When the winners were announced after an intense day-long competition of the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan contest at the Cebu City Sports Complex on Jan. 12 this year, the two victorious groups jumped in jubilation.
Their triumph could be likened to a mother who had just brought to light her new-born baby, forgetting those painful and agonizing moments at her first glimpse of the fruit of her labor.
The Talisay City Central School snatched the title as the grand champion of the Elementary Division, besting six other contingents, while the Carcar City Division emerged as the grand champion in the secondary division, outperforming eight other groups. Their crowns however were not served to them on a silver platter. Sweat and tears for almost two months of rigid practice were shed by the two groups.
Talisay City choreographer, Marvey Caño said that they had to practice nightly for almost five hours during the whole week starting the last week of November until days of the final show. He confided that part of the idea of their presentation had popped into his mind when, while at the vicinity of the church, he noticed the figures of the two angels hugging the image of the Holy Child at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. The other segments of their dance executions were collated from his previous numerous workshops. He said he was thankful for the financial support from the local government units. His seven years of experience also helped a lot.
Carcar City Division choreographer Kathryn Estenzo and Caño had two things in common in the form of rigorous practice and firm discipline of their wards. Ms Estenzo had also trained her dancers eight to ten hours every night starting the second week of December. They had to jog to strengthen their stamina and endurance in the street dancing. The students had to take special classes to make up for their lessons. Incidentally, most of the dancers that she had selected were apt students so they did not have a hard time keeping up with their studies. She had eight years’ experience at her task, including her school days at the SWU whose dancers were the first Sinulog winner under the tutelage of an expert dance mentor, the late Mike Gonzales.
Lady luck again smiled at the two big victors when both of them got their respective winning niches in the Grand Sinulog Parade held on Sunday. The Talisay City Central School bagged the fourth place in the Sinulog- Based Category while the Carcar City Division won second place in the Street Dancing Category. (Ramon Gallardo)