TAK­ING PRIDE IN THE STO. NIÑO:

Con­tin­gent’s per­for­mance dur­ing the Sin­u­log sa Ka­bataan sa Lalaw­igan cen­tered on pray­ing for eter­nal rest to mark the first death an­niver­sary of as­sis­tant chore­og­ra­pher

Sun.Star Cebu - - FRONT PAGE - PHOTO BY ALEX BADAYOS

While spec­ta­tors in­side the Cebu City Sports Cen­ter wait for the con­tin­gents of the Sin­u­log sa Ka­bataan sa Lalawaigan to per­form, a lady shows off her im­age of the Sto. Niño.

Jan. 12 holds a bit­ter­sweet mem­ory for the Tal­isay City Di­vi­sion.

On this day last year, the team mourned the un­timely demise of its as­sis­tant chore­og­ra­pher.

To pay trib­ute and to com­mem­o­rate his first death an­niver­sary, Tal­isay’s per­for­mance dur­ing the Sin­u­log sa Ka­bataan sa Lalaw­igan last Saturday was cen­tered on pray­ing for eter­nal rest.

While death may be an un­com­mon theme for a grand, kalei­do­scopic fes­ti­val like the Sin­u­log, Tal­isay took the plunge and per­formed what judges de­scribed as a “risky” con­cept.

For tak­ing the road less trav­eled, the team won its sixth grand prize award for the 2019 Sin­u­log sa Lalaw­igan and took home the P350,000 cash prize.

Ex­cept for the best in cos­tume cat­e­gory, Tal­isay City Cen­tral School also won the street danc­ing and best in mu­si­cal­ity awards.

“Ev­ery Mon­day, I go to the ceme­tery to light can­dles and to of­fer a mass. Ac­cord­ing to a friend, the souls of the dead are very gen­er­ous. As part of a trib­ute to my right-hand man, we were able to con­nect ev­ery­thing for our per­for­mance,” said Mar­vey Caño in Ce­buano. Caño is Tal­isay’s head chore­og­ra­pher.

From last year’s wide ar­ray of 10-foot shelves of life-size sweets, the team brought on stage this year a back­drop of tombs, a cof­fin and large fu­neral wreaths.

Al­though these were gen­er­ally as­so­ci­ated with grief and gore, Tal­isay’s pre­sen­ta­tion was any­thing but gloomy.

Their per­for­mance told the story of a griev­ing fam­ily and how their con­tin­ued prayers helped their loved one find eter­nal peace dur­ing his jour­ney in the af­ter­life.

“Al­though the main char­ac­ter called for a man, I used a ho­mo­sex­ual be­cause my as­sis­tant was a ho­mo­sex­ual. He liked to make an of­fer­ing dur­ing the Sin­u­log, which ended up stress­ing him out and that was why he didn’t make it,” Caño said in Ce­buano.

Just like last year, from the start of their per­for­mance, Tal­isay was the crowd’s fa­vorite when it per­formed its Sin­u­log-based rou­tine dur­ing the rit­ual showdown.

The dancers also did their sig­na­ture three-time cos­tume change. They started with pur­ple cloaks that were re­placed by a gray terno, un­til they switched to their blue and sil­ver Filip­ini­ana gowns and blue barongs for the boys.

For the next seven days, the 100 dancers, 50 in­stru­men­tal­ists, 800 props men who will carry the pan­els and other in­stal­la­tions, will work dou­ble time to bring an­other feat to Tal­isay’s name.

Caño said they’ve been prac­tic­ing since De­cem­ber and that they are not show­ing signs of slow­ing down on their road to vic­tory.

“For the grand pa­rade (on Jan. 20), naa pa mi reserve con­cepts na wala pa na­pakita (we have some­thing up our sleeves), but we will still have to seek the ad­vise of the judges,” he added.

But aside from a dis­tinct con­cept, it was Tal­isay’s charm and the flu­id­ity of its per­form­ers’ move­ments that helped them win their third con­sec­u­tive grand prize win.

This, though, did not mean that the team’s per­for­mance was per­fect as judges sug­gested some key ar­eas where Tal­isay and the other four con­tin­gents could im­prove on.

Rodel Fronda, chair­man of the board of judges, ad­vised the con­tin­gents to do away from fo­cus­ing too much on the pageantry of col­ors and props.

“All the con­tin­gents have done their best, but we want them to high­light as well the rit­ual ven­er­a­tion in their per­for­mances. Nawawala na kasi yung ac­tual dance (gets lost), maybe be­cause of the play of col­ors and props. It’s a dance of­fer for Señor Sto. Niño, so we look for­ward to that,” he said.

The board of judges, in gen­eral, asked the chore­og­ra­phers to en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity in dance rou­tines and to do away with props that were ir­rel­e­vant or over­pow­er­ing.

They also cited fix­ing wardrobe mal­func­tions, keep­ing a con­sis­tent color scheme, main­tain­ing the mo­men­tum of the per­for­mances, and ex­plor­ing move­ments and tran­si­tions.

Other win­ners in the rit­ual showdown were Car­car City Di­vi­sion in se­cond place with P300,000 plus P20,000 for the chore­og­ra­pher; Tribu Mali­payon of Con­sol­caion in third place with P250,000 plus P15,000 for the chore­og­ra­pher; Sin­ing Sto. Niño Folk­loric Troupe of the City of Bogo in fourth place with P200,000 plus P10,000 for the chore­og­ra­pher; and Tribu Gi­nati­lanon (Gi­nati­lan) in fifth place with P150,000 plus P5,000 for the chore­og­ra­pher.

For the Best in Mu­si­cal­ity award, se­cond place went to Car­car City Di­vi­sion; Tribu Mali­payon of Con­sol­caion in third place; Sin­ing Sto. Niño Folk­loric Troupe of the City of Bogo in fourth place; and Tribu Gi­nati­lanon (Gi­nati­lan) in fifth place.

Best in Cos­tume was awarded to the Car­car City Di­vi­sion.

As for the street danc­ing com­pe­ti­tion, Car­car won se­cond place, fol­lowed by Tribu Mali­payon of Con­sol­caion in third place.

Mean­while, Cebu City Coun­cilor Dave Tu­mu­lak, Sin­u­log ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee head, re­minded spec­ta­tors and con­tin­gents, to help main­tain clean­li­ness by throw­ing their trash in the proper bins.

PHOTO BY AL­LAN CUIZON

DE­VO­TION. A devo­tee was over­come with emo­tion dur­ing the Walk with Je­sus last Thurs­day, Jan. 10.

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