borrowed didn’t fit me, and one of my pompons started falling apart minutes before the performance… but the show must go on, for the love of La Salle!
In the end, we lost (BOO!) but it’s all good. It’s always awesome seeing old friends and feel (ahem, also act) like kids, when our biggest problem was how to pass an exam or how to submit a paper on time; when it’s not so bad to fail – there’s always next term. In the “real world”, it’s a completely different story!
Thank you current members for letting the “grandmas and grandpas” perform with you. Animo!
Off-court photos from my camera:
we love DLSU!
with Chie
Alumni girls in the stands
waiting to perform
Some of the photos from Andrew Pamorada:
Powerbeat ending. Go girls!
 Some of the photos from Daniel Kenerick Koo:
Go Pam!