FAITH and veneration for the Holy Child Jesus did not only triumph over evil but also helped the Carcar City Division clinch victory in the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020.
Except for the street dancing category where it finished as runner-up, Carcar also won the best in costume and best in musicality awards.
The 2019 back-to-back Sinulog-based grand champion and 2019 Pasigarbo sa Sugbo grand slam winner took home a total cash prize of P550,000.
Their performance told the story of life in the rural area where children were free to roam around fields and play all day before forces of evil laid tempest on the small community.
The abduction of a child led the townsfolk to light torches and make loud noises to drive away evil spirits.
Their superstition, though, only worsened the situation as swarms of “manananggal” (a malevolent vampire-like mythical creature) began to wreak havoc in the community.
Devastated by their fate, the townsfolk turned to the Holy Child and prayed not only for the young boy’s return but for peace and safety in their community as well.
Aside from a distinct concept, it was Carcar’s charm and the fluidity of its performers’ movements that helped them win.
“Our preparation was less than 30 days only. We felt a bit pressured (given the status as defending champion in Cebu’s top cultural showdowns), but we just wanted to try our best,” said Mayor Mercedita Apura in Cebuano.
Apura said the City Government spent P5 million for its contingent’s performance.
But what it presented at the Cebu City Sports Center on Saturday afternoon was just a “glimpse” of what’s to come for the grand parade on Sunday, Jan. 19.
Carcar will be up against 10 other Sinulog-based contingents, including fellow crowd darling and 12-time Sinulog-based grand champion Sinanduloy Cultural Festival of Tangub City.
“It doesn’t matter if we won’t be able to defend our title. What’s more important is that we will be able to offer our presentation to Señor Sto. Niño, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try our best,” Apura said.
Just like last year, from the start of its performance, Carcar was the crowd’s favorite when it performed its Sinulog-based routine during the ritual showdown.
For the next seven days, the more than 100 dancers, instrumentalists and propmen who will carry the panels and other installations will work double time to defend Carcar’s title and establish its name as one of the lead cultural contenders in the province.
This, though, did not mean that the team’s performance was perfect as judges suggested some key areas where Carcar and the other five contingents could improve on.
The board of judges collectively observed that while Carcar had an eye-catching entrance, its exit performance was “lackluster.”
The board of judges asked choreographers to ensure sustainability in dance routines and to do away with props that are irrelevant or overpowering.
They also stressed the need to have a cohesive storyline and choreography to make the theme more coherent.
They cited fixing wardrobe malfunctions, keeping a consistent color scheme, establishing a contrast between costumes and props to make dancers stand out and maintaining the momentum of the performances.
Other winners in the ritual showdown were Talisay City Division in second place with P350,000; Lapu-Lapu City in third place with P300,000; Tribu Bogohanon of the City of Bogo in fourth place with P250,000; Tribu Masadyaon of Toledo City with P200,000 in fifth place; and Pundok Ginatilanon of the Municipality of Ginatilan in sixth place with P50,000.
For the Best in Musicality award, second place went to Talisay City Division, third to Lapu-Lapu City, fourth to Tribu Bogohanon of the City of Bogo, and fifth to Tribu Masadyaon of Toledo City.
As for the street dancing competition, Talisay placed first, while Lapu-Lapu City placed third. / RTF