A REUNITED family’s celebration, with the Sto. Niño at the center, made Banay Labangon of Barangay Labangon, Cebu City win the grand prize in the first Sinulog sa Barangay yesterday.

Nine barangays’ dancers kept performing despite the rain, in the activity the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) organized as part of the week-long celebration.

The Sinulog sa Barangay replaced the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, in which public elementary and secondary schools used to compete for a chance to join the grand parade.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña decided to cancel the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan this year to avoid disrupting classes.

Still, some students joined the contingents yesterday, dancing with out-of-school youths and young professionals.

Aside from Labangon, eight other contingents from Barangays Cambinocot, Pahina San Nicolas, San Nicolas Proper, Guadalupe, Inayawan, Basak San Nicolas, Sambag I and Sapangdaku endured the rain during the street dancing competition.

SFI Chairman Ricky Ballesteros said the drizzle brought by tropical depression Auring was their biggest challenge.

For being the champion in the ritual showdown, Barangay Labangon got P350,000 cash as their prize and an additional P30,000 for their choreographer.

Dramatic

The group also won the Best in Musicality Award with a P50,000 cash prize and second place in the street dancing category, with a P50,000 cash prize.

In their Sinulog-based routine, Labangon showed the crowd how a daughter who was celebrating her 18th birthday forgave and reunited with the father who had left the family several years before.

When the father arrived and begged her forgiveness, he brought an image of Sto. Niño with him.

Angelo Manapsal, Labangon’s choreographer, said he drew inspiration from his family, especially his departed

parents.

“In our family, I was always reminded that when there is hatred, there is love because we can’t avoid arguments in the family. But forgiveness should always be there,” Manapsal said.

Labangon had a close fight with the Lumad Basakanon of Barangay Basak San Nicolas, the most awarded Sinulog contingent from the city, said Ronnie Mirabuena, chairman of the board of judges yesterday.

Complete

Mirabuena said that although Labangon’s concept was simple, all of the performance’s elements—the set, props, costumes and movements—came together well.

“The success of the group was when they were able to present the concept beautifully. The second placer (Lumad Basakanon), no question, they did a wonderful performance but they lacked some elements,” he said.

Lumad Basakanon was the champion in the street dancing category with a P50,000 cash prize and placed second in the ritual showdown, with a P200,000 cash prize and an additional P20,000 for their choreographer.

The group also won second place in the musicality contest, with a P30,000 cash prize and another P50,000 for winning the Best in Costume.

Other winners in the ritual showdown were Banauan Cultural Group of Barangay Guadalupe in third place with P150,000 and an additional P15,000 for the choreographer; Tribu Kaplag Buwad Festival of Barangay San Nicolas Proper in fourth place with P125,000 and an extra P10,000 for the choreographer. Hugpong Kabatan-onan of Sapangdaku of Barangay Sapangdaku won fifth place with P100,000 and an additional P5,000 for the choreographer.

For the musicality award, Tribu Kaplag Buwad Festival of Barangay San Nicolas Proper placed third with P20,000 cash; Banauan Cultural Group of Barangay Guadalupe placed fourth with P15,000; and Pundok Sambag I of Barangay Sambag I won fifth place with a prize of P100,000.