Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Kasadya Streetdancing and Merry-making Festival 2012 "success" after Today's Activities

I have personally watched the Kasadya Streetdancing today after not watching last year's. As what I have seen, people have crowded the streets from the city port of Iligan down to the main streets of the city up to the main venue at the Anahaw Amphitheater at Buhanginan Hills, Palao. The colorful costumes, the vibrant music were  the main attractions that the crowd were able to witness in today's festivities. At the Anahaw Amphitheater, there was even more people who flocked the seating capacity of at most 3,000-5,000 minus the others who stood at the upper end of the amphitheater and the others who also witnessed just by the side of the venue.

Brgy. Bunawan contingent at Quezon Ave.
(photo courtesy of  Nestor Voltaire Actub)
There were four contingents who joined the contest namely the Municipality of Balabagan in Lanao del Sur, the Municipality of Jasaan in Misamis Oriental, the Municipality of Bacolod in Lanao del Norte and the Barangay Bunawan performers from our very own Iligan City. A tartanilla decorating and painting contest organized by our very own Councilor Michelle Sweet was witnessed in today's festivities where 21 tartanillas or horse-drawn carriages, the mode of transportation of the olden times that is still operating here in Iligan City, were colorfully painted by some members of the artist groups here in our city.

The spectacle created a good draw of the crowd despite of only four (4) contingents that entered the main contest of the Invitational/Open Category. This category demands of a lesser strict mode of dance interpretation that may either culturally relevant or mixed with neo-ethnic dance as a concept. However, the main depiction of San Miguel, his winning battle against Lucifer, shouldn't be left unnoticed as it is one of the main provisions that the organizing committee, the JCI of Iligan, warranted that must be included in the contingent's presentation since the first time they conceived of this cultural extravaganza in the 1980s.

 At 12:30 in the afternoon, the winners were announced where Barangay Bunawan of Iligan City won 1st place with a prize of Php 200,000.00 and a trophy; Municipality of Balabagan coming in 2nd with a prize of Php 150,000.00 (and a trophy); and the 3rd placer winner, Municipality of Jasaan in Misamis Oriental with a prize of Php 100,000.00 pesos (and a trophy); while the Municipality of Bacolod, Lanao del Norte, not to be left with nothing to bring, were presented with a consolation prize of Php 20,000.00.

The organizers were able to give the audience the sad reality of only being able to come up with only four (4) contingents during the awarding ceremonies after having five (5) contingents in the previous that's why they wished on the dancing contingents who were present on the main dancing area to come and join again next year. They vehemently hoped with a slight of a joke that next there wouldn't be three (3) entrees of contingents who may wish to join as seen in the succession of Kasadya streetdancing in the previous years from 2010 to the present where the trend showed there is "one less" contingent coming in to join the contest in comparison to the previous year.

And then, the speaker of the ceremonies mentioned of another festival "who may be" holding the same event in their city in Tangub which also celebrates the feast of St. Michael in the province of Misamis Occidental which is about 80-120 kms away to the southeast of Iligan. Furtherly, the the same speaker announced that somewhat the festival of our neighboring city have a cash prize of Php 500,000.00 pesos for the first prize.

To me it doesn't sound fair to come up with a reason that another festival is holding the same event and a higher prize at stake that "stemmed" this seemingly lack of participants in our very own Kasadya Streetdancing 2012. To be honest, I have joined joined myself the same contest in 1998-2002 and the very same group to which I previously belong have joined Tangub City's Dalit festival from 2002-2011. They told me before that the Tangub's "Dalit Festival" falls on the 29th of September and the festival does not really give Iligan a run for their money in terms of holding each other's festival as Dalit Festival only gives at most Php 100,000.00 pesos during the previous years from 2007-2011. Before Dalit came to the 100,000 level of prizes for the first prize, they were at the Php 50,000.00 level for the first prize alone when my colleagues joined the contest in 2003.

The only matter of difference to note is that Tangub's streetdancing spectacle caters to a "top 5" winning contingents in comparison to Iligan's "top 3" which to the side of the contingents, provides them a very chance of "owning a recognition" for at least wounding up a 4th runner up with a trophy at their helm.Because at the hands of an organizing choreographer is a recognition that makes him fit for being "hired again" if ever his troupe wins in a festivity like this one we have. Although, not at all times a dancing contingent may win a contest, at least, there is a good provision in a festival that any contingent stands a "good possiblity of landing" a place in the group of winners.

Just like Tangub's Dalit, Cebu's Sinulog Festival also caters to "top 5 winners" as the latter was observed to have organized a "top 5 winner places" instead of the usual "top three". The same also goes to Davao's Kadayawan Festival, Tacloban Leyte's Kasadyaan Pintados Festival, as well as Surigao's Bonok-Bonok Festival.

I have noted some members of the JCI after the event who were assigned as food committee where my cousin, Mr. JR Rosero, is one of the assigned members and I personally echoed to them this idea. A festival may give prizes to contingents as a reason to join but however, the "possibility" of being called as one of the winners, the more probability of earning a place, may also become one of the prevailing conditions for a contingent to join a streetdancing spectacle.

Overall, today's event was a successful one despite the lesser contingents. Kudos to the JCI of Iligan for providing the people with a glimpse of awe and admiration after seeing today's event. I hope next year, a more applauding event will be witnessed and more number of contingents will be enthralled to join the Kasadya Streetdancing competition and hopefully, "more winning places" than just "top three" to lure more contingents to come again in Iligan.

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