Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pasigarbo Sa Sugbo 2011, Rehearsals

Its that time of year again folks, and OMG, these groups and the things they do never cease to amaze me. Never will ever cease, I think!

After a grand time at the 1Cebu Expo, and after ogling at the 'mobile ATM', I knew where my ears and my feet would naturally drag me hehe. The blockings and rehearsals of the Pasigarbo Sa Sugbo 2011 contingents. As you know, in Cebu... or make that... in the Visayas, these festivals are no easy feats. They seriously accord time and resources for everything. I mean from everything to everything. Thus, catching them at rehearsals alone is always a spectacle enough... plus more!

On approach, I chanced upon the group from Danao City. How did I know? Well, the music... "caransaaaa, caransa sa danao"... I think my inner brain (if there is ever such) may have already memorized all those festival jingles hehe. I've seen the Caransa Festival twice over at Danao City. Yes that city with a beautiful church facing the Camotes Islands. And I immediately thought 'ah, I won't be long here, Caransa is not that spectacular'. I was totally wrong having thought so. Totally wrong!

For starters, their head choreographer (or head trainer, head boss, head bayot - whatever they are called) sounded and looked familiar. Having seen various festivals on this island for the past 3 years, I do get familiar with these choroegraphers even by just seeing and hearing them do their unthinkable jobs. So I walked up to center of stage to watch them do their blockings and practice runs.

It starts with something like this...
- Okay, entrance positions
- Dancers, tarung mo diha, ayaw sa pagsulod, atras, ATRAAAAAS!
- aaand MOVE!
- center CENTER, tan-awa asa center sa stage
- risers, ayaw mo pagsikit diha oy
- panels, lagyo kayo mo
- okay, timan-i inyong positions
- next position, move. MOVE! paspas!
and so on and on...

Then they move to do their routines with the music. Corrections are made, adjustments quickly done, admonitions loudly shouted, routines re-performed and so on and on for the rest of 2 hours. Two hours? Well, that's the only time alloted to each team as other groups need to do the same thing. Mind you, as I said last year, blocking and rehearsal schedules for all teams are printed on a big wide tarpaulin. And those schedule slots run from the wee hours to the wee hours. Almost the whole 24 hours of each day are filled with practice slots. Radio-wielding organizers are always roaming the place to ensure order and that the groups always observe their assigned time slots.

While Danao was busy with their practice, I happened to be near a lovely-looking bayot who was intently watching the rehearsals. So I asked her (aw him)...
- Wala pa bang bading na hinimatay sa sakit ng ulo kaka-choreograph?
- Murag 'wa pa man sir. Pero yes, maglabad jud imong ulo!
- Kana siya (I was pointing to main choreographer), taga-Danao diay na sya?
- (Bayot smiling) Taga Bantayan na sya sir, pero ni-retire na sya from Bantayan
- Oh I see, mao diay familiar ko niya. He is very strict and very good 'no?
- Ay oo sir, one of the best in Cebu
- How come og didto ko manan-aw sa mga lungsod, di man ing-ani ka garbo?
- Aw sir oy, kay sa mga lungsod, wala may budget ang mga barangay or schools
- Kinsa diay tig-hatag budget kung Pasigarbo Sa Sugbo?
- Ang munisipyo, sometimes 100%, sometimes subsidized with sponsors
- I see. Is it true nga mas dako ang gastos than the first prize?
- (Bayot laughs) Sir oy, ang kada contingent mugastos 2 to 3 million kapin!
- I see. Are you part of this Caransa group?
- Bantayan ko sir, sa costume!
- Wow! I have always loved Bantayan's costumes, the best dancers pa gyud
- Thank you sir. Product mi niya (pointing to choreographer of Danao)
- So that's the reason why Caransa seems to be too good this time?
- I think sir, tan-awa ra (bayot pointing to the group dancing onstage)
- You think Caransa will win this year?
- I hope sir. Pero I hope Bantayan pa ghapon. Pero ay, ah basta!
- Basta what?
- (Bayot grinning) Kalain ba sir, kay kana sya(choreographer) ako nang amiga!
- So good luck sa inyo ha?
- Thank you sir. Ugma mga 10AM Bantayan ang mag-practice diri!

How tedious are those practices? Below are two videos of Danao and Carmen for a snippet on how those practices are done...

See you all at the real thing on Saturday! I have cancelled another trip just for this Pasigarbo Sa Sugbo 2011 Festival of Festivals. Am sure it'll be great!


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