The story of how the cacao bean helped the Gullas clan of Talisay City as told in dance by the Talisay City Central Elementary School won the vote of judges and spectators alike in yesterday’s Sinulog Sa Kabataan Sa Lalawigan.
The Talisay City School contingent bested six other contingents to win a trophy and the top cash prize of P350,000 at the Cebu City Sports Center.
They also topped the Best in Musicality and Best in Costume categories and with it the top combined prize of P100,000.
They ranked second in the Best in Streetdancing competition that was won by Tuburan town and settled for P30,000.
Talisay City achieved a three-peat in the Sinulog Sa Kabataan, winning from 2013 to 2015 and then on hiatus in 2016.
Landing in second place and winning the P300,000 cash prize was Carcar City Division whose dance performance tells the story of how a singing champion asked help from Señor Sto. Niño to get rid of the curse set upon her by a witch.
Third placer City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy performed a dance which told a love story of two tourists who visited the San Vicente Ferrer church in Bogo City.
Coming in fourth was Tuburan town who won P200,000 with their mystery caper on the missing crown of Señor Sto. Niño.
Tuburan won the 2016 edition of the Sinulog Sa Kabataan Sa Lalawigan and was proclaimed this year’s Streetdance champion.
After failing to join last year’s event, Tribu Ginatilan of Ginatilan town in southwestern Cebu won fifth place and a cash prize of P150,000 this year.
Clad in cream and brown-colored native costumes, the Talisay City Central Elementary School drew the most cheers from the crowd.
Marvey Cano, Talisay City’s head choreographer, said they chose to tell through dance the story of how the cacao bean helped build the first generation of Gullases, among the most influential political clans in Cebu that is now based in Talisay City.
“The Gullas couple were grateful to Señor Sto. Niño for the abundance of cacao that truly helped their lives. We chose a more different perspective this year, something that has not been showcased yet,” Cano said.
Cano said Talisay City spent P6.7 million for their contingent to this year’s Sinulog Sa Kabataan Sa Lalawigan.
“The biggest challenge we have was time and how tedious the bidding processes are in order to release funds needed for the preparation. Still, we’re very grateful,” he said.
In a press conference after the event Rodel Fronda, chairman of the board of judges, said their decision on Talisay City was unanimous.
Fronda, also president of the Folk Dance Society of the Philipines, said it was his first time judging the event.
He said while the contingents can improve their performance and props, they showed world-class effort.