Sinulog sa Palaboy: A bid to preserve the Sinulog traditional dance

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | December 22,2019 - 09:48 PM

Sinulog dancers from Barangay Mabolo teach the street children from the slum areas of Cebu City the Sinulog-based dance steps. These children will be dancing during the Sinulog this January 2020. (Rosalie Abatayo)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Sinulog Festival grand parade day, for 11-year-old Daisy Sarigumba, is but a normal Sunday in January where she would play outside their house in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City.

For the first time, however, it will not be this way for Sarigumba when the Sinulog Festival’s culminating day happens on January 19, 2020.

Sarigumba is one of the 180 children in Cebu City who will be dancing for “Sinulog sa Palaboy,” a pilot project for the festival where the children from depressed communities in the city will be dancing as guest contingents in Sinulog.

“Ganahan ko moapil kay nindot man unya lingaw,” Sarigumba said.

(I want to join because dancing in the Sinulog seems nice and fun.)

Val San Diego, project director in the Sinulog Governing Board (SGB), said the project aims to give the children the chance to feel that they belong to the society and they have a role to play.

“I’ve been dancing in Sinulog for the past how many years and I’ve seen this children just watch the performances. This time give them an opportunity for people to see them dance, too,” San Diego told CDN Digital on Sunday, December 22.

“Hopefully in the coming years, this would be a thing that people would look forward to: making these children have a place in society. Actually, if you take a look at them,  some have no slippers and they come from the most depressed areas in the city,” he added.

According to San Diego, Sinulog dancers from Barangay Mabolo — which is known for their traditional Sinulog dance steps— are teaching the children the Sinulog-based dance steps.

The traditional steps, two steps forward, one step backward, resembles to the sulog or water current from which the Sinulog dance originated.

Barangay Mabolo is one of the places in Cebu City that has been known to have preserved the basic Sinulog dance steps.

“The whole idea here is to teach them to dance sinulog, the traditional sinulog of Mabolo and teach them how to be disciplined. Nowadays that the Sinulog has been modified, this is a very good cause to preserve a Cebuano tradition,” San Diego said.

Zhane Miñoza, a Sinulog dancer from Barangay Mabolo, said she counts it as a blessing to be able to teach the children the steps that she has learned for the past ten years.

Miñoza, 16, has been a Sinulog dancer for Barangay Mabolo since she was in pre-school.

“I feel overwhelmed nga makatabang na ko. Sa una, ako ray gitudloan unya karon nga nakamao na ko sa mga steppings, makamao na pod ko nga handle ug motudlo sa mga bata. Blessing ni para nako,” said Miñoza.

(I feel overwhelmed that I can now help. Before, I was the one being taught and now that I have learned the steps, I can also teach the kids. This is a blessing for me.)

The children have already started to practice the basic steps in their respective barangays. Next week, since classes is on break for the Christmas, San Diego said they will be practicing daily in their respective barangays.

Acrobats entertained the kids of Sinulog sa Palaboy with their stunts during their Christmas party on December 22.(Rosalie Abatayo)

On Sunday, December 22, the children also had their Christmas treat as they come to their Christmas party at the rare of Fort San Pedro.

The children enjoyed performances of two groups of acrobats and later on shared a meal that was provided by a fast-food chain, Jollibee.

San Diego said Jollibee also committed to providing for the children’s snacks during their practices./elb

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TAGS: Sinulog Festival, Sinulog sa Palaboy, Val San Diego

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