Between the two street dancing competitions during the Sinulog for Cebu schools, they say competition is always fiercer when it comes to Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan (Cebu City) participants.
It’s not uncommon for City Schools Division contingents to have started practicing since October.
Below is background information on all except one 2013 Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan competing groups. If you’re in the streets this afternoon, you can get this info on your mobile phone by scanning the QR code printed on the banners of contingents. This service is provided to you by Innopub Media in partnership with Smart Communications Inc. and the Sinulog Foundation.
Basak Community School
An alternating system implemented by the Cebu City Schools Division makes the Basak Community School the representative to the Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan of south district 1.
The last time it joined the street dancing competition was five years ago.
Calling itself Tribu Niñorito, the Basak Community School contingent competes in the free interpretation category with a hundred dancers and another hundred taking care of the group’s props.
Its dance portrays the rice fields that used to be abundant in the barangay and how calamities ravaged these plantations until the farmers prayed for the intercession of the Sto. Niño.
The school gets assistance from the San Nicolas barangay council and sponsors.
Cebu City Central School (Pundok Lanceros)
Competing in the Sinulog-based category, Pundok Lanceros portrays the everyday life in old Cebu with its Spanish-influenced folk dances, religious observances, colorful fiesta celebrations, and deep faith.
In return, the Señor Sto. Niño pours His blessings upon the Cebuano family.
The Cebu City Central School is a fixture in the Sinulog sa Kabataan, having participated in the competition since 2000 and stopping only when then Mayor Tomas Osmeña banned students from joining in 2005.
Its 96 dancers were picked from Grades 4-6 students. Only 50 others will be handling stage props.
Mabolo Elementary School (Tribu Mabolokon)
When it comes to dance setting, Tribu Mabolokon is sparing no expense.
Its presentation is colorful because it revolves around the natural environment and gets inspiration from the effects in the movie Avatar.
To come close to bringing Avatar to life, the Mabolo Elementary School contingent has set decorations that require over 200 students to handle.
Its dance presentation is about a tribe that abuses its environment and cuts down a tree of life that is home to the Avatar, which now begins to threaten the well-being of the people. They ask the Señor Sto. Niño for help and healing and He heard their prayers, showing that Cebu’s protector is more powerful than anything on this world.
Tribu Mabolokon has 96 dancers and competes in the free interpretation category.
Its choreographer, Maximar Custodio, is one of the Custodio brothers, well known for choreographing winning contingents.
Guadalupe Elementary School
Pasko sa Sugbo (Christmas in Cebu) is about those who have more blessings sharing what they have with the less fortunate. It is about the poor getting a lot of blessings during Christmas.
Guadalupe Elementary School shows how Cebu’s protector, the Señor Sto. Niño, takes care of His people all throughout the year but especially during Christmas when the birth of Christ is being celebrated.
The Guadalupe Elementary School contingent competes in the free interpretation category of the 2013 Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan with 97 dancers and another 153 bringing set props.
Before this year, the last time the school joined the street dancing competition was in 2010.
Oprra Elementary School
Since the main livelihood of Barangay Kalunasan, where the Oprra Elementary School is located, involves the planting of mangoes, it gives thanks to the Señor Sto. Niño through its dance for a bountiful harvest.
The Oprra contingent’s presentation takes inspiration from the Mango Festival that the barangay celebrates yearly.
Oprra Elementary School gets to represent again the City Schools Division’s south district 4 in the 2013 Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan. The last time was in 2003.
It has 85 main dancers, 18 who will act out a dance drama in the beginning of the presentation, and 103 students taking care of the props. Many of the participants, who underwent rigid screening, were from the fifth and sixth grades. A few were taken from the fourth grade.
Oprra competes in the Sinulog-based category.
Regino Mercado Elementary School
The miracle of the Señor Sto. Niño is He is able to stop the bad influence of the Internet, new technology, and other worldly temptations from fully corrupting the youth.
With the Sto. Niño’s help, children return to school and their studies after confessing their sins and taking communion.
The Regino Mercado Elementary School wants to show through its dance routine in the 2013 Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan that the Sto. Niño’s help and guidance is needed even more so now in this modern age of computers and mobile phones.
Since it is only a small school and has a limited number of students, the contingent welcomes all willing students. Many of its dancers, about 95 percent, are from the school’s special science classes in Grades 4-6. Another 60 volunteers take care of the stage decors.
To pay for costumes and set props, school officials and faculty went caroling during the Christmas break, solicited by distributing envelopes, secured the cooperation of parents in raising money, and sought sponsorship.
