‘Dancing lights’ of Negros Occidental town to join Sinulog for the first time

By: Doris C. Bongcac - CDN Digital | January 15,2020 - 05:59 PM

Bailes de Luces performers of La Castellana in Negros Occidental is joining the Sinulog grand parade on Sunday, January 19, 2020, for the first time. | Photo grabbed from choosephilippines.com

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Expect to see Sinulog performers dance with LED lights during the grand parade on Sunday, January 19.

The town of La Castellana in Negros Occidental will bring to Cebu their famous Bailes de Luces (Dances of Lights or Festival of Lights) and will regale spectators with a performance that involves LED lights as main props.

“We are going to merge the Sinulog and interpret it the Bailes de Luces way.  I think this is going to become a highlight in the Sinulog. This is something to look forward to,” says La Castellana Mayor Rhumayla Nicor Mangilimutan.

Since the Sinulog street dance is held at daytime, Mangilimutan said they made sure to prepare colorful costumes and hand props for their performers, who will be dancing to the beat of the drums while playing with LED lights which are attached to their costumes and props.

“We interpret the beat of the drums with the lights. Sayaw siya ng ilaw (It’s dance of lights) depending on the tempo or the beat (of the drums),” she said.

She said the use of the lights will become more prominent in the dark.

In a phone interview with CDN Digital, Mangilimutan said this is the first time for La Castellana to join the Sinulog festival.

But learning the dance was easy for them since the performers from La Castellana are no strangers to dance competitions even on the international stage.

The Bailes de Luces festival was showcased at the Wonju Dynamic Dancing Carnival which was held in South Korea from September 3 to 8, 2019.

Bailes de Luces won a gold award and the best in street dancing award in that competition.

Mangilimutan said Ricky Ballesteros, former executive director of Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI), invited La Castellana to join the Sinulog grand parade this year.

The La Castellana contingent consists of 77 dancers, 20 propsmen, 45 drum beaters and a singer.

The group is composed of winners in the barangay and school categories of the Bailes de Luces showdown that was held in La Castellana on January 5, 2020.

Mangilimutan said they started to practice their Sinulog routine on January 7 and signed up for the Free Interpretation (FI) category of the grand parade.

Their performers arrived in Cebu City on Wednesday morning, January 15, via the Toledo City port.

Mangilimutan, a two-term mayor, said she is no stranger to Cebu and the Sinulog grand parade.

The former policewoman used to be assigned in Cebu in 2006 and 2007.

She was assigned at the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office for three months and was assigned to help secure the 12th Asean Summit in December 2006 before she was reassigned to Cebu City’s traffic group.

Mangilimutan said she resigned from the police force when she filed her certificate of candidacy for mayor in the first class municipality of La Castellana in 2016. / celr

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