Lumad Basakanon places 3rd in S. Korea’s dancing carnival
The Cebuano group also wins 1st place in the competition’s int’l category
Homegrown talent, the Tribu Lumad Basakanon of Cebu City, conquered the international stage on Sunday after winning third place overall among 200 teams from different countries competing in the 2017 Wonju Dynamic Dancing Carnival in South Korea.
Tribu Lumad Basakanon, who represented Cebu’s Sinulog Festival and the only delegation from the Philippines, also topped the international team category in the five-day competition.
“We were the only foreign team in the top 3,” said Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros in an interview over Facebook messenger on Sunday.
Ballesteros said Froka Korean Army won first place while Arari Korea was second place in the competition.
He said Tribu Lumad Basakanon won 4 million Korean Won, which is approximately P180,000 for the third place win. Froka Korean Army, the winner of the competition, took home 30 million Korean Won which is approximately P1.3 million.
Tribu Lumad Basakanon earlier barged into the Top 15 among 200 teams from countries like Thailand, Singapore, Peru, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Russia, which sent 13 teams, Japan which had six teams, and several teams from different parts of Korea.
The Tribu Lumad Basakanon contingent is the only delegation from the Philippines and the group represented Cebu’s Sinulog Festival.
“They are the most unique in terms of costume, choreography, and their performance was flawless during the eliminations, and the concept is something new for the Koreans. They are the only team using live music. Even the mayor of Wonju was really impressed by their performance, said
Ricky Ballesteros in an interview over Facebook messenger.
They were also the only team with a religious festival entry in the competition which is now considered as the biggest in South Korea.
The contingent is headed by Basak San Nicolas Barangay Captain Norman Navarro and Barangay Councilman Emmanuel Susaya.
They are composed of 40 performers including the Sinulog Festival Queen 2017 and Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 Marla Alforque.
According to Ballesteros, her inclusion in the performance is part of her prizes as Sinulog Festival Queen.
Alforque will also stay in South Korea until September 30 as she also has a scholarship in Korean theater and arts as part of her prizes.
“This is something we can be proud of not only for Cebu but for the Philippines. Cebu is quite popular for Koreans, even our interpreters studied English in Cebu. Cebu is more popular than Manila here in Korea. Filipinos here are proud for Lumad,” Ballesteros said.
It is the first time for the Tribu Lumad Basakanon to join the competition.
But Ballesteros was invited as judge to the festival two years ago. This year, he was also invited by the organizers to be one of the judges of the competition but he said he begged off since Cebu has a representative.
According to Ballesteros, the Tribu Lumad Basakanon spent for their own airfare.
The group had to hold fundraising activities so that they could join the competition after they were invited by the organizers, who are constant visitors of the Sinulog festival in Cebu City.
Organizers spent for the group’s local transportation in Korea and their hotel accommodations.
They arrived in South Korea last September 20 and will be going back to Cebu today, September 25.
Aside from this year’s competition in Korea, the Tribu Lumad Basakanon has represented the Philippines in the Asia Pacific Festival in Indonesia when the Cultural Center of the Philippines sent them to represent the Philippines in the festival in 2014 and in World Culture Festival in 2015, which was also held in Indonesia.
The contingent was founded by the late Basak San Nicolas barangay captain George Rama.
They are Cebu City’s most awarded Sinulog contingent and a local favorite for their iconic and trendsetting dance routines. They have been winning the street dancing competition of the Sinulog Festival for three years.
They dominated the Free Interpretation category in 2014 and 2015, the same title they took home in 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004 and a slew of other awards locally and the national Aliwan Festival in Manila.
“The organizers look up to the Sinulog Festival also as a model for festivals in Asia,” Ballesteros said.
Aside from the Tribu Lumad Basakanon, Don Juan, Sinulog Dance Crew grand champion for three years, was also invited by organizers as guest performers.
Ballesteros said the hiphop group already has a fanbase in South Korea after three years of performing in different cities there.
Expenses for the group’s guest participation have been shouldered by the organizers. They will stay in South Korea until October 15 to tour the different parts of the country.
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