They wanted to prove that they will no longer settle for second best, and, indeed, last year’s first runner-up, Barangay 17, was declared champion in the MassKara Festival 2012 street and arena barangay category dance competition at the Bacolod City Public Plaza yesterday.
Donning blue, gold and green costumes, the Brgy. 17 dancers outshone 14 other competing barangays to win the trophy and P100,000 cash prize. They were also named best in mask, best in concept and best in choreography.
Jesus Segundo Cabalcar, choreographer, mask and costume designer of Brgy. 17, said he opted to use LED lights on the headdresses of the dancers because he wants the audience to enjoy, because, after all, the MassKara Festival is all about the Bacoleño smiles.
At the end of their performance, the Brgy. 17 performers opened a huge fan bearing the picture of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, which Cabalcar said, was their way of honoring his excellent governance, which has made life in Bacolod good.
The performers from Brgy. Cabug, whose concept was inspired by clones, were declared first runner-up and brought home P75,000 in cash, while the Brgy. 6 dancers, who were clad in silver costumes with black pants, were second runner-up and took home P50,000 in cash.
Third runner-up were performers of Brygy. 32, who were all in red, while Alijis, also named best in costume for their colorful attires, were fourth runner-up. They received P30,000 and P20,000, respectively.
Rain started to pour in the middle of the dance arena competition but the dancers remained steadfast and the audience did not leave their seats.
Leonardia said he was extremely happy because the MassKara Festival is getting bigger and bigger every year.
He stressed the celebration this year was a success because of the full cooperation of the people.
Festival director Eli Francis Tanjanlangit said that in the 2012 edition, the MassKara Festival adopted the theme, “Life is good in Bacolod”, not only because of the city’s dynamic economy but also because of everyday details, like the thriving art scene and unique cuisine, the confluence of the best of urban and rural lifestyles and the warm hospitality of its people.
Karilagan Dance Theater member and choreographer of the 23rd Seagames Opening in Bacolod, Julius Martin Sollesta, Philippine Folk Dance Society president Larry Gabao, and independent filmmaker and theater director Paul Morales were the judges of the arena dance competition.
In the street dance contest, the judges were Kadayawan sa Davao former festival director Id Acaylar, Ms. Zamboanga Beauty Pageant producer Sonny Villares and United States Department of State Cultural exchange program Senior Councilor Kenneth Fernandez.
The performers were judged on dance consistency, choreography, performance, concept and production design. The police estimated the crowd at the public plaza and in its nearby streets at 20,000.*APN