Sinulog 2020

Borongan City’s contingent prays for recovery from Typhoon Ursula

January 14,2020 - 02:01 PM

Students from the Sta. Fe National High School practice their routine for the Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade. | Photo courtesy of John Val Poro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – They suffered the wrath of Typhoon Ursula which made its first landfall in Borogan City, Eastern Samar on December 25, 2020.

But instead of feeling sad, they used the tragedy as an inspiration to rise again, says resident John Val Poro.

On Sunday, Jan. 19, around 400 Borongan City residents will take the Cebu City Sports Center stage to show their devotion to the Señor Sto. Niño with prayers for their recovery from the calamity that especially damaged their crops.

Poro, the contingent choreographer, said that their dance will depict how Typhoon Ursulla especially damaged the vast banana plantation in their city and how they are recovering from the recent calamity.

They also wanted to share their prayers of hope with other Borongan City residents who are now working or studying in Cebu City and other parts of the province.

“Matagal na naming pangarap ito. Win or lose, gusto lang namin ipakita ang best namin,” says Poro, one of the two choreographers of Tribu Rayhak of Borongan City.

(We have long been wanting to join the Sinulog. Win or lose, we just wanted to showcase our best.)

Part of the props that the contingent will use in their Sinulog dance on Sunday, January 19, 2020. | Photo courtesy of John Val Poro

Eastern Samar last sent a contingent to the Sinulog grand parade in 2009.  They also made it to the top 5 when they first joined in 2006 but missed the top 10 spot in 2007.

Poro was among the performers from the Eastern Samar State University who joined in the Sinulog 2009.   He is making a comeback on the Sinulog stage this year but as one of their contingent’s choreographers. He choreographed their Sinulog entry with another teacher, Cecile Legonef.

Tribu Rayhak consists of around 400 performers who are all students of the Sta. Fe National High School in their city. Of the group, 90 are dancers while the rest are propsmen and instrumentalists.

Rayhak means rejoicing, says teacher Eva Afable.

Poro, who also teaches Physical Education and Health at Sta. Fe NHS, said they had been wanting to join this year’s Sinulog but financial constraints caused delays in their preparations.  They had to first seek the support of their local officials.

They started their practices on Dec. 17,  2019 while the students were on Christmas break.  But since some of their students were busy with their respective holiday preparations only around 80 percent of their performers were available for their practices then.

They started to practice with complete attendance only on Jan. 6. and will be having their dress rehearsals on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Poro said that they will be traveling to Cebu in two batches on Jan. 15 and 16 because of difficulty in booking all members of their delegation in one boat trip.

But despite all their difficulties, Poro said they will surely conquer the Sinulog stage.

“This is our time. This is our moment to measure kung hanggang saan ang kaya namin (our limits),” he said. /rcg




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TAGS: banana plantation, Borongan City, calamity, devotion. Señor Sto. Niño, Eastern Samar, recovery, Sta. Fe NHS, Typhoon Ursula

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