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Danao City celebrates town’s joy in Karansa Festival

| by: Lee De la Cerna

Here is a celebration that can make you forget about the future and embrace the culture and heritage of the present: Tara na mag Karansa Na ta! (Come and Let’s Dance!). Danao City celebrates joy and happiness through Karansa Festival!

The Danaowanons celebrate work achieved through dance as their way thanksgiving to their Patron Saint Sr. Sto. Thomas de Villanueva.

Karansa is a word that is native to the place and to the people of Barangay Suba who are known for being potters. The pottery makers drink coconut wine and dance as their expression of thanksgiving and to help them feel relax.

The pots are among the many popular products that Danao City offers to local visitors. Most of the residents make their living out of pottery.

According to Adano T. Roble, Karansa Foundation president, Karansa Festival was discovered in 1999 .

“Before we discovered the term Karansa, it was started with a stage play called “Moro-moro.” At that time, we just have a short presentation with Director Vicente Camoro who is also the writer and stage director of the event “said by Roble.

Moro-moro is the earliest form of theater performing in the Philippines; it is part of the cultural routine of the Filipinos when entertaining visitors.

“In 1999, we changed the presentation to Karansa Festival, which is an expression of thanksgiving to our patron saint for giving us more energy in our everyday endeavors” he said.

The local government and residents decided to hold a festival that involves street dancing accompanied with its famous basic steps: the kiay,kurug,karag, and karahay (sway,shake, and judder ).

The uniqueness of Karansa is that Danaowanons have become accustomed to the festival and since then it has been celebrated annually with spirit and glee in their hearts.

“Usually, other festivals from the other municipalities are based on product they are known for, but here in Danao, Karansa, the word itself is merrymaking. It used to be what the old people do after their day job,” said by Provincial Board Member Ivy Durano-Meca, over-all chairman of Karansa Festival 2014.

“The pottery makers, after finishing their working and making a sale, they celebrate by dancing, which is why they would say, ’Tara na Mag Karansa Na Ta,’” said by Meca.

Aside from the festival, they also have the Karansa Music Fest. It is a competition between the drum beaters and percussionists. The winning piece of the battle will be the official Karansa street dance jingle in next year’s Karansa.

Held last Sept. 21 at Ramon M. Durano Memorial Sports Complex, the festival has two categories (elementary and secondary division) and four contingents from the elementary and another four from secondary.

Tribu Malambuon, Kauswagon, Cogohanun of Cogon Integrated School was declared as the Grand Champion for the elementary division. Pundok sa Nagkahiusang Timoganon of Maslog Elementary School placed second while Tribu Mahugyawong Danawanon of Severo Duterte Memorial Elementary School won third place and Best in Street Dancing.

In the secondary division, Hugpong sa Kulturang Cahumayanon of Ramon M. Durano Memorial National High School was recognized as Grand Champion. Tribu Banayng Cambanayanon of Ubaldo Iway Memorial National High school ranked second while Tribu Masaba of Elpidio H. Perez Memorial Technical-Vocation High school won third place and proclaimed as the Best in Street Dancing and Best in Costume.

The event was attended by Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Provincial Board Members Jude Thaddeus Durano-Sybico, Miguel Antonio Magpale and Ivy Durano-Meca, Danao City Mayor Ramonito Durano III, and his officials.

Davide said that he was so excited to witness the festival because it was his first time to attend the event.

Meanwhile Magpale expressed her gratitude to the city officials of Danao City as well as her constituents.

“The Karansa symbolizes the true spirit of Danaowanon. I’m proud that every year there’s an effort and improvement of the festival,” she said.

Danao is a third class city in the province of Cebu with an estimated population of 200,000. The city is well-known for its gun industry and tourism sites.