Inayawan Night High School
Thanksgiving to the Señor Sto. Niño in the form of dance for good weather and a bountiful harvest is the central message of the Bulawanong Bunga’s presentation in Sunday’s Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan.
The last time the Inayawan Night High School contingent represented south district 7 of the Cebu City Schools Division was three years ago when it won third place.
This 2013, Bulawanong Bunga (Golden Fruit) competes in the Sinulog-based category with 50 male and 50 female dancers. Backing them are another 150 students serving as props handlers.
Students who performed well during a class that taught them folk dancing were selected to perform in the Sinulog sa Kabataan. Funding for props and costumes came from the Sinulog Foundation subsidy, sponsors, solicitations, and contributions from parents and other schools in the district.
Punta Princessa Night High School
Putting emphasis on the elements earth, water, fire, and air, Punta Princessa Night High School shows how important prayers to the Señor Sto. Niño are to help Cebuanos escape from or survive calamities.
The school, as Tribu Kinaiyahan (Nature) this year, competes again in the 2013 Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan since its last performance in 2009.
Its main considerations when picking participants for the street dancing competition were that students must know the fundamentals of dancing and have permission of parents. Another 180 volunteers will be bringing props or taking care of the music.
Punta Princessa relies on donations, sponsorships, and support of the parent-teacher’s associations (PTAs) to fund costumes and equipment.
Zapatera National High School
Flowers dominate the scene when the Zapatera National High School contingent performs its dance routine during Sunday’s Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan.
Tribu Mabulakon glories in all things nature and stressed the Señor Sto. Niño’s role as protector of the earth and its resources.
Zapatera participates again in the Sinulog sa Kabataan after missing it for a few years due to budget constraints. This year, the contingent has 100 dancers selected through auditions and another 150 taking care of presentation props.
Competing under the free interpretation category, Zapatera hopes to make it to the top 5 and join the Grand Parade.
Talamban National High School (Banay Talambanon)
A force of evil, the black fairy, triumphs over good, the white fairy, in an enchanted garden. At stake are the lives of children who have offended the black fairy when they destroyed the garden.
The people prayed to the Señor Sto. Niño and He saves the day by vanquishing the black fairy.
The central message of Banay Talambanon’s Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan 2013 presentation is that the Sto. Niño is more powerful and will prevail over any other forces.
Its 100 dancers are student volunteers who started training for the street dancing competition last October. At least 200 others will handle the dance props.
Talamban National High School’s choreographer, Emerito Custodio, is one of its teachers. He has choreographed a lot of winning contingents over the years, including last year’s Grand Parade free interpretation champion Tribu Lingganay of Alang-Alang, Leyte.
Apas National High School
As a consistent participant of the street dancing competition since its creation in the 90’s, the Apas National High School contingent has garnered its share of awards in the Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan and Grand Parade.
This 2013 Sinulog sa Kabataan, the Apas contingent depicts through dance and music the evolution of Cebu through the years and how Cebuanos have remained true to their faith and to the Señor Sto. Niño.
Participating in the Sinulog-based category, Apas attempts to show that although much has changed throughout the years, some things like the Sinulog Festival celebration remain the same.
Since contingent participants needed to practice throughout the Christmas break, what the Apas National High School did was to ask for volunteers who now compose the group’s 150 dancers and 180 who will be bringing the props used in the presentation.
Apas National High School has consistently placed in the top 5 of the Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan competition.
Don Sergio Osmeña National High School
The generosity of Don Sergio Osmeña National High School’s sponsors has allowed it to participate yearly in the Sinulog sa Kabataan-Dakbayan.
A company has continued to support the contingent financially in the last five years so it is able to secure costumes for its dancers and the props needed for its dance routine.
In the school’s 2013 Sinulog sa Kabataan presentation, the contingent depicts pagan Cebu’s conversion to Christianity and its faith in the Señor Sto. Niño that results in the miracle of healing.
Many of its 96 dancers were selected through auditions and making up the lack are other volunteers who underwent extensive training. Almost double their number are students who will be handling the contingent’s props.
Throughout the years that the Don Sergio Osmeña National High School has been participating in the Sinulog sa Kabataan and Grand Parade, it has won several awards for its performances. Several years ago, it even placed second in the main Sinulog street dancing competition.
Sinulog sa Kabataan top five placers get to automatically compete in the Grand Parade.
These are based on interviews with school principals, contingent heads, or choreographers. Unfortunately, I was not able to contact any representative from the Abellana National High School.