THE dance showcasing the Cebuanos’ resiliency and faith during calamities won in the Sinulog sa Kabataan (SK) sa Lalawigan at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) yesterday.
The downpour did not stop the students from Cebu Province to dance for the Señor Sto. Niño. Yesterday’s competition had nine contingents.
But the event, which was supposed to start at 1 p.m., was delayed for one hour due to the rain brought by a low-pressure area hovering over Mindanao.
Due to the rains, Sinulog Foundation Inc (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said the Department of Education 7 suggested to him to postpone the activity. But he preferred to wait for the rain to ease up.
The rain stopped at 2 p.m. The parade from the Cebu Provincial Capitol to CCSC then started.
But Ballesteros said they did not push through with the street dancing for the safety of the students, considering that the roads were wet.
“The safety of the contingents is really our main concern,” he said.
In yesterday’s competition, the Talisay Central School won the SK sa Lalawigan elementary division.
They earned their back-to-back win after defeating four other contingents.
Talisay danced their way to the top by using as its first backdrop the life-size front pages of local newspapers in Cebu that headlined the different disasters that hit the Visayas in recent months.
These included the collision of two vessels last August near Lawis Ledge in Talisay City, the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last October, typhoon Yolanda last November and four fires that hit five barangays in the city last December.
The contingent moved the backdrop and the dancers acted as survivors of the tragedies. The survivors then offered prayers to Sto. Niño and thanked him for sparing their lives.
The dancers went on with their dance routine and used as backdrop the Talisay City Hall, Magellan’s Cross and the other tourist spots in the city.
Marvie Caño, choreographer of the Talisay contingent, said he was happy they defended their title.
“We just really wanted to show Cebuanos’ faith despite the tragedies and that Cebu remains the Queen City of the South and the premiere province in the country,” he said.
Caño said his 100 dancers and 400 props men started practicing in October last year.
Noemi Bellosillo, chairperson of the board of judges, said Talisay earned the judges’ nod because the storyline was presented clearly.
“Their performance as a whole was very good, including the costume, their props, and the dancers were very coordinated,” she said. For the SK sa Lalawigan secondary level, the top spot was earned by Tuburan National High School from the town of Tuburan.
They defeated three other contingents with their dance routine that thanked Señor Sto. Niño for a good coconut harvest.
Bellosillo said Tuburan presented their storyline well. She also said they have a lot of surprises.
The group’s choreographer Fernando Cabrillos said they practiced their routine for three months. They have a total of 100 dancers and 278 props men.
Cabrillas welcomed their victory yesterday after finishing second in last year’s competition. The first place was earned by Carcar City. Carcar did not join this year’s SK sa Lalawigan as they decided to directly participate in the grand parade on Jan. 19.
Other winners in the secondary level are La Paz National High School from Bogo City (4th place), Sabang National High School from Danao City (3rd place) and Uling National High School from Naga City (2nd place).
The best in costume was won by Uling National High School while the best in musicality was won by Tuburan National High School.
For the elementary level, the other winners are Taytay Elementary School from Danao City (5th place), Langtad Elementary School from Naga (4th place), Ginatilan Elementary School (3rd place) and Mandaue City Elementary School (2nd place).
The best in costume and best in musicality was won by Talisay Central School.
The first placer in yesterday’s competition earned P300,000, P150,000 for the second place, P100,000 for the third place, P75,000 for the fourth place and P50,000 for the fifth place.
The best in musicality and best in costume winners were given P50,000.
All the nine contingents in yesterday’s SK sa Lalawigan earned a spot for the grand parade on Jan. 19.
Police described the event as generally peaceful, and estimated the crowd at 80,000.
Senior Insp. Michael Angelo Beltran said there were only minor problems in the crowd at the Cebu Sports Center.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III told the crowd to be thankful for the blessings they received from Señor Sto. Niño.