THE first stage of the three-week celebration of Cebu Province’s founding anniversary was not all serious stuff. It was full of entertainment, too.

Among them were the fashion shows of the proposed Capitol uniforms—designed by Cebu’s top designers—with employees themselves tapped as models. With the aim of reviving native Cebuano arts, a balak contest was spearheaded by PB Member Julian Daan.

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Naga’s Martha Laraga emerged as winner. Cordova’s Lotis Pogoy, Sogod’s Manuel Olan-olan and Cordova’s Maning Pacaldo grabbed the runners-up slots. The male populace is slowly giving in to women empowerment?

The following day saw groups giving their best to tickle the audience’s funny bones in the komedyahay tilt.

Toledo City’s Pedro Pongase and Co. was adjudged winner with Carcar City’s Tres Palitos (Jolito Alegado, Danilo Malubay and Gerald Rigodon), Talisay City’s Dos Crazy Boys (Mikel Torrejos and Tito Lingkaro) and Dos Gwapitos (Arnell Alcantara Sr. and Noel Villarin) giving close competition.

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On the founding day itself, Aug. 6 that is, the Builders group proved their excellence not only in the performance of their jobs but in the performing arts as well as they bested five other clusters in the production number contest that centered on the implementation of Gov. Gwen Garcia’s 12-point agenda.

The Agri-Meds ranked second with The Executives coming in third. The world-famous Cebu Provincial, Detention and Rehabilitation Center dancing inmates drew crowds of passersby and employees alike at the Capitol grounds with their Michael Jackson inspired numbers.

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Cebuana singer and Asia’s Diva, Dulce, was teary-eyed when she delivered her acceptance speech being one of this year’s Garbo sa Sugbo awardees. She was overwhelmed at being in the company of John Gokongwei Jr., Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr., DOE Sec. Jose Rene Almendras, Dr. Resil Mojares, Dr. Ramon del Fierro and visual artist Sofronio Mendoza.

Nonetheless, she revealed that Gov. Garcia whispered in her ear that she sounded very sincere in her speech. Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was awarded with the first ever, Order of Lapu-Lapu.

Afterwards, almost everybody let his and her hair down in enjoying the retro music of the Firelights Band. Architect Tess Javier easily outshone the other dancers with her grace on the dance floor.

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Elsewhere in the metropolis, other entertainment packages were also patronized by the fun-loving Cebuanos and those from other places.

GMA-7’s Kapuso Day, which coincided with Cebu’s founding anniversary drew at least 15,000 spectators at the outdoor stage of Ayala’s The Terraces.

Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera led the Kapuso stars including Cebuano hunk Marco Alcaraz, Dennis Trillo, Nadine Samonte and child star Jillian Ward. Bb. Pilipinas-World 2006 Anna Maris Igpit shared the limelight as one of the program hosts.

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TV5, the Kapatid Network, has started making its presence felt in Cebu by holding an audition for its coming star search, aptly called Star Factor. The judges (also called Star Makers) came to pick contestants with star factor from the hopefuls.

The group was composed of the network’s talent manager Audie Gemora, director Joey Reyes, photographer Raymond Isaac, music man Ryan Cayabyab and Cebuana star-turned-talent-manager Annabelle Rama.

From the 300 who went to SM City, 39 were chosen to face the Star Makers the following day with the12 coming from Davao.

Those who made it will still battle it out with the 18 lucky ones in Manila for the 24 slots to be narrowed down to 12 in the finals. Airing of the star search will commence next month.

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Contests in rondalla and guitar duet are among the competitions slated for the children’s month celebration in October. A workshop will be conducted by world-renowned classical guitarist and conductor Michael Dadap on Aug. 19 and 20 at the West Gorordo Hotel.