CHILDREN relished the games and the chance to show off their talents—as long as they did “no grinding and other indecent moves.”

Age-appropriate fun and games were offered, and more children than expected joined the Children’s Festival at the Don Bosco Technological Center yesterday.

The festival is a two-day event for children. It drew 360 participants from 21 child-focused institutions in Cebu.

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“We had expected only 300 children, but just like fiestas, people bring along their friends and relatives,” said Anabelle Fajardo, Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (DACF) deputy executive director.

She said they always factor in contingencies when planning events to accommodate participants not on their list.

The Children’s Festival, which started in 2007, is an annual charity activity organized by the DACF, which is under the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.

Except for a few glitches, the festival’s first day went smoothly, Fajardo said.

“We started the program a little late because the children arrived later than the call time. Kids, you know, don’t get up early,” she said.

Children had the chance to indulge in educational activities and showcase their talents.

Fajardo said they wanted to promote consistent values to children, which is why they enforced rules on the kind of songs and dances participants presented during the “celebration of talents.”

“The contestants for the activity have to get our approval first as to the song they are going to sing. We also do not allow grinding and other indecent moves for the dance contest,” she said.

Jessica Lambating, 13, from the Antonia de Ovido Center, said it was her second time to join the event. This year’s festival was more fun because they got to enjoy outdoor activities, she said.

“I learned the importance of teamwork from the activities we did,” she said in Cebuano. She looks forward to joining the festival next year.

Marlyn Tapangan, 17, who also came from the same center, said she enjoyed the activities and learned the value of respecting the law.

Like Jessica, it was her second time to join the festival.

Today, a new batch of children will partake in the festival.

The DACF will hold the next Children’s Festival in October, the National Children’s Month Celebration.

Due to the overwhelming increase in the number of sponsors, volunteers and child-focused institutions, who expressed their interest in the festival, the DAFC decided to hold the activity twice this year. Dubbed “Festival in Town,” the next festival will be held in barangays outside Cebu City. (RSB)