Sinulog organizers urged: Revisit rules
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/JMO (The Freeman) - January 18, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - To ensure that the playing field will be equal, judges in Sunday’s Sinulog Grand Parade have asked the Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) to revisit its rules.

Josefina Guillen, chairwoman of the board of judges in the competition’s Sinulog-based category, admits stage lights contributed to the performance of contingents that went on stage after sundown, among which is this year’s winner, the Kulturang Placereño from Masbate.

“I’d like to suggest to SFI to revisit the guidelines. In particular, that one that pertains to that (use of lights). Kung gabi na, I would suggest that the lights be just the same. White lights. No dimming of lights, no putting of specials on some parts so everything is equal of how it appeals to the audiences and to the judges,” Guillen said.

She admitted the Kulturang Placereño got additional points from the visual effect of the lights used in its production.

“Meron talagang advantage pag gumamit ka ng lights because you are able to highlight the parts, segments that you want to highlight as compared to walang lights. While I was watching the SB, I was asking myself will this performance and artistry with the lights look as good and as excellent without the use of lights? That’s my question. And I think I share the same opinion as some of the other judges in SB because definitely it adds,” she said.

“I learned that it was offered to them and these are the groups that availed so it was their choice, but I know that SFI, every year, keeps on looking at aspects in management that can help improve and this, I think, is one of the topics that can be brought up during the evaluation,” she said.

Nestor Jardin, chairman of the board of judges in the Free-interpretation category, agreed.

The judges also observed that the time to set up on stage varies.

“So, siguro, isa pa yun na pwedeng tingnan na natatandaan ko before merong definite time limit in setting up because if you don’t give a time limit we will have no control on how long they want and how much props and sets they would like to bring in on stage,” Guillen said.

Jardin said creativity, choreography, and concept or theme should be the main priority.

“Make sure it is translated all throughout the choreography through the movements, the dance steps, the patterns the costume so it will appear a total production,” he said.

Jardin said dance is “limitless” so sequences should be new. 

Guillen, for her part, said contingents should consider originality of concept and theme.

“Originality in the concept, fresh ideas. Nakita na natin meron na silang ginagawa, eh. We would like to encourage more,” she said.

On the use of props, Guillen encouraged contingents to utilize the relevant props on their theme.

“You can be very pleasing to the audience. You can tell your story with very few props, minimal but they should be maximized. Choose only those that are very relevant to your theme and maximize them,” she said.

Guillen is past president of the Philippine Folk Dance Association and chairperson of the National Dance Committee of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCAA) while Jardin is former president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).


Ricky Ballesteros, Executive Director of SFI, said the foundation will consider the judges’ observations and suggestions in finalizing the rules for next year’s competition. He said the foundation always updates its guidelines to ensure fairness.

As far as the use of lights is concerned, he said neutral lights can be used for contingents that perform when the sun sets, but opined lights should not be a major factor in bagging the top prize.

“It doesn’t matter for me, with or without lights. Even the Municipality of Danao nga nag perform og hayag, daog man because of their concept, choreography and the production, ilaha gyod to,” he said.

He also said all contingents were encouraged to make use of the LED walls during their performance, but only few chose to do so.

As far as props and setting up on stage are concerned, he said SFI hires propsmen to help contingents but, “Ang Sinulog man gud kay it’s a big festival. Naa pa kay 6.1km na parade and knowing nga dagko kaayo og props ang uban, so maglisod gyod apil na daghan na kaayo og tao.” —(FREEMAN)

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