Sinulog Tribu sa Kabataan: A prelude to Sinulog 2020 grand parade

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Reporter/CDN Digital | January 12,2020 - 11:43 PM

The Basak San Nicolas Contingent triumphed over nine other contingents for the Sinulog Tribu sa Kabataan 2020 | CDND Photo/ Gerard Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Simplicity, originality, and spirituality coupled with seasoned techniques in execution made the difference for the three top contingents in this year’s Sinulog Tribu sa Kabataan staged on Sunday, January 12, 2020.

Guillen, who chaired the board of judges for the Ritual Dance Showdown of the competition, said the Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Banay Labagon of Barangay Labangon and Banauan Cultural Dance Group of Barangay Guadalupe contingents each executed techniques that captured the hearts of the crowd without losing the essence of Sinulog.

Barangay Basak San Nicolas, often referred to as Lumad Basakanon during the Sinulog season, bagged the championship for all the categories, besting nine other contingents. The team won Best in Musicality, Best in Costume, Best in Street Dancing and Best in Ritual Showdown.

“They had that usual attraction with the audience since from the start. Their introduction was simple yet very effective. [They used] simple movements but they captured the attention of the audience and us, the judges,” Guillen said in an interview after the awarding of winners.

Basak San Nicolas Barangay Captain and choreographer Norman Navarro, in a separate interview, said they did not expect to win this big in Sinulog Tribu Kabataan.

“Wala gyud mi mag-expect nga makadaug mi og ingon ini sa tana nga categories. Ang amo lang unta to nga makapresent mi bali og halad,” Navarro told CDN Digital.

Navarro’s 100 dancers clad in green, brown and orange costumes, depicted the scenes of bountiful harvest which they attribute to Señor Santo Niño.

Navarro said his dancers practiced their routine for more than two months, or since October.

Their street dance routine, Navarro said, was the very first thing that his dancers learn every year.

“Mao man na ang una nakong i-introduce sa ilaha so mahanas gyud sila ana usa pa namo i-introduce ang sa ritual dance,” Navarro explained.

Barangay Labangon contingent to the Sinulog Tribu Kabataan 2020 |CDND Photo/Gerard Vincent Francisco

Banay Labangon, meanwhile, surprised the audience this year as they went out of the usual Sinulog Based dance and exhibited for free interpretation.

Angelo Manapsal, Labangon’s head choreographer, said they decided to go out of Sinulog Based routine this year after a rigorous conceptualization of their storyline.

In 2019, Manapsal’s family-themed Sinulog Based dance routine won first place in the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan ritual dance showdown.

This year, Manapsal’s concept dated to pre-colonial Philippines when the natives wore animals’ skin and had no influence from western civilization and how the arrival of the Santo Niño changed their lives.

“This year, Labangon had the most original presentation. The one with the barok. It was very original and it offered something new… The flow of Labangon from the start to the end was very smooth,” Guillen said.

Banay Labangon won second place in the ritual dance showdown, third in musicality and second and street dancing.

Banauan Cultural Dance Group, Barangay Guadalupe’s contingent to the Sinulog Tribu Kabataan 2020 |CDND Photo/Gerard Vincent Francisco

Banauan Cultural Dance Group of Barangay Guadalupe, which won third place, was the only group that exhibited a Sinulog Based danced routine among the top winners.

“During their performance, we were brought back to why we are here, what the Santo Niño and the Sinulog is all about. Our faith and our religiousity,” Guillen said.

Aside from finishing third in the ritual dance, Banauan also won second in musicality and fourth in street dancing.

Banauan, Basak San Nicolas and Labagon were the last to perform this year being the eighth, ninth and tenth contingents for Sinulog Tribu sa Kabataan.

“We were dumbfounded. Sa last three talaga para kaming nanunuod ng Grand Sinulog. We had to be careful and I personally had to go back to evaluate what makes this group better than the other,” Guillen said.

The winners for the Sinulog Tribu sa Kabataan will be competing again next Sunday, January 19, for the Sinulog Grand Parade.

They will compete with the winners of Sinulog sa Lalawigan and other out of town contingents./elb

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