How Cebu’s Sinulog dance contingents got their groove back

By Marc Eric Cosep |January 21,2019 - 07:46 PM

Sinulog 2019’s Free Interpretation (FI) champion Tribu Malipayon of Consolacion in an encore performance during the awarding ceremony at the Cebu City Sports Center on Jan. 21, 2019. The awarding rite is held a day after the Sinulog mardi gras-like grand parade that drew about 2 million spectators. |CDNDigital photo/Tonee Despojo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The smooth flow of their Sinulog Festival dance presentation is what set Tribu Malipayon of Consolacion and Carcar City Division of Carcar City high above their competitors.

The contingents from Cebu have reclaimed the championship of both the Sinulog-based and the Free Interpretation categories of the Sinulog Festival 2019 Grand Parade  after out-of-town contingents have dominated the festival competition in the past few years.

Tribu Malipayon of Consolacion town, 19.6 kilometers north of Cebu City, bagged the title for the Free Interpretation (FI) category while the Carcar City Division of Carcar City, 42 kilometers south of Cebu City, won the Sinulog-based (SB) title.

Nestor Jardin, chairperson of the board of judges for the FI category, pointed out that all components of Tribu Malipayon’s performance blended well.

“All the production elements contributed to the overall impact of the dance – the costumes, props, music – and the focal point was really the dance rather than the props or the music,” Jardin said in a press conference held late night on January 20 to announce the winners about some two hours after  the grand parade has ended past 9 p.m.

As for Carcar City Division, it is the second time that the contingent from the south won the SB category.

“I’ve been judging the Sinulog for than three decades, I’ve seen their growth, our decision was unanimous,” said Larry Gabao, chairperson of the board of judges of the SB category.

Gabao noted that Carcar’s performance was very clean and the whole production complemented each other.

The winning contingent’s performance featured the faith and devotion of prisoners towards the Holy Child Jesus.

Carcar also won the Best in Costume award and claimed the first prize for the Best in Musicality. The contingent also ended as the best in the Street Dancing category.

Lordinio Vergara, chairman of the board of judges for the Street Dancing category, said Carcar’s street dancing performance was clean and captured the essence of the Cebuano’s devotion towards the Sto. Niño.

The jubilant Carcar City Division contingent pose with their mayor, Nice Apura, after they received the trophy and P1 million cash for winning in the Sinulog-based category of the Sinulog Festival 2019 grand parade during the awarding ceremony held at the Cebu City Sports Center on Jan. 21, 2019. The awarding rite was held a day after the mardi gras-like dance parade that drew about 2 million spectators. |CDNDigital photo/Tonee Despojo

The two winning contingents each received a P1 million cash prize and a trophy during the awarding ceremony on Monday, January 21, at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) where all winning contingents gave an encore performance.

Tribu Malipayon also clinched the Best in Costume award for the FI category with its black and golden body suits and tribal prints matched with a touch of green.

Meanwhile, Vergara said he was dismayed with most of the contingents during the street dancing last Sunday.

“Bati this year because the dancers were not dancing throughout the route; nag sayaw lang sila on some areas,” said Vergara.

“There are more audience outside compared to the audience here at the grand stand so you must perform, nag hulat sila sa dalan para maka kita na mo perform and then ma lakaw ra sila,” said Vergara.

Although the organizers targeted to end the presentation at 6 p.m., it was delayed due to the number of contingents, which reached over a hundred this year, including the 24 dancing troupes.

/ City Councilor Dave Tumulak , the Sinulog Foundation Inc. overall executive committee chairperson, said that rain brought by Tropical Depression Amang did not stop the Sinulog celebration, which ended at 9:40 p.m. with a 10-minute firework display. /mga/elb

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