Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The street frenzy of Sinulog 2009, part 1 (the winners)

So it has come to pass. Another chapter of the most awaited streetdancing celebration in the Philippines that is the Sinulog is closed. Last Sunday was the grand parade and about 44 contingents took to the streets to show off their over the top costumes, spectacular props and precise choreography. The months of rehearsals, millions of pesos of spending and immeasurable energy of prayers and implorations were distilled in just about 8 hours of streetdancing.

I was only able to shoot some three hours of the parade. I arrived late, shared a protracted lunch with photographer friends and left early. When I arrived home, I checked my pictures and found out that I still got 2/3 of the contingents. However, I did not wait up for most of the contingents to perform and took photos “hit and run” style, as if I was just on a documentation mission. But my enjoyment was thorough and the experience, again, was irreplaceable.

To kick off the Sinulog photojourney, I would start with the dance troupes which won this year’s competitions. Some of these groups are old favorites but there are also new entrants.

Sinulog-based competition (SB)

This is the traditional category which requires contingents to adhere to the Sinulog beat, dance to the Sinulog music and make the Sto. Niño the focus of their presentation.

To no one’s surprise, Tangub City’s Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe snatched the prestigious grand prize of the Sinulog-based contest. It failed to capture its 4th straight Sinulog-based crown last year, but came back with a vengeance. Also, for the 4th consecutive year, it won the street dancing competition. As these were not enough, its lead dancer, the amiable 15-year old Iris Mae Linganay won the coveted festival queen title.

Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe
1st Place SB: Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City, Misamis Occidental
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/40s, f/25, 33mm, ISO 400

According to reports, their total prize of P1 million does not come close to their estimated expenditure that is upwards of P3 million. The ultimate prize however is publicity and no event pushes you to center stage than Sinulog.

1st Place streetdancing: Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City, Misamis Occidental
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/25s, f/36, 45mm, ISO 400

As luck would have it, I was not able to catch the 2nd to 4th place contingents, namely, Don Sergio Sr. National High School, Carcar (Cebu) and Alcoy Siloy Festival of Alcoy (Cebu).
However, I was able to see the fifth placer, Pakol Festival of Sta. Catalina Oriental Negros

Pakol of Sta Catalina Negros Oriental
5th Place SB: Tribu Pakol of Sta Catalina, Negros Oriental
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/400s, f/5.6, 18mm, ISO 400, +1/3EV

Free interpretation competition (FI)

In the most tightly contested free interpretation category, there was a major upset. The crown was snatched from the perennial winner Lumad Basakanon by the Buyogan Festival of Abuyogan, Leyte, practically a new participant which wowed the crowd with their bee-storyline. However, this is not to say that the Buyogan contingent hasn't have experience. For 2 years in a row, in 2007-2008, it was the Grand Champion of Leyte's province wide Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival competition.

Tribu Buyogan of Abuyog, Leyte
1st Place FI: Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, Leyte
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/400s, f/6.3, 55mm, ISO 400, -1/3EV

While the synchronicity and precision of Lumad Basakanon was recognized as without par by the judges, the presentation of the Buyogan Festival gave a surprising originality and creativity unseen in the past.

Lumad Basakanon
2nd Place FI: Lumad Basakanon (Tribu Manananggi) of Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City
Canon EOS 5D Digital, 1/400s, f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 50, -1/3EV

Lumad Basakanon
Canon EOS 5D Digital, 1/200s, f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 50, +1/3EV

Last year’s 2nd placer, the municipality of Carmen, North Cebu garnered 3rd place. Their dancers stood out for their dark brown body makeup and afro hairdo. Most spectators remarked that the dancers all looked the same! They all moved in unison too and snatched the Best Musicality award.

3rd Place (FI) and Best Musicality: Carmen, Cebu
Canon EOS 5D Digital, 1/200s, f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 50, +1/3EV

An old crowd favorite, Lanao de Norte which used to win several times in the 90s, garnered 4th. As in the past years, they also won Best Costume. Their Muslim-inspired costumes managed to outdo the colors, the glitter and ornamentation of the other contingents

Lanao Del Norte
4th Place (FI): Lanao del Norte
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/400s, f/5.6, 18mm, ISO 400

Lanao del Norte finery
Best Costume: Lanao del Norte
Canon EOS 5D Digital, 1/200s, f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 50, +1/3EV

In 5th place is the dance group of Tribu Karatong of Dulag, Leyte. The contingent was noted to have included a multitude of real Sto Niño images in its presentation. Interestingly, Tribu Karatong placed second to Tribu Buyogan in Leyte's Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival last year.

Tribu Karatong of Dulag, Leyte
5th Place (FI): Tribu Karatong of Dulag, Leyte
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/320s, f/5.6, 18mm, ISO 400, +1/3EV

Tribu Karatong Sto Nino
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/320s, f/5.6, 45mm, ISO 400, +1/3EV

the Sinulog 2009 series includes
the Sinulog Saturday procession and fireworks
Sinulog 2009 grand street parade part 1 (winners),
part 2 (the Sinulog-based contingents)
part 3 (the Free Interpretation contingents), and
the Sinulog beauties

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john said...

hi farl,

I watched at the Abellana grounds Sunday and Monday. This year was my first time to see the Sinulog, mainly because I wanted to see the Carcar contingent. I was shocked it placed so high considering they looked like they had the lowest budget with the least amount of props and the darkest costumes. Last year, the contingent was given a measly 500 pesos by an LGU, maybe for ice water. That is how much support they get here.

I tingled at their Sunday performance though because they were really good. Maybe it made the difference for the judges.

Farl said...

john- it behooves me that I missed out on the Carcar contingent. No amount of money would compensate for lack of precision. Carcar obviously made do with what they have and gladly, they placed well.

Anonymous said...

Ang daog sa contingent sa Carcar mao padaw gibayad sa Jolibee nga binlan nalang igo para pahalipay sa mga bata kay ang mga kadagkoan sa city hall sa carcar naglisod pagpalusot sa budget nga 160,000 pesos. other town they spent a million kana lang kantidara. Di nalang ta ana kwarta ang ubang lungsod ang opisyal magpulipuli lili sa ila contingent sa quarters kung naunsa kini ato opisyal wala jud bisag usa. Pag awarding usa rasab nagpakita.

Farl said...

kaluuy sab uy. gasto gyud kaayo kon muapil unya wa diay klaro.