Of Losses and Wins

As a requirement for my STS class last year, a group had discussed about the UP Men’s Basketball team. A big part of their presentation revolved around the words BIRG and CORF, which I think no one in the audience has ever heard before. BIRG stands for Basking in Reflected Glory, while CORF stands for Cutting Off Reflected Failure. Vague as it was for me, one of the members gave a good example of  people who commit the two. For the BIRGers, they used UP students. Perhaps the best instance of them BIRGing was when the UP Pep Squad won last year. Most students regarded themselves as part of the Pep Squad after the competition, saying things such as “we won” or “we did it”, which is exactly what BIRGing is. BIRGing is when you try to receive glory from some team’s success and identify yourself as part of the group, when in fact, you have not contributed to their achievement. I was intrigued by such concept, but from my experience, I would have to say that BIRGing is actually present during the cheerdance competition.

As good or bad BIRGing may sound, CORFing, in my opinion, is worse. It is the tendency of somebody distancing themselves as far as possible from the losing team. Unfortunately, UP students were also the example for this concept. As we all know, the UP Men’s Basketball Team isn’t as successful as other teams in the UAAP. Thus, some Iskos and Iskas, the CORFers, tend to tell their friends that ‘they lost’ or ‘they failed again’.

To me, BIRGing is good in the sense that the participating team gains inspiration and strength which can push them into working harder. However, seeing people commit a disappointing act such as CORFing saddens me. Although we really are not a part of a  group such as the UP Men’s Basketball Team, as fans or simply as UP students, we can be much more encouraging. Cheering and praying with them will be of great help. And maybe, being a BIRGer will make them gain that long-desired win.



5 thoughts on “Of Losses and Wins

  1. The structure of this post is very commendable. I appreciate the turn out related to UP. It made me reflect of my own efforts in supporting UP Maroons as a whole. Thank you for teaching me something today! I shall never forget BIRG & CORF.

  2. @mgcos, These terms are actually very, very interesting! The first thing I thought of when you explained what “BIRG” means is the tendency for many Filipinos to proclaim to the world their being Filipino whenever Manny Pacquiao wins a boxing match or (in a more recent case) when the Gilas Pilipinas team won over South Korea. Ironically, Filipinos suddenly swing the other way when news about corruption scandals rock the country. This time, they are “CORFing” as you would put it. It is quite sad to see how we are unable to simply own up to our mistakes as a people when there is a need to do so (who put those corrupt public officials in their offices in the first place?) and how we are unable to recognize the fact that some achievements are due to an individual’s effort and we, in no way, contributed to his or her achievement. Is this indicative that “ordinary” Filipinos have nothing to show or to be proud of? Is this indicative that Filipinos tend to find a scapegoat if there is a risk that their reputations will be tarnished?

  3. Regards the UP Pep Squad situation, I personally don’t consider the UP students as BIRGers in that case. I believe that we contributed much to the win of the squad- we helped them cheer and we cheered for them, which is more than enough for them to bag the title. The squad even thanked the UP crowd’s participation, and was also well-recognized for it. Such interesting terms, by the way!
    – Beatrice Ramona Toledo

  4. I think tat people become BIRGERs because they feel a sense of fulfillment when affiliated to someone who has set a kind of superiority towards others. A good example is when there are Filipino singers participating in famous singing competitions in other countries like American Idol, X factor etc. Maybe this is borne out of the relationship we build as Filipinos. The words ‘Filipino Pride’ or ‘Pinoy Yan’ would always be mentioned when Filipinos excel in different competitions all over the world. I don’t think that this would be a negative attitude because this actually promotes camaraderie among people and I think the support for people who compete actually helps them transcend different obstacles that would eventually give way to their success. This is the only time that I came to know of such terms and they’re very insightful!

  5. Very interesting, I think it can also be noted that some of the feelings of CORF-ing may have less to do with the fact that the basketball team is losing, but rather that students would much rather prefer to cheer the less appreciated yet more successful varsities. I for one know that there is a feeling of being unappreciated amongst the smaller varsities due to the lack of support and coverage given to them despite their wins so that can also add to the CORF-ing

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