Bantayan’s Palawod Festival aims for a comeback in Pasigarbo 2022

·2 min read

THE Palawod Festival of Bantayan town in northern Cebu hopes to make a comeback by winning the grand prize of this year’s Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, which returns after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Garry Fernandez, support staff and mentor of the Palawod Festival contingent, told SunStar Cebu that this year’s Pasigarbo served as a challenge for them considering that the town’s festival performance was considered a benchmark or standard for other festivals.

Fernandez hopes to bring the Palawod Festival back on the limelight just like how it was able to secure three straight ritual showdown wins during the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo festivals in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

He added that they aim to avenge their loss in 2019 or the last year that the Province had a Pasigarbo in which Bantayan town didn’t even make it to the top 10 participating contingents.

George Lawrence Aloba, the contingents’ artistic director, said they prepared a lot for this year’s Pasigarbo, deciding on the final concept only in the last week of June.

“We’re praying and hoping for the best gyud that we will get back the crown,” said Aloba, adding that they have been rehearsing for about one and a half months.

Alexander Aloba, the town’s official choreographer, said they will showcase an “explosive” performance on Sunday. It will be a mix of new choreography and what they performed when they won the grand prize for three straight years, he said.

Despite the town not holding the Palawod Festival during its annual fiesta last June 29, Alexander said they were busy preparing for the Pasigarbo.

About 156 dancers, including propsmen, will represent Bantayan on Sunday.

He said majority of them had participated in the Pasigarbo before or used to be dancers in the municipal level.

No festival queen

Fernandez, however, admitted that they did not join this year’s Festival Queen pageant due to budget constraints, adding that their priority is the ritual showdown.

He said they have so far spent about P1.8 million for the preparation, including food, transportation and production, among others.