Monday, January 18, 2010

Sinulog 2010 Awarding Ceremonies

This is the day after… a Monday… not a holiday… yet a crowd drawer that had the sports complex still full to the rafters! Some of the areas like green, yellow and white sections were easily filled to capacity and police officers won’t allow any more folks to enter.

This event was scheduled to start at 1PM but nothing moved until 1:50PM – that is when the emcee first came on stage and barked on his microphone hehe! Bla bla bla and a girl was called to sing for the invocation. It’s a visayan song calling on the Sto Nino. Too long for everyone to get serious that it was an invocation. BUT, very nice voice. Ah that girl, I am almost sure, will become a singing sensation soon. Am almost sure! Emcee said she won the best interpretation (meaning best singer) in the just concluded singing contest.

Mike Rama was called to say something. As always, it was rather slow and dragging. Is that his style? Or is that how he really is hehe! Kuya Cesar? Ikaw ba yan? Hehehe! Then Tomas was also called to say something. Lengthy.. but short enough considering that that should have been his last appearance in the Sinulog as Mayor of this city.

Then the much-awaited… the repeat-performance of yesterday’s winners to be awarded in this program. First show was the 3 winning groups in the street dancing competition. They were asked to perform one at a time from 3rd to 1st place, a sample of how they marched the parade yesterday that earned for them their wins.

Third place in the street dancing category was the Province of Lanao Del Norte, the land of beauty and bounty. I was not surprised. I saw them do this yesterday over at Imus Road and I really thought they’d earn an award. Theirs was one of those that required a lot of vigorous hand movements and a lot of running. I worried they would not be able to sustain that kind of dancing in the 5 km route. Hmm, they probably didn’t after all, thus landing them just 3rd place. I liked this group even at first sight!

Second place in the street dancing was Lumad Basakanon. Now that surprised me! If they were second place, who grabbed the top position? Which of the contingents worked the streets better than them? Anyway, I was happy for them and they did their “march” on the stage for us to have one final look at how they did it. Hmm, if anything, the street dance of Basakanon is one that creates delays in a parade. It has a lot of turning and returning so that they cannot move forward that quickly – to the delight of the crowds of course. I realized it was more fantastic watching them do their street dance from a distance. It has a different effect on the audience. Good one!

First place was Sinanduloy. Yes the Tangub city contingent. Now that surprised me too! I thought Basakanon was better than them. Then again, my vantage when the Sinanduloy came was heavily crowded with a lot of umbrellas under a light shower on Mango Avenue. While when I watched Basakanon, it was still a sunny mid-morning at the crowdless Imus Road. Watching the Tangub group do a repeat of their winning street dance. I marveled at the variety of synchronized movements and formations they did. Like the Basakanon, watching them from afar actually made me appreciate the magnificence of their street dance than when I watched them on the street. They were good. And those scare-crews that fronted the troop was a fantastic crowd drawer. And they were more colorful with those skirts changing colors from off-white to pink or orange. Ah well-deserved!

Then the winning festival queens were asked to dance for the audience once more. Am no expert at how they got their various places in this contest but I was happy to note that they were all crowd favourites! Fourth runner up was Banilad Night School, 3rd runner up Lanao, 2nd runner up Himag-ulaw, 1st runner up Abellana and festival queen the Pintaflores beauty. Beautiful and graceful, all of them! Oops wait... just to clarify... the Sinulog Festival Queen is not and way different from the Miss Cebu Pageant, aight?! These festival queens are the frontrunners of each contingent, dancing and usually carrying a most significant symbol being adulated - like the Sto. Nino.

Then Dandin Ranillo was called to sing his original… Sinulog. It was rather dry hehe. Maybe this is human psychology… when you constantly associate a song or a beat with group movements of people in the hundreds, you suddenly feel it is weird when one person is on a huge stage singing that song. Someone can probably explain this in a better way but his singing and thumping and waving at the audience to clap did not illicit favorable response. But we all know everyone love’s that song, right?! Si-nu-log… tanan mag-sa-ulog… Sinulog…! And when we listen to it, it is his same voice that we would usually hear. But there he was, almost wriggling onstage and people were just looking at him as if waiting for it to finish hehe. What a weird moment. Fact is, the festival queens were even asked to come out once more and dance as he sang – probably to fill the suddenly quiet audience with more entertainment hehe! It was weird.

It was followed by him singing his other original “Cebu”. This time some folks started lightly thumping their feet to the beat of the song. But when he would ask the audience to shout “Cebu” there was a very noticeable lack of “cooperation”. Hmm, I thought I knew the Cebuano crowd when it comes to shows or spectacles. I have known them to be easily cheerful and very loud cheerers. Now, this was a weird experience. And I was down at the tracks watching everyone. Real weird! Again, I think it is probably because those songs are in the minds of many associated with a lot of people dancing not just a single person singing. Whatever hehe!

Then a man (probably in his fifties) was rushed down from the VIP section of the grandstand. He was half-conscious and half fainted but obviously could not walk on his own. I wanted to grab a woman by her hair and pull her down from the stairs. Police were already shouting to make clear as they rushed the man down. She won’t move, even if she could see that it was an emergency. I even saw her rolling her eyeballs. Nya hubaga ra ba! I, together with some spectators and photographers in the area glared and shouted at her to go down. Then she slowly slithered down the stairs in all her bulkiness! Gosh! I hope the next fainting incident becomes that woman who is a candidate anyway - in all her flabbiness! Where was the medical crew by the way? Police officers had to be the ones to carry that man all the way towards the main entrance until we could not anymore see them in the thick of the crowd of spectators and dancers by the oval’s tracks. The fat woman was first to reclaim her position at the stairs.

