Pampanga wins-A A +A
My Palm Notes
Friday, January 25, 2013
TWO days after the event and there has been no published news about it yet.
Print- or local newspaper-wise, I still have to see a news article in any of the local dailies. Probably, the Provincial Information Office is still gathering some details before issuing a press release.
I guess, I would have to crack it first in this column piece.
Pampanga won the top and only prize in the recently concluded Dulansangan, a dramatization of what exactly each of the eight original Philippine provinces did to fight the Spanish rule.
It was part of the Fiesta Republica, a celebration of the 114th Anniversary of the First Philippine Republic last January 17 to 23 in the City of Malolos. The festival started as a cultural and tourism program in 2011 to commemorate and pay tribute to the gallantry and wisdom of our ancestors.
It was aimed to arouse the consciousness of the Filipino people on the significance of the founding of the First Philippine Republic (a.k.a. Malolos Republic) on the 23rd of January 1899 at the Barasoain Church being the first constitutional democracy in the whole continent of Asia and Africa. It proclaimed the pride of the so-called "Indio" who sought freedom at all costs.
Pampanga was represented by about 100 performers (dancers, artists, props men) from Mabalacat City. The dramatization through dance interpretations (in 3- and 10-minuter presentations) was directed by June Magbalot, chief of staff of Mayor Marino Morales.
The depiction on acts of gallantry by the Kapampangans was unique. It gave emphasis on the roles of the Aetas when our freedom fighters sought refuge in the mountains. There, the Aetas nurtured them, treated the wounded and taught them survival lessons. All that was based on research.
Governor Lilia Pineda's decision to entrust the participation on Mabalacat City was a very good one. After all, it was the same group of performers from the newly created city that won the overall awards in the Pamamupul (Harvest) Festival during the celebration of Aldo Ning Kapampangan last month. Mabalacat also won the top award for Pampanga in the "Ehersisyaw" dance competition last year spearheaded by the Civil Service Commission.
On many parts of the 10-minute performance, I was told, that Pampanga's number was met by standing ovation, especially at points when the Aetas themselves came in the scene with their red under garments, bolos and spears.
Pampanga Tourism Officer Arwin Lingat, in his Faceook post, said that all throughout the presentation of Pampanga/Mabalacat City, Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad and the City Administrator watched in standing ovation and applause.
It was, as if, from the very first minute Pampanga's performers stepped in, there was a unanimous and hands down choice for the one and only winner.
With the win, the 100 plus performers and crew of Pampanga were asked to stay the night and encore the next day which was the actual foundation day of the Malolos Republic. They performed in front of the Barasoain Church. And again, to the crowd's awe and rousing applause.
With that performance, Pampanga did not only win a prize in a cultural presentation but through the performers of Mabalacat City, it championed our brother Aetas and the province's rich history, culture and arts.
June was informed of the governor's decision to send his troops with only two weeks before performance day of January 22.
But he did not have that entire period for actual rehearsal as he had to wait for research, completion of original background music (by Andy Alviz), for props and costumes that had to be made from scratch.
In between, there were also preparations for Pre-Pageant and Talent Presentation of Miss Mabalacat City 2013 (meetings, foto shoots, rehearsals, etc).
At the very least, June only had four full days of rehearsals for the Malolos performance. And yet, he managed to pull not just a decent number but one with very elaborate presentation. It included props such as house balcony and table (where the Biak Na Bato pact was signed), miniature forests, rifles, swords, cedulas, salakots, sombreros etc. The costumes (of guardia sibils, "indios," Inang Bayan, Jose Rizal, and other main cast) were very accurate and colorful too.
In those four days, June also has had to overlook for the feeding of about 200 persons (including those who assembled the props) and sleeping quarters for the performers.
Just how June managed to do it with his diabetes? You tell me. The man is not only a miracle worker. He is a patron for arts and culture. One reason why Mabalacat could be filled with events such as Caragan Festival, the pageants, cultural presentations is because of June.
I would dare anyone to say otherwise, or bring to me somebody who could be equal or greater than him in presenting cultural renaissance in this city. He is now an indispensable part of cultural presentations not only in Mabalacat but the whole of Pampanga.
In winning this top national plum for the province, June could only be so grateful first to Governor Pineda for entrusting him the gargantuan task for which he delivered the award in return. He is profuse in saying thanks too to his boss Mayor Boking (also the SB members and Department head) who always support his endeavors.
He also acknowledges his own team led by Ermie Dizon, Carl, RK, Joel, Arnold, Joven, Joseph, Kuya Serving, Mong, Verna and Vine, the Corpuz family. The musicians and dancers from MCCA, MABROCK and local schools, etc.
For that, I would say that he deserves such support (especially financial). After all, June does not only come up with dances, production numbers, pageants that may entail expenses. But he also leads the way in helping preserve the city's rich heritage, culture, history and arts which is priceless.
Remember that we do not have ample books that contain all the recorded history that could be circulated to Mabalaquenos especially the youths. One way to do it is through visual and performing arts - the very same numbers that are endeavored by June in a lot of his cultural presentations and events. They are one of the most effective ways to pass on history to future generations.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 26, 2013.