Sinanduloy celebrates silver with a grand show; promises Sinulog comeback 2019

Photos by Ted Madamba

Shrieks of purr pierce the silence.

On this particular night, drums throb at the entrance of the gymnasium in Tangub City—a city walled by the long, jagged ranges of Mt.
Malindang—in Misamis Occidental, north of Mindanao.

And this side, too, the cats are out with the rarest of meows.

“It was difficult and took more than a year of preparations. Ballet and contemporary dance exercises were incorporated into the daily
exercises and warm-ups of the dancers,” says Jojin Pascual, the artistic director of Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe, who sends out the performers in leotards stripped with fur, rendering a version of “Jellicle Cats” from the Broadway musical “Cats” for the opening act of “Silver Memories, Golden Years.”

Guests are greeted by the beating of the drums accompanying the graceful footwork of the dancers at the foyer.

Full packed with varied songs and dances, the repertoire marks the 25th anniversary of Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City
on Nov. 28.

As a milestone after the Sinulog grand slam, the members of the company have positioned themselves as world artists, surpassing their supremacy in cultural choreography.

Its in-house band All Stars sets a medley of covered soundtracks from the Broadway jukebox “Jersey Boys,” then segued to the hits of the pop group Human Nature.

Their strength, too, lies in the oriental influence over the years. Glorife Pintac entertains the audience with the Chinese love song “Tian Mi Mi” while another bevy of dancers stage a graceful maneuver of Korean fans, followed by the interpretation of “One Thousand Hands of Buddha.”

Joecris Maaba sings “Bituing Marikit” that breaks the stream of Filipino dances such as “Fandango Sa Ilaw,” “El Paypay de Manila,” “Paso Doble,” and “Habanera Jovencita.”

The alumni and choreographers collaborate in “Hawaiian Suite” and in the two-part performance of “Chavacano de Zambo.”

“As the title suggests, the show was a compilation of Sinanduloy favorites—most often performed— and brand new numbers and genre
to showcase the versatility of the Sinanduloy performers,” he continues.

Some of the spots were rehashed, rebooted, and re-imagined Sinanduloy classics, in the case of “Espana Can” which was originally choreographed by the late Mych Gonzales of Southwestern University. “The new numbers represented the golden dream of Sinanduloy to include musical theater into its areas of specialization.”

The troupe’s founder, Dr. Jennifer Wee-Tan, who is a former Miss Mandaue and Miss Cebu Tourism, leads the whole ensemble in singing Tina Charles’s “I’ll Go Where the Music Takes Me,” a figurative representation of the entire city’s thrust in the future.

Born champions

“Sinanduloy started mainly as a means to keep the youth of the city occupied and veer them away from vices and other modern-day threats.

It envisioned itself as a heritage and culture destination, thus, the start of Tangub’s participation in the Sinulog of Cebu. As targeted, Sinanduloy
eventually placed Tangub in the map of the Philippines, which otherwise, you would have to search intensively to find its geographic location,” says Pascual, who also once the head of the Department of History at the University of San Carlos.

This year’s Sinulog parade, the troupe bagged the grand prize in the Sinulog-based category and awarded Best in Costume. In 2013, Sinanduloy bagged major awards such as Best in Street Dancing (consistent from 2002 to 2011), Best in Musicality, and Best  in Costume.

The group placed first in years 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The accolades have enshrined Tangub as the superstar of all festival contingents.

“The main challenge of leading Sinanduloy is maintaining its high standards. Every year, the bar is raised higher. The support of the city government is seemingly bottomless. As I perceive it, the constant flow of creative juices becomes the main challenge as the audience of Sinanduloy becomes more demanding,” he observes.

Mayor Philip Tan and wife Jennifer have granted scholarships to over 6,000 students who have been members of the troupe. “Another strong reason why Sinanduloy has lasted this long is the force of volunteerism among its members.

Nobody is regularly paid for being a performer, a trainer or an officer of the troupe. Many are part of Sinanduloy because they like to be part of Sinanduloy.”

It has also received recognitions from the National Music Competitions for Young Artists Foundation, Aliw Awards, and Philippine Travel Mart.

“The golden dream of Sinanduloy is to perform on the international stage. Another dream is the completion of the Sinanduloy Theater and Auditorium —and as for myself, to direct an all-original musical about Tangub, its people, its culture, its history, and its heritage. Finally, though we will skip Sinulog 2018, we will definitely be back in 2019,” Pascual concludes.

TAGS: celebrates, Grand, Promises, show, Sinanduloy, Sinulog, with
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