Rained procession, Sinulog dances-A A +A
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
AFEW thoughts on Fiesta Señor 2011: Solemn procession. That rain didn’t dampen the Cebuanos’ devotion to the Sto. Niño is not surprising. Our old beliefs don’t actually consider rain pouring as bad; rather, we take it as God “showering” us with his blessings. So when the rain falls when, say, we are in a procession, no complaints. We endure the wet feeling. If not, there’s this thing called umbrella.
Heavy rain poured right smack into the solemn procession one day before this year’s fiesta. I was in the Sun.Star office with my son Khan-khan when we noticed the blackish water rise along Don Pedro Cui, P. del Rosario and Junquera streets. Meaning, we were trapped. So too were some of our fotogs, who had to wait for the rain to ease a bit and for the flash flood to subside before they could get out of the building.
The main routes of the procession were a block or two away (Osmeña Blvd. and, farther south, V. Rama Ave.). That was where some of the people that passed our office came from. That meant a portion of the crowd had seen enough and were going home wet, with some of them still carrying images of the Child Jesus.
I decided to go to E-Mall, where part of the procession passed, to buy an umbrella. I guided my son through streets that still had blackish water flowing into the canals in some areas. Visions of illness caused by dipping one’s feet into the dirty liquid worried me. We managed to cut through the procession both at the Osmeña Blvd. area and along the road across E-Mall. After buying the umbrella, we headed back to the office.
While we were about to cut through the procession again at the corner of P. del Rosario St. and Osmeña Blvd., the “karo” carrying the image of the Sto. Niño passed by going to the Basilica. People near us jostled for a view of the image and waved. I pointed to my son what the people were doing. We both raised our hands and waved like the others.
l Tangub winning. In my years of watching the culmination program of the Sinulog Grand Parade at the grandstand of the Cebu City Sports Center, I noticed one thing: the consistent good showing by contingents from Mindanao in the dances. It must be the culture. While the origin of the Sinulog dance is Cebu City, the pageantry isn’t.
Mindanaoans can mine models of old dances in their area from as far back as the heydays of the Sulu and Maguindanao sultanates, whose cultures Spanish and American colonial rule could not wipe out. The costumes, the use of instruments (brass gongs, particularly), the steps (especially in the free interpretation category), etc. are superior to ours only because we Cebuanos have become more westernized.
Of course, we can play to our strengths, which is why contingents like Southwestern University, the Sandiego group, Lumad Basakanon, etc. bested Mindanaoan contingents from time to time. Creativity, better choreography and deeper understanding of the history of the veneration of the Child Jesus do matter. We just can’t be consistent on a yearly basis.
l Monotony. Is Lumad Basakanon going the way of the Landonian Tribe? The Landonian Tribe used to be the darling of the Sinulog crowd for its unique choreography and well-executed movements but fell out of favor a few years later after the creativity of its choreographers scraped the bottom of the barrel and its dances became repetitive. Can Lumad Basakanon, unlike the Landonian Tribe, reinvent itself?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 19, 2011.