Cebu News

Sinulog sa kabataan sa Dakbayan: Fresh ideas, relevance get judges’ nod

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Contingents from Cebu City Central School and Don Vicente Rama Memorial National High School wowed judges in yesterday’s Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan (city).

“We have chosen the contingent with a fresh approach at yung mga backdrops ay may relevance talaga sa theme and sa dance at sa Sinulog,” said Josephina Guillen, chairperson of the Board of Judges.

She is the chairperson of the National Dance Committee of National Commission for Culture and Arts and has sat as judge in the Sinulog for several years.

Guillen said both Cebu City Central School and Don Vicente Rama Memorial National High School presented their message clearly and developed their theme during performance effectively. She said the performances engaged the judges and the audience.

She said contingents have leveled up this year, both in terms of skill and production design. She attributed the same to the continuous training the Sinulog Foundation Inc. conducts for choreographers, musicians, and production designers, among others.


Incidentally, Cebu City Central School and Don Vicente Rama Memorial National High School was trained by the same choreographer, Rolly Layola.

Jonas Borbon who helped Layola train the groups said the results overwhelmed them.

“Happy, surprised… dili masabtan basta nag-una among kalipay gyud, ang tanang kahago na paid off… first time namo nga nakadaog sa four major awards kay, sauna, tag-duha or tag-usa ra among madawat nga award,” Borbon said.

Cebu City Central School’s performance depicted the transformation of a bird while the Don Vicente Rama Memorial National School showcased the transformation of a butterfly – their performances underscored the importance of the two creatures to the environment. 

The costumes of the elementary performance were inspired by the 2011 film “Rio” which involved Blue Sphix’s Macaws (Neutropical parrots), a native macaw in Brazil.

“Ang among theme gyud karon kay murag focus mi sa birds sa elementary and butterflies sa secondary. We decided to think differently para dili na kaayo known ang costume and concept namo,” Borbon said.

Borbon believed they won best in musicality because they listened to the suggestions of the group’s instrumentalists.

“Dili ra amoang effort sa choreographers… nagtampo-tampo mi, naminaw sa mga suggestions because dili mani siya individual performance, this is a collaborative effort,” he said.

The performance of Cebu City Central School centered on the love of a mother bird to her baby, which was juxtaposed to the love the Sto. Nino showers the people, particularly Cebuanos.

“In times sa kalamidad, makaingon gyud ta nga tabangan gyud ta ni Señor Sto. Niño. Connected among theme sa maayong buhat ni Señor Sto. Niño. Mura siyag inahan sad nga nagpanalipod natong mga Cebuano,” Borbon said.

Bigger purpose

Last year’s champion in the high school category, Apas National High School, failed to get the overall top spot this year but exited the competition with smiles.

One of its performers, Angelito Burden, said that while they aimed to win, their main objective was to perform for the Child Jesus.

“Naa mi goal madaog, but our main goal kay makahalad ni Señor Sto. Niño, madaog man o mapildi,” he told The Freeman.

The group, nevertheless, won best in musicality.

Burden, a third year student, said making it to the group this year was fulfilling enough for him. He said practices were tedious but he enjoyed what he was doing because he has always wanted to perform for the Santo Niño ever since he was nine years old.

“Dili ko kapuyon during practices kay ganahan man ko sa akong gibuhat, ganahan ko mosayaw para ni Señor Sto. Niño,” he said.

“Sauna, magtan-aw tan-aw ra ko’g TV sa mga manayaw. Karon, usa nako sa mosayaw,” he said.

He shared that their props and costumes were not available until the last minute but they never gave up hope.

“Dili ra physical nga struggles but also emotional. Problema namo jud ang costume kay last week, hapit mohilak among choreographer sa among atubangan kay ang props wala pa mahuman, ang costumes wala pa matiwas but wala mi nawagtangan og paglaom,” he said.


To stand out from competition, Guillen said advised future groups to make sure that their performances portray the values they would want to showcase.

“It’s not enough to bring the image of Sto. Niño in your presentation and that there’s someone na devastated at na-heal ng Sto. Niño. Think of a unique theme like the importance and role of Sto. Niño in our lives,” she said.

“At dapat, i-improve talaga yung how they develop the message and the relevance of Sto. Niño in their presentation,” she added.

Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of Sinulog Foundation Inc., said the winners in the ritual showdown automatically qualifies to the Sinulog Grand Parade on Sunday.  (FREEMAN)













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