Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pasigarbo Festival Queen 2010

By the time I click “publish” on this one, I am almost sure the affair is not yet quite done! I went to see it by accident. I was hesitant at first as I know how crowds in this country go when it comes to spectacles that are staged on a stage. But since I “discovered” the affair early, I thought I might peep in at least for a time and see at least a part of it.

Why was it by accident? Ah, I went to CICC having heard that there is an ongoing 'One Cebu Expo 2010'. Roaming the second floor displays, when I was viewing the Central Visayas Tourism tableaux, I noticed some hectic hustle and bustle at the nearby plenary hall. So I went in and saw the stage had three big screens displaying “Pasigarbo Festival Queen 2010”. I asked a janitor what time it was supposed to start and she said probably 730 or 8PM. As it was not yet 730 and there were a few people inside, I thought it must have been 8PM. So I stayed around.

8:18PM, Gwen entered the hall with board member Magpale and other folks as the voice-over hollered about their presence. So I thought that was the start. And indeed it was hehe! After the usual hi-hellos of Gwen with other people up front, stage dimmed and showed clips of the 'last few minutes' when winners of similar events in 2008 and 2009 were declared. Audience started shrieking!

After the “recollection”… whooom! The opening dance that had the whole convention hall throbbing. And indeed that opening dance was great. To the tune of ‘Pasigarbo Sa Sugbo’ theme, it was a group of some modern boy group dance club and equally great dancers from a university. A fusion of modern hip-hop where the boys were flying all over the place and the girls gracefully swaying in festival dance moves. Fantastic choreography! People from behind started crowding the aisle towards front :(

That opening dance flowed continuously until the entrance of 21 candidates where they all danced together. Ah, the more that the audience shrieked and shouted and the more that all other folks who were earlier standing behind the seats trooped to wedge themselves at any available space on the aisle. Then naturally everyone started standing. I also had to.

I told myself, I’d stay to "listen" just a few more then leave the pandemonium. Judging from how it started, I knew all those upcoming presentations would be great. This is Cebu after all. But the crowding and craning of my neck is more of a stress for me than enjoyment. I did stay a while… and here are my notes!

My estimates… 98 percent of the spectators were those kids from out at the parking lot practicing their blocking and dance routines for this Saturday’s coming final showdown of the Pasigarbo Sa Sugbo 2010 parade. 1.5% of spectators were staff of the various booths at the expo and the mayors, councilors and their staff. There were too few “mere visitors” like me – and that remaining .5% already includes friends and families of the 21 candidates. Meaning, quite a few "outsiders"! In sum, I know this is a great show but it can still be marketed to outsiders other than just the students who themselves are participants of the Pasigarbo. It’s a grand show anyway, so kinahanglan ipasigarbo og maayo sa mga taga-gawas (I mean gawas sa performers, their classmates and families)! Well, I saw at least 4 foreigners hehe! Then again… it was a Thursday night. Not even office folks would be much interested to see the spectacle at such a time of night where they have work the following day.

Order and crowd control at non-seating areas should be taken seriously by the organizers. In this case, the guard who manned the aisle did not call the attention of those cameramen with two big tripods who inched forward when the show started. He instead went with them, and a crowd of non-seated folks followed them. People seated at the last rows were already shouting expletives to no avail. When the candidates appeared, those two cameramen (still cams, not videos) were already a few inches behind Gwen, and all other standing people followed them that the big aisle was veeery full of people. We who were seated at the back rows could not anymore see anything. Mind you, while they were boisterous and kept the cheers real loud, those students were properly seated. So guess who crowded at the aisle?!

I was seated 5 rows from the last and there were exactly 16 rows arranged in a semi-circular fashion with the stage at center. Those seats must have been thousands, not all were occupied yet the center aisle was so full with people.

Many spectators from rows 7 to last started leaving just soon after the candidates introduced themselves. I thought they must have been more impatient than I am hehe.

The introductions probably helped those folks to decide that they should leave soon. It was a very anti-climactic activity for a grand pageant that started with a colorful and lively dance for a bang. From above I told you that the whole place was thumping and throbbing with the opening dance, right? Yep, then the candidates followed in the dance and the audience was still like a jolly pandemonium. When candidates started introducing themselves though, ALL were allowed to say so many things (many almost like poems or declamations or oratories) that even the sound controller had to “kill” the thumping sound as it did not anymore match what was being said by the beautiful girls. Sigh... And to at least 3 candidates, this applies... "the more you say things, the more you commit mistakes" hehe!

I loved the seeming spontaneity of the program. Once Gwen was seated, everything roared until the dragging introductions of themselves by the candidates. Then came the emcee, and after him acknowledging the mayors etc and introducing the judges, it went immediately to 'candidate number one' performing her production number. After that, no gaps nor adlibs nor announcements, it was just a voice-over and 'candidate number two' was onstage. Impressive!

But I could not clearly see anything hehe, so I left. Ah, no not yet, outside the plenary hall (at the 2F lobby), there is also a wide screen showing what was going onstage and some folks opted to watch there. Much better actually because the camera used is mounted on a crane (back of the whole session hall)! So the dancers were clearer on TV than at row 10 live inside the plenary hall!

Hey, whatever detractors maybe saying… and I too may have complaints as to the aisle-crowd above, but I will maintain that the Pasigarbo is indeed a great show. And I think they're not doing these spectacles just for the Cebuano eyes. I think these "shows" are more for people from outside who should be enticed to come to Cebu. I am proof they're successful… have been a resident for 16 months now because I don’t want to be away from the action and the nearby plethora of paradises in Cebu province!

Okay, tomorrow I go back to CICC for the agro-something and car shows. I saw them preparing as I exited CICC earlier. Hmm, I think there are car clubs and not just the Bimmers showing their stuff tomorrow. And those were so many kiosks being installed. Hmm, I expect it will be like a fiesta at the CICC grounds tomorrow till Saturday! Yea yeah!!


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