Two-time champ Lingganay eyeing comeback victory
May B. Miasco/JMD (The Freeman) - January 14, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Two-time Sinulog champion Tribu Lingganay of Alang-Alang, Leyte province is gunning for a comeback this year after its cancelled appearance last year owing to super typhoon Yolanda.

Kent Guillermo, festival coordinator of Tribu Lingganay, aims to win their third championship for this year’s Sinulog ritual showdown as they stand to represent the province of Leyte.

Tribu Lingganay’s choreographer Maximar Custodio said they are to present an innovative dance this year.

“We will always be remembered for our colorful props and costume but this year, we have something new and different for our audience,” Custodio said.

Guillermo said the name of their group originated from a legend of a golden bell.

“Lingganay means the sound of a bell. Maabot iyang tingog sa nagkalain-laing lugar kay nindot man siya paminawon. Didto na-create among tribu,” said Guillermo, noting that tracing their roots in history is what makes their group unique.

Tribu Lingganay, which arrived in Cebu last Monday, consists of 96 dancers, 300 props personnel, 130 support staff, and 45 musicians.

Their dancers consist of elementary students, high school and college students from different schools and universities in Leyte, as well as out-of-school youths.

Guillermo said their group was established in 2005 and got recognized when they won topped Leyte’s Pintados Kasadyaan Festival last 2011.

“We went a step higher when we won the grand championship last 2012, which was also our first participation for the Sinulog festival competition,” he said.

Lingganay won the first place twice in a row in 2012 and 2013 Sinulog ritual showdown under the Free Interpretation category.

In 2012, it also bagged the awards for Best in Musicality and Best in Festival Costume.

Guillermo said they failed to participate in last year’s competition since their municipality was damaged by the onslaught of Yolanda.

“We already discussed for pre-production that time, we had our meetings for our dance concept and design. But we hadn’t started yet our dance practices,” Guillermo said.

John Peter Alcober, 17, a college student and a resident of Barangay Cavite, Alang-Alang, said it was a challenge for them after the typhoon hit their area.

“Totally damaged ‘yong bahay namin.  Nakikitira na lang kami sa ibang bahay na nakatayo pa. Sometimes kung uulan nang malakas, hindi na kami makatulog. Nakatayo na lang kami,” Alcober said.

Alcober also said he wanted to join the competition to show gratitude to the Holy Child.

“Ang sarap ng feeling na na-ibigay mo lahat sa paraan ng pagsasayaw dahil nagpapasalamat kami sa pangalawang buhay. Despite ng lahat ng challenges, kumapit lang tayo kay Sto. Niño dahil tutulungan Niya tayo,” he said.

Alcober said regardless of the outcome on Sunday, it would not matter to him as long as they give their best during the performance.

“Manalo man kami o hindi, hindi na magma-matter yun,” he said, “basta maibigay lang namin lahat ng 100 percent namin, parang panalo na rin kami.” — (FREEMAN)

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