Carcar City’s Kabkaban Festival will represent Cebu in the famous Powerful Daegu Festival in South Korea later this month, the only delegation to have been picked by organizers from the entire Cebu Island this year.
Kabkaban’s 21-dancer delegation, led by Carcar City’s tourism officer Johanna Delos Reyes, thanked Gov. Gwen Garcia during a courtesy visit on Tuesday, May 9, for the financial assistance from the Capitol that has made it possible for them to compete in the international showdown.
“Teary-eyed gyud mi tanan, nalipay gyod mig dako, kay si Gov. grabe gyud og support,” Delos Reyes told Sugbo News. “In fact, naikog na gani mi kay tanang gasto aning paglarga namo, including sa among pocket money, gikan ni Gov.," she added.
Kabkaban Festival received an invitation from South Korean organizers by virtue of their wins in the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo in August 2022 and the Sinulog sa Carmen in January this year.
When they received the invitation, however, the city government was in the middle of the African Swine Fever crisis, and finding funds for the competition became difficult. Delos Santos said the city council asked the Capitol for aid, and Capitol did not disappoint.
While Capitol released funding support for the travel, accommodation, and meals expenses of the delegation, Gov. Garcia showed her support by allocating an allowance for each of the dancers and their support staff from her personal savings.
Hailed as “one of Asia’s largest street parades”, the Powerful Daegu Festival showcases performances and art from both Korea and around the world, as well as a variety of street performances with the highlight of the festival being the parade.
The Kabkaban Festival contingent will leave for South Korea on Wednesday, as the competition will be from May 12 to 14. Delos Santos said as of press time, she was informed that they will compete against delegations from Asia and South America.
“Challenging kaayo siya kay different festivals man. Pero kung sayaw lang ang hisgotan, wala tay problema kay confident man ta aning atong mga dancers. Maningkamot lang gyod ta nga maka-compete ta nila,” Delos Santos said.
Cebu City’s Lumad Basakanon will not be able to defend its crown in the competition this year. | Ulrika R. Wagas