Lumad Basakanon’s road to victory at Aliwan Festival

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

HARD work, determination, discipline and sacrifices paid off for the dancers, props men, instrumentalists and other support staff of Lumad Basakanon.

This was how choreographer Norman Navarro described the group’s victory at the Aliwan Festival 2014, which was held in Pasay City last Saturday.

Navarro said being resourceful and having well-disciplined dancers were also important.


He said he never got tired researching on how to improve the group’s routine for the national competition since he didn’t want to fail the city.

Navarro, who has been teaching the group for several years, said he didn’t add too many new steps to the group’s dance, adding that Lumad Basakanon’s trademark dance steps were all applied.

Lumad Basakanon wins Aliwan Festival 2014
Members of Lumad Basakanon hold a repeat performance of their winning routine after a thanksgiving mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño. Aside from bagging the grand prize in last Saturday’s Aliwance Festival held in Pasay City, the group also took home best in musicality and best in costume. (Photo by Allan Defensor of Sun.Star Cebu)


The winning routine was a combination of their concepts presented during the Sinulog last year and this year, he said.

He said he focused on adding more effects on the dance, emphasizing the people’s devotion to Sto. Niño.

“The concept of the dance was basically nature vs. nature and it was only our faith on the Sto. Niño that we came up a solution,” Navarro said.

Navarro was also grateful to the dancers, some of whom are students while others are already working.

“From the start of our rehearsals, they already sacrificed for the group,” he said.

The group started rehearsing last March, a month before the competition.

Dancers who are employed took a vacation leave like Maria Rose Jane Arreza, who teaches physical education at the University of Cebu.

Setting the mood

Arreza is the group’s lead dancer, charged with carrying the image of the Holy Child.

“There were times I couldn’t participate in the nightly practice since I was not a full-time dancer,” she said.

Despite missing some rehearsals, she said she made sure she knew her stepping.

“As a lead dancer, I should memorize everything. I set the mood for all the other dancers to perform well for the crowd,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

After their victory, the Cebu City Government headed by Mayor Michael Rama offered a thanksgiving mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño. This was followed by a repeat performance of the group’s winning dance.

Aside from bagging the grand prize, Lumad Basakanon also took home best in musicality and best in costume.

Group member Steffi Rose Abarasturi was also crowned Reyna ng Aliwan 2014.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 02, 2014.

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