“Okay so… every year our KAPA-milya program has its big-little reveals, and there’s a whole succession of events that the littles have to go through before they get to meet their big. Generally, bigs know who their littles are a week in advance so they can plan out secret coordinated communications with their littles so that they can make them a nice personalized gift. On the night of reveals, we blindfold all of them and have them go through an “obstacle course.”
There isn’t actually an obstacle course; typically we just tell them to step over, jump over, go around imaginary strings and potholes… I allow bigs and existing members to spray them with silly string and spray water on them or yell at them, but I draw the line at touching them because that’s an invasion of privacy that… hasn’t worked out well in the past.
At the end of the obstacle course, we arrange the littles in front of their new bigs and have them perform the “otso otso,” which is a dance that resembles twerking. After that, we have the littles take the pledge to be a good little and never leave their big behind. Similarly, the bigs promise to always support their little and then we count down for the reveal!”
Background: The informant is the current Programming Director of USC Troy Philippines. She oversees the organization’s big-little program, which is one of the primary programs that members who pay dues have access to. They can be picked up by an upperclassman to act as a mentor.
Context: This process was shared to me in person at USC Village prior to a different Troy Philippines event.
My only in-person KAPA-milya reveals (by the way, kapamilya means family in Tagalog,) happened in the previous fall semester, when I became the big to my two freshman littles. Getting picked up in Troy Phi also grants one membership to a smaller “fam” in the organization, the fam that their big is in, to provide them with a smaller community within the organization that has similar interests and personalities. This event in the semester is probably the most important in terms of rites of passage as a member, since everyone who becomes a big and picks littles up has to have been a little and gone through the same initiation process at some point previously. The embarrassment of having to dance while blindfolded and the overwhelming flurry of the obstacle course is a shared experience that all “initiated” members have.