YESTERDAY, only two days before the Sinulog Grand Parade, the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) disqualified one of the 36 dancing contingents from the competition.

Banay Azami of Azami Japanese KTV Bar on Escario St., Cebu City meant to join the Sinulog-based (SB) category.

But during the contingents' final briefing yesterday, SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros learned that the group only has 30 dancers.

Ballesteros said the foundation’s guidelines require that each contingent must have at least 60 dancers.

Aside from this, Ballesteros said, they have not seen the group practice on stage at the Cebu City Sports Center unlike the other contingents.

The SFI has not seen the group’s costumes.

Faces

“Motan-aw man gud gyud mi sa contingent labaw na kanang mga bag-o (We have to see the contingents practice, especially the new ones),” said Ballesteros.

Although they will not be allowed to join in the dancing competition, Ballesteros said, Banay Azami can dance in the streets during the Grand Parade.

Ballesteros said he asked SFI project director Dolores “Dolly” Suzara to talk to the contingent.

Meanwhile, Lumad Basakanon of Barangay Basak San Nicolas asked Sinulog organizers to also extend financial assistance to barangay-based contingents.

SFI only gives financial assistance ofP150,000 each to out-of-town contingents and school-based contingents.

Lumad Basakanon choreographer Norman Navarro said that they spent P800,000 for their presentation this year, while other contingents spent millions.

Navarro said the barangay shouldered the cost.

Despite the financial constraints, Navarro said, they will wow the judges and spectators with their “animated nature versus nature presentation” under the free interpretation (FI) category.

Last year, Lumad Basakanon landed second place in the FI category.

The Sinulog 2014 Grand Parade will have 130 participants. Aside from the dancing contingents, there will be 41 participants for the float category, 31 in the higantes category and 22 puppeteers.