AFTER missing it for three consecutive years, the dance group Lumad Basakanon of Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City will again join the Aliwan Festival in Pasay City in April.

This was disclosed by Basak San Nicolas Barangay Captain George Rama yesterday after Lumad Basakanon received an award from the Sinulog Foundation Inc. for being one of the winners in the grand parade last Sunday.

The group placed second in the free interpretation category and brought home a cash prize of P500,000. They also got the best in musicality and best in costume awards, with a cash prize of P50,000 and P100,000, respectively.

Organizers

In an interview yesterday, Rama said he already sent a letter to the organizers of the Aliwan Festival earlier this month to ask if they can still join the competition.

He said the group thought that they are no longer allowed to participate after winning

several times.

Lumad Basakanon has been included in the festival’s Hall of Fame in 2009 for winning for three consecutive years, starting in 2006.

But Rama said the organizers of Aliwan told them that Lumad Basakanon can participate in this year’s competition.

“They said that we can join again because it’s been a while since we last participated,” he said.

Food, transpo

Because of this, Rama said they are raising funds for their food and transportation expenses, which are estimated to reach P1 million.

Lumad Basakanon, which Rama said is the only contingent in the Aliwan Festival that earned a grand slam title, is composed of at least 200 dancers and props men.

Rama said it would be good if the City Government can help them.

“Pero di lang pod ta mangayo gyud kay maintriga unya ta (But we won’t ask for help because it might be misunderstood),” said the barangay captain, who is the cousin of Mayor Michael Rama.

The Aliwan Festival is an inter-regional competition showcasing the festivals of towns and provinces across the country.