SIOMAI and pungko-pungko vendors are among the 100 dancers from Barangay Tisa in Cebu City who will be joining their contingent in Sunday’s Sinulog sa Barangay.
Choreographer Redford Oliveros said three nurses who are supposed to leave for Australia this month also opted to postpone their trips to join the barangay’s contingent.
Their other performers are students and out-of-school youth.
Oliveros said their dancers aged 17 to 40-years-old come from all walks of life, but they came together because of their desire to “dance for the Sto. Niño.”
“Ang motivation sa among mga dancers is their passion and willingness to dance for the Sto. Niño. Pasalamat gyud ning amoa,” he told Cebu Daily News.
Barangay Tisa, that is under the leadership of Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Philip Zafra, is joining for the first time the Sinulog sa Barangay today (Saturday) at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
Their contingent will include 100 performers and 400 propsmen.
Oliveros, a choreographer for eight years and the artistic director of the Naga City Sinulog contingent, said their Sinulog entry would focus on how a poor siomai vendor made it big because of his hardwork and perseverance.
They also wanted to show through their dance, the close-knit community that Barangay Tisa has.
“We will integrate our Siomai sa Tisa festival sa among Sinulog dance,” he said.
However, Oliveros refused to elaborate further on their presentation wanting to surprise judges and spectators in Sunday’s competition.
Working with a minimal budget of at least P3 million, Oliveros said, they managed to pull off their preparations with the help of the community.
Barangay workers and some mothers in their community have volunteered to prepare the meals and snacks served to their performers and propsmen during their weekend practices.
Oliveros said they started to audition performers in September 2017. Their weekend practices, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight, were held during the months of October and November 2017.
They started practices from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. in December 2017 and during the first week of January 2018. On Friday, they had their dress rehearsals from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Volunteer mothers, Oliveros said, would set up dirty kitchens close to their practice venues.
Their dirty kitchen is set up outside of the barangay sports complex if their practices are held there.
These are transferred near their barangay hall along F. Llamas Street if they practice their street dancing on the barangay roads.
Their meals would normally include mongos, bihon, pancit halang-halang and rice.
Oliveros said they would normally consume a sack of rice each day because of the need to feed the Sinulog participants and instrumentalists.
Their meals were funded from the around P3 million which they raised to fund their contingent’s needs.
Of the amount P400,000 is given as subsidy by the Cebu City government while the rest of their allocation came from donations from kind hearted Tisaanons.
Even after the Sinulog, Oliveros said, said he intends to continue to train their performers so that they would also form the Tisa Cultural Performing Arts that he wanted to create.