That fainting incident happened at an otherwise boring awarding of plaques and trophies by the way! Hehe, it started off with an orderly calling of the ‘pillars of the Sinulog’. Mr. Emcee gave time for awardees to walk and come upstage to receive their awards. As the very long list of awardees progressed however, the emcee just read the names and types of awards in succession as if he was reading a list of criminals for the evening news or a flash report. I spotted Miss Cebu and Mike Rama get into some confusion when awardee/s would come up to receive his/her/their trophies.

Well, if at all, that was good for the audience who were eager to see the rest of the performances. But I personally think that was not the way to honor awardees. You might as well just toss those trophies down the stage if you are not going to give due recognition by matching the name being announced and the person walking up the stage. Here is an analogy, your name is Jose and during your graduation, do you like your teacher reading your names fast for her to be done, such that when you finally reach the stage to receive your diploma she is pronouncing the name of Jocelyn? Masakit di ba? Bottomline, even if you as emcee finish the litany of names in one second, the giving and receiving of awards plus pictorials WILL NOT. So, you might as well take it slow. And all event directors know this.

I most specially think the organizers should have created more drama or fanfare when the name of that old lady who is eighty-plus years old recognized as the mother of the Sinulog steps. She is purportedly the woman who taught Cebu (and now the world) how to do the “Sinug” steps. At least, in all her frailness and assisted by others, she even sampled those steps as she walked towards the stage – and that had the crowd applauding.

Oh hey, I don’t remember that emcee asking or encouraging the crowd to applaud when awardees were called. Bad.

Again, as I said in my other notes… about “awardings” – to the awardees, it is a very important event in their lives that they’re being recognized. Hearing their names announced is as priceless as the trophy or the envelope. No one likes other names being called before they could even receive their awards. So enough time should be given to properly recognize, honor or exult them. Otherwise, just drop the idea of asking them to go upstage. Just announcing them is a better alternative if you are pressed for time. But we all had the afternoon and way into the evening, right?

Anyway, and alright… after the trophies and envelopes. The winners of the Free Interpretation Category were asked to do their repeat-performances starting with the 5th placer Mabolokon, then 4th Lanao, 3rd Pintaflores, 2nd Basakanon and 1st Himag-ulaw! They were all excellent. If I were a judge in this contest, I’d probably throw up at how hard a decision would that have been on who to declare as first or fifth! Hah! Consider this: the fifth placer is a troop of little kids from Mabolo Elementary School while those who garnered 1st and 2nd places were mostly adults. Now watch them do their presentations. Ahhh! Sometimes, it really is just wonderful being a mere spectator. Hmm, this one is for sure – the judges in those contests surely did not enjoy watching performances the way the rest of us in the millions did! Let’s just say, it’s their sacrifice and offering to the Sto Nino!

Soon after, the five winners of the Sinulog Based Category were also one-by-one asked to do their repeat performances. It started with the 5th placer Don Sergio Osmena National High School, 4th Lahug elementary School, 3rd Silaw Culture and Arts of Carcar, 2nd Abellana National School and 1st Sinanduloy Troupe of Tangub City. Interesting that all of second to fifth placers I have already watched a week ago during the Sinuloog sa Kabataan. I particularly fancied the uncommon storyline and level of choreography by the group from Carcar. Simple but clean and clear. Impressive! Not to mention that they were best in costume. Interesting too was the “family portrait’ of Don Sergio High School. So was the cute chubby “alcalde” and the hunky angels of Lahug hehe. Attempting to morph the Subli (an entirely separate dance of cultural significance elsewhere in the country) with Sinulog was risky but Abellana pulled it through! Very impressive. Then again, those big boards that depicted bamboos and rice fields quickly transforming from planting to harvest season on to the town square festival and the church was just an awesome thing from Tangub. Plus the dancers were very well coordinated. Oh hey, about that cute kalabaw with a big butt, if pitted head to head with Jollibee, your dear islaw might actually win hehe! That and the scarecrows really had the audience cheering. Tangub was awesome!

Alright, that was just the awarding ceremonies but a fantastic festival on its own merit. Imagine more than a dozen performances of the winning teams re-enacted at just P70 entrance? Well, many of those who paid P70 couldn’t find a place to sit their assess on hehe. Just the same everyone enjoyed, I think!

Pit Senyor!


  1. Sinulog is one of the popular event in Cebu and in whole Philippines that we must be proud of it. Lito Atienza

  2. 我從來不認為不同意我的看法就是冒犯 ..................................................

  3. This place is looking very old place and the girl was singing good and his voice is really nice.

  4. Sinulog is one of the popular event in philippines. The girl singing good we will appreciate it.

  5. hmmm i was also here during the awarding ceremony. wondering bacn nag sugat ra ta. ive read some of ur post about street dancing, u shuld be a judge sa sinulog nex year!

    dapat ma hall of famer na ang tangub. para naay chance ang uban maka daog. hehe!