Sinulog 2017: Dancer from Tribu Ginatilan captivates netizens
One dancer of the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan competition had fiesta-goers doing a double take. Was this Selena Gomez? The Cebu Daily News photo, captured by photographer Junjie Mendoza, captivated thousands of netizens, who commented on Cebu Daily News’ social media posts on the beauty of the young dancer from Ginatilan.
The dancer turned out to be Gerhicka Carcueva, 17, a Cebuana-Swiss senior high school student at the Divine Life Institute of Cebu Inc. (DLIC).
“It is definitely an honor to be recognized by CDN and reading all the positive feedback. I feel really happy and flattered. I didn’t expect any of these praises and I am thankful for each and every one,” she told Cebu Daily News.
The photo reached over 46,000 people and was shared by hundreds of netizens.
With the help of social media, CDN was able to track down Carcueva for an interview.
While this is not the first time she’s been mistaken for the Hollywood celebrity, Carcueva doesn’t think she looks like Gomez. “I’ve been told before that I looked like her. She is actually my idol and I think that she is absolutely beautiful so hearing people say that we look alike is really an honor and I take it as a compliment,” she said.
But she admitted to being a fan of Gomez. “I watched the Wizards of Waverly Place. I just love how she acts and she’s so cute,” Carcueva told CDN.
Ginatilan’s lead dancer
This was the teen’s first time joining the Sinulog festival. “I only practiced about 3 times. I really enjoy dancing even though I’m not very good at it, which makes learning the steps much easier in my opinion,” she said.
Ginatilan is a 5th class municipality with a population of about 15,000 people, and is one of Cebu’s southernmost towns.
Carrying the heavy image of the Santo Niño was one of the most challenging parts of the dance. “It was heavier than I thought it would be. I wasn’t completely prepared, I just did my best and had one thing on my mind: dancing in honor of our dear Santo Niño,” she added.
Tribu Ginatilanon won the fifth place for the elementary category with a cash prize of P100,000. The group showcased the abundance of coconut as well as palagsing, the town’s delicacy.
Placing 5th also gave her dance group a slot in the Sinulog grand parade on January 15.
Though they are originally from Ginatilan, Carcueva lives in Liloan with her mother Gemma, and 14-year-
old sister. Carcueva will graduate from senior high school this year, but is undecided on what she will study in college.
Carcueva joined Miss Ginatilan 2016 and got the first-runner up award. But for her, she does not see herself joining any more pageants in the future. “I dislike pageants because of pressure. If there is no question and answer I will join,” she laughed.
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