What’s next for Omega de Salonera? Possibly, the Wonju Dynamic Dance Carnival in South Korea

Omega de Salonera troupe

Omega de Salonera performers prepare for the street dancing competition of the Sinulog Festival 2023. | CDND file photo

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — After they wowed spectators of the Sinulog Festival 2023, performers of the Omega de Salonera may find themselves performing abroad for this year’s Wonju Dynamic Dance Carnival in South Korea.

Jey Rence Quilario, the group’s leader, said that former Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros would be helping them secure a slot at the festival that would be scheduled in September.

Bailes de Luces of La Castellana in Negros Occidental won the  gold medal in the Wonju Dynamic Dance Carnival in 2019 and the 2022 Gwangju Festival, said Ballesteros, who was also the president of the Korea Philippines Festival Cultural Exchange Association (KPFCEA Philippines).

If things go according to plan, the Omega de Saloneras might perform at this year’s Dance Carnival, Ballesteros said.

According to Ballesteros, the Saloneras have also expressed their interest to join the Aliwan Festival, that went on a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, if this will already be revived this year.

But organizers had yet to decide on the matter, he said.

Ballesteros said that he was also hoping that Dagitab sa Naga of Naga City, Cebu would also be able to perform in this year’s Jeju Festival, also in South Korea, “because they have a cultural exchange program na with Jeju.”


Quilario, who prefers to be called by his screen name, Senior Agila, said they would have to secure passports first, before they could finalize their entry in the Wonju Dynamic Dance Carnival.

“Problema pa namo ang passports. Kinahanglan magkuha pa mi ana,” he said.

(Passports are still our problem. We need to get that first.)

And while they work on their passports, Senior Agila said, he also plans to have their group registered as a foundation so that it would already be easier for them look for sponsors that would help in their preparations for future competitions that they would be joining.

Senior Agila said he intended to use part of the cash prize that they won at the Sinulog Festival 2023 for their show money.

Omega de Salonera won the grand prize in the Sinulog Festival 2023 Free Interpretation and Street Dancing. The group from Bucas Grand Island in Surigao del Norte province also placed second in the Best in Musicality and Best in Costume.

South Korea Festivals

Ballesteros said the country’s entries in the different festivals in South Korea had yet to be finalized.

But he has already started to consider possible participants that he would recommend to the event organizers.

“Sa Cebu Province daghan kapilian. I usually recommend by sending videos, and during the Pasigarbo sa Sugbu,” he said.

(In the province, there are many to choose from. I usually recommend by sending videos, and during the Pasigarbo sa Sugbu.)

Omega de Saloneras is one of those that he is highly recommending to organizers of the Wonju Dance Festival.

“The Sinulog performance of Omega de Salonera was one of a kind. [It was a] production that [I] haven’t seen in any Festivals in the Philippines… the clear storyline, concept, costume,  precise  and synchronized movement, the music, the choreography, the 3D moving  props, management  of props,  overall visual  and most importantly the entertainment value they offer is really something new and refreshing,” he said.

Ballesteros said the Saloneras deserved to be “showcased internationally.”

“And their bayanihan or pagtinabangay (Cooperation) really works. As they say’  in Unity there is strength… and when there is strength… there is Victory,” he said.

Ballesteros said the directors of the Daegu Powerful Festival, Wonju Dynamic Dancing Festival and Jeju Festival in South Korea were in Cebu to watch this year’s Sinulog Festival.

They met with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama at his City Hall office on the eve of the festival.

| Photo courtesy of Ricky Ballesteros

“I also introduced the out-of-town contingents’ heads, including Omega de Salonera and La Castellana Bailes de Luces, which  won the  gold medal in Wonju 2019 and the 2022 Gwangju Festival. I was the one who personally  invited La Castellana to join [the] Sinulog,” Ballesteros said.


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TAGS: Cebu City, Omega de Salonera, Sinulog Festival, South Korea
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