Daanbantayan’s Tribu Kandaya: Defending FI title, supporting drug surrenderer-members
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Performers from the Municipality of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu will again be joining this year’s Sinulog grand parade to defend their Free Interpretation (FI) championship title.
But more than that, choreographer Mark Barry Luche said that their performance this year would also be in support of the desire of some props men, who are drug surrenderers, to come to Cebu and offer thanksgiving to the Señor Sto. Niño.
“Naa mi mga kauban nga mga drug surrenderers nga ni hangyo nga mo apil gyud sila kay gusto sila nga mo halad. Atong gihatagan ug chance kay ni promise man sila nga mo halad gyud kuno sila,” he told Cebu Daily News Digital.
Tribu Kandaya consists of students and out of school youth coming from the town’s 20 barangays.
Luche said that while he agreed to the request of the still undetermined number of drug surrenders in their group to join their contingent, he was well aware that what he was doing was a big risk.
“Challenging gyud kaayo ni para namo karon kay bantayanan kaayo ang mga bata,” he said.
The delegation from Tribu Kandaya consisting of at least 600 individuals will be arriving in Cebu City late night of January 14 and will be staying at the Cebu City Central School.
Their group is made up of 90 performers, 50 instrumentalists, 250 props men and around 200 kitchen and security personnel and medics.
Luche said that with barely two weeks left before the grand parade, they still continued to raise funds to take care of their P4.5 million budget requirement.
The municipal government of Daanbantayan allocated P3 million for their SInulog needs while they would have to raise from donations the remaining P1.5 million balance.
Luche said that the bulk of their expenses or around P2 million would be needed for the meals of members of their contingent while another P900,000 would be needed for their props and P500,000 for their costumes.
He said that they would have “Halad Pasalamat” as the theme for this year’s FI performance.
Their production will tell the story of Daanbantayan native who got sick and remained unwell even after his visit to a quack doctor.
Even witchcraft was not enough to restore his good health, until his family decided to bring him to Cebu City to pray to the Sto. Niño for his healing.
Luche said the Daanbantayan performers would continue to use the tribal costumes that they had been known for but with a touch of festival and sarimanok colors.
“Dili ka maka ingon nga mo daug na pud mi karon nga year, but confident lang ko nga mapakpakan gyud ang mga bata sa audience,” he said.
The crowd appreciation that they would get mean more than the championship trophy that they would win in the dance competition, Luche said.
But should they win again, Luche said that would already be a bonus for their group.
“Grabe gyud ang among struggles karon nga year. Naay daghang financial problems. But we continue to practice for the Sto. Niño. Basin ug ma bonusan mi unya maka daug,” he said.
Tribu Kandaya first joined the Sinulog in 1996 and won second place in the FI category. The next year, they won the championship trophy in the same category. They won another championship in 2007 before they decided to take a rest from the annual competition.
When they joined again in 2012, they took home the 4th place trophy in the FI.
Luche said that after their 2012 performance, they decided to again take a break from the competition and made a comeback in 2018 where they bagged the championship trophy./dbs
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