First place winners in the 2013 Sinulog Grand Parade are Tribu Lingganay of Alang-Alang, Leyte for the free interpretation and Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe for Sinulog-based categories.
I’ve been sure about the Alang-Alang performers even before their Sunday performance. You could say I had insider info. I chanced upon them while they were practicing at the Cebu City Sports Center a few days ago and I was literally left speechless. They were not even in costumes then.
It was a toss-up, though, for me when it comes to the Sinulog-based category. I thought there were three contingents who really stood out and I’m glad that they all made it to the top three.
The rest of the winners are: for free interpretation, Lumad Basakanon of Basak-San Nicolas (2nd), Tribu Himag-ulaw of Placer, Masbate (3rd), Talamban National High School (4th), Lanao del Norte (5th) and for Sinulog-based, Carcar City (2nd), Kulturang Placereño (3rd), Talisay City Central School (4th), and Apas National High School (5th).
Since we did QR coding of the street dancing contingents, I had to interview choreographers and trainers a few days before the Sinulog Grand Parade to compile a brief info about each one.
Here are the background articles I wrote about this year’s champions.
Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe (Tangub City, Misamis Occidental)
Perennial Grand Parade winner Tangub City competes in the Sinulog-based category with a stress on the building of a church, both the physical edifice and the people that worship together as a community of believers.
The Sinanduloy Dance Troupe, performing as the Tangub City contingent, shows the progress of faith that has led to today’s devotion of the Señor Sto. Niño, said its choreographer Emilio “Jojin” Pascual.
Its 100 dancers are made up of students and young professionals who underwent screening to join the group. Taking care of the stage props are 90 or so group members.
In the 14 straight years up to 2013 that it has joined the Grand Parade, Tangub City counts 10 wins, all first place finishes except for 2004, 2008, and 2012 when it came in second.
Tangub takes the business of the Grand Parade seriously. The working members of the contingent have competed for years as members of the Tangub City contingent so they have a lot of experience. New recruits are screened and trained vigorously.
The Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe also has a core group that trains dancers all year round, explained Pascual.
The City Government spends millions to deliver a great performance, said Pascual, who pointed the amount is small change when one takes into consideration its objectives for joining.
Tangub joins mostly for promotional purposes, and it has more than achieved its purpose. The Tangub-Sinanduloy name is now closely associated with the Sinulog brand, explained Pascual.
Aside from tourism development, it has also achieved its cultural, youth development, and educational objectives.
Pascual said it is a given that Tangub City does not come with very little chances because it gives its best when it competes. But while it comes with an eye on a win, it does not forget that its dance is foremost a “halad” or an offering to the Señor Sto. Niño.
Alang-Alang, Leyte (Tribu Lingganay)
Long ago, Alang-Alang used to own a golden bell that peals with the sweetest sound so that people are encouraged to go to church when they hear it.
The pealing of the bell reaches even as far as the next town, so the people say. When pirates attempted to steal the bell, the townspeople threw it into the river.
Tribu Lingganay’s Sinulog Grand Parade performance opens with the search and finding of this bell inside a cave that serves as a dwelling of the fae.
It depicts how the people managed to get the bell but at great expense of the community, which suffered from the curse of the cave dwellers. The people call upon the Señor Sto. Niño and He heals the town of its affliction.
Maximar Custodio, choreographer, said Tribu Lingganay was declared the champion in the free interpretation category when it participated for the first time in 2012.
It is defending its title with 96 dancers carefully selected from the elementary and secondary students of Alang-Alang. At least 220 others will be bringing the group’s backdrops and stage decorations when it performs its routine at the Cebu City Sports Center stage.
Since competition in the free interpretation category is tough, Custodio said they are making sure their presentation is orderly with all dancers knowing their steps.