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Chief Indian

SAN Beda College is the place where Bedans started building their dreams, and every red-blooded student from Mendiola would like to leave a mark that could be passed on through generations as a means of giving back to the beloved alma mater.

Speaking of leaving something behind, there was a man back in the day named Ramon Ventosa who gained a reputation as a strict disciplinarian because he happens to be the Chief Cheerleader of the San Beda Red Corps.

But even though he was high-strung, he was also known to be a very loyal and down-to-earth friend.

“There is magic that happens when you dance. Everything lines up, the world is in sync and for one perfect moment you feel totally alive.”

This is a line from the movie Step Up: All in. Only a few people expect that they can add a footnote to history because of their passion for the art of dance – and Ventosa was one of them.

More than being the Chief Cheerleader, he was also a loving and well-providing father. He was also into other sports like basketball and football. As a child, his education was molded in the Benedictine way. He started studying in Mighty Red School when he was kindergarten until second year college. Unfortunately, due to personal problems, the Chief left college and embarked on a new journey in the banking and finance industry.

Before exiting San Beda, though, he left the best legacy that he could leave – the remarkable Indian Yell dance. The Chief Indian introduced it to the Bedan community back in 1947 in an NCAA game.

To trail back on how the dance was created: It was almost 70 years ago when Jose Rizal College (University) had one of the best halftime performances in league called “Bingo” dance. In the year 1945, the Chief thought and conceptualized a dance of his own that he could perform for the whole San Beda community, something the school can be known for.

That was his perfect moment.

When Ventosa completed the dance, he taught it to three children including the Casal brothers. They made public this secret routine in 1947 during the halftime of an NCAA game between SBC and JRC. The cheerleader in red made an arrangement with the band to follow his lead and it did. According to the Chief’s son, Archie Ventosa, no one knew about his father’s plan, not even the Benedictine priests.

After pulling off his unforgettable presentation that sent the crowd into a wild frenzy, one of the monks summoned him after the game. Half-expecting to be expelled, Ventosa got the shock of his life instead when the priests hugged and thanked him profusely in grateful appreciation for what he created.

On Nov. 16 two years ago, the Chief signed off . He was 88. He lived a long life and most of it as part of the institution that every Bedan will cherish in their hearts.

Sometimes, people do engage in new things and break away from the status quo. If they didn’t, what would be the world today, right? There are times when a person thinks that he is just about to do something radical. But as it turns out, what he comes up with is something astounding that can change us all.

This is what Mon Ventosa did – he followed the clarion’s call of his heart. This is his mark and legacy that will remain in every Bedan forever. He might be gone now but the dance that he taught the Bedan community will linger on.

He is quoted here:

“Being a Bedan is not just a name but a way of life. Be a proud Bedan but with humility. Always have that Bedan Animo in your heart wherever you are.” (Angelli Ojastro/Sports Editor The Bedan, San Beda College)