Apas high school wins this time

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Monday, January 14, 2013

FOR the past five years, Apas National High School of Barangay Apas, Cebu City has placed second in the annual Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan.

Yesterday, they turned things around and won in the secondary level category of the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan at the Cebu City Sports Center.

They bested six other contingents including Abellana National High School who is the defending champion and the grand slam title holder.


“I am really happy that we finally won. This is the fruit of our labor,” said Venancio Esparaguerra who has been the choreographer of Apas since 2000.

Apas National High School's winning performance (Video by Sunnex)

Venancio said the last time they earned the top spot in the annual competition was in 2007 yet. The years that followed, they always come in second after Abellana.

The contingent from Apas, which is composed of 100 dancers and 150 props men, were the crowd favorite and were applauded from the start of their performance until the end.

In their dance routine, Apas showcased what Cebu is with the aid of huge props that includes among others lechon, dried mangoes, otap, and danggit.

What served as the backdrop of their dancers are the landmarks in Cebu, such as the Magellan’s Cross, Basilica del Sto. Niño, the Metropolitan Cebu Cathedral and Colon St. which is considered to be the oldest street in the country.

Josefina Guillen of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and chairman of the board of judges in yesterday’s competition said Apas stood out because of its clear concept.

“The group showed the lifestyle of Cebuanos. It was not really just a production because it really showed the real spirit of Sinulog and what Cebuanos are,” she said.

She said the group’s performance was “flawless.”

Asked on their defeat against Apas, Walter Betito who is the choreographer of Abellana, said the lack of budget has affected the preparation of their performance.

Aside from this, their costume did not arrive, prompting them to reuse the costumes they used in the previous years.

He said that 30 of their more than 100 dancers were not able to perform because of the lack of costume.

The performance of Abellana, who only ranked 4th, was considered to be the most touching though as Betito, who has lost his right leg, joined in the performance by dancing and thanking the Sto. Niño despite the disability.

Tribu Mabolokon's winning performance (Video by Sunnex)

For the elementary level, Mabolo Elementary School of Barangay Mabolo emerged victorious, besting five other contingents.

In their dance routine which involves playing with huge and colorful props, the dancers serve as a tribe who was attacked by avatars after abusing the nature.

One of the tribe members got hurt but was healed with the intervention of the Senior Sto. Niño.

“The tribe believed that the Sto. Niño is more powerful than the avatars,” said Mabolo’s choreographer Maximar Custodio on their dance concept.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said Mabolo stood out among the other six contingents in the elementary category because of their concept, colorful props and synchronized movements.

“Their visual impact and synchronization was outstanding,” he said.

He said Mabolo was able to sustain their performance from start to finish.

Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan 2013 photos (Sunnex)

Other winners in the elementary level are Guadalupe Elementary School (2nd), Cebu City Central School (3rd), Regino Mercado Elementary School (4th), and Basak Community School (5th).

The best in costume award was given to Cebu City Central School while the best in musicality award was given to Mabolo Elementary School.

For the secondary level, the other winners are Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. Memorial National High School (2nd), Zapatera National High School (3rd), Abellana National High School (4th), and Talamban National High School (5th).

The best in costume award was given to Apas National High School while the best in musicality award was given to Don Sergion Osmeña Sr. Memorial National High School.

The winners got P300,000 for the first place, P150,000 for the second place, P100,000 for third place, P75,000 for the fourth place, and P50,000 for the fifth place.

Those who have been given the best in costume and musicality award gets an additional P50,000.

The winners are automatically given slots to participate in the Sinulog grand parade on Jan. 20.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2013.

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