Students shaved their heads for dance

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Monday, January 20, 2014

CHRISTMAS break. Classes. Time with the family. Hair.

These were some of the things performers in yesterday’s Sinulog grand parade sacrificed to join the annual event.

Mechole Ocarol, 13, shaved his head, like dozens of his schoolmates, for their school’s presentation.


The Alaska Elementary School sixth grader, who performed in the Sinulog competition for the first time, said he doesn’t mind getting taunted for his bald head.

“Ang importante nakahatag mi og lingaw sa mga tawo ug nakahalad mi og sayaw para sa Sto. Niño (What’s important is we’re able to entertain the people and offer a dance to the Sto. Niño),” he said.

Marc Chester Santillan, 16, spent his Christmas break rehearsing with his fellow dancers from the Apas National High School, for their presentation.

“We had no classes but we still had to wake up early in the morning to practice,” the fourth-year student said.

Santillan said their rehearsals would start at 8 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

For three months, Jofil Lambo’s wife had to commute to and from work because he had to devote his days to their rehearsals.

The 31-year-old bugler of Barangay Tisa, Cebu City’s Tribu Tisaanon said he was thankful to his wife for being understanding.

“I couldn’t attend to our five-year-old son also, so I had to leave him to my grandmother,” said Limbo, who has been playing his bugle during Sinulog for 15 years.

Cris Amador, 23, got accepted in a call center company but hesitated when he was told to cut his waist-long hair.

But when he got in as one of the dancers of the Lumad Basakanon, the contingent of Barangay Basak San Nicholas, Cebu City, Amador was happy to lose the hair he kept long for years to be able to wear his headdress comfortably.

“Dugay na gyud ko nisaad nga musayaw sa Sinulog (I’ve long promised to dance in the Sinulog),” he said.

Trisha Omandan, 16, one of the dancers of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental’s Tribu Subanen, said she and her fellow dancers may have been exempted in their classes and quizzes, but they still have to catch up with the lessons they have missed.
“I just hope we could catch up sooner,” she said.

What were their petitions to the Sto. Niño?

“I just want to graduate this year, even without honors,” said Santillan, the dancer from Apas National High School.

He also prayed for good health for his family and asked the Sto. Niño to not let more calamities strike the country or anywhere in the world. He also prayed for the end of corruption in the government.

Lambo, the bugler, also prayed that no more disasters hit the country.

He prayed for a job. “Bisag unsa basta makatrabaho lang (Whaveter decent job, as long
as I have work),” he said.

Amador, the Lumad Basakanon dancer, said he hopes the Sto. Niño would bless him with a good career.

A college dropout, Amador said he will try his luck again at the call center company whose job offer he turned down.

Son of a Cebu City Hall employee assigned to rescue disaster victims, 13-year-old Ocarol said he asked the Sto. Niño to help him achieve his dream of becoming a policeman.

“Ganahan ko makatabang sa akong pamilya ug sa ubang tawo (I want to help my family and other people),” he said.

Noneth Ocarol, his 52-year-old father, said he gave all the support his son needed as a dancer. “Ako gyud na siya gidasig muapil (I really encouraged him to join),” he

He watched his son perform yesterday. When his son came down the stage, along with all the dancers, he pat him in the head. He kissed the boy, tears welling up in his eyes

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 20, 2014.

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