Taking inspiration from their cultural identity that complimented well with their eye blowing props and fluid choreography , the Coron Festival from Tiwi Albay went home as the champion of the maiden staging of Bicol’s new tagline Exciting Bicol Festival of Festivals.
“We really have that faith in our movements and in the children. Iba ang charm ng mga bata kapag sumasayaw. And that’s one thing na meron kami and I guess wala sa ibang contingents,” said Renz Walet, the choreographer of the contingent from Tiwi.
The Tabaco City native also added that their victory was unexpected.
“ UNEXPECTED kasi this is a very big event. This is a region wide event at hindi mo inaasahang mga bata ang mananalo. They are almost elementary pupils. Meron din kaming mga high school. Yung mga alumni ng school na nahawakan ko lalo na sa tiwi central school,”said Walet.
Their performace took inspiration with the main livelihood of their municipality which is the coron.
“Coron is the main livelihood of the constituents of Tiwi. Ang dance story namin ay umikot sa isang family na gumagawa ng Coron. So we discussed the process hanggang sa mabuo ang produkto. Iba ibang shape ng coron. Iba ibang produkto ng coron,” Walet explained.
Coron Festival went home with the grand prize of Php 500,000. They were also awarded with the Best in Costume and Best in Festival Music each with 50,000 cash.
Meanwhile, Burac Festival of the municipality of Virac came out short, as they grab the runner up spot and Php 300,000 cash prize.
Ramil Aldea, the choreographer of Virac admitted that they were faced with lots of adversities coming to the event.
“Yung pagdating ng budget, pag-prepare ng mga resources minsan wala ditong resources sa Catanduanes kailangan pang bumili sa Manila, yung venue ng practice minsan may mga event kaya hindi kami makapag-practice syempre yung problema ngayon kasi brownout medyo mahirap din para sa amin lalo na sa paggawa ng costume kasi kailangan namin ng kuryente”, Aldea shared.
However, they were overwhelmed on the turn-out of the event despite the odds.
Benjamin Santiago, the Regional Director of Department of Tourism Region V applauded the unified efforts that the provincial government and other partner agencies contributed to the success of the event.
“Dakulang achievement ini for tourism na dapat maging proud ang mga taga-Catanduanes”, Santiago added.
“Alam ko ang hirap, dahil napakalayo ng lugar ninyo, pero sabi ko gusto ko, gusto namin na ang Catanduanes ay makilala sa buong rehiyon, sa buong Piipinas at sa buong mundo na ang Catanduanes ay isang gem in the Pacific”, he further said.
PBM Vince Villaluna described the third abaca festival that coincided with the launching of Exciting Bicol as the ‘grandest and biggest’ festival celebration in Catanduanes.
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