IRIGA CITY--The street dancers from the Performing Arts department of the University of Northeastern Philippines (UNEP) won the grand prize of the recently concluded 2009 Tinagba Festival Mardi Gras/ Street Dance contest after they wowed judges and thousands of spectators with their impressive dance moves and magnificent performance.
The UNEP Performing Arts group was awarded the most coveted title of Best Performer with a cash prize of P 200,000. It won over 11 other contenders that vied for the top honor.
The award-winning performance of the UNEP dancers was a Brazilian-inspired dance number depicting the history of Tinagba. Swaying their hands and swinging their hips in the tune of lively repertoire, their steps and moves essayed the story of the ancient rituals of Tinagba, Bicolandia’s first recorded history-old custom of thanksgiving to the Almighty for a bountiful harvest. The celebrations of Tinagba held Feb. 5-11, 2009 coincided with the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Department of Tourism Bicol regional director Maria “Nini” Ravanilla, one of the judges was overwhelmed with the UNEP dancers. “The execution was comparable with the regional competition. The innovations, especially in their dances were so impressive. I see great potential and I know that this will help boost our region’s tourism industry.”
Lawyer Remelisa Alfelor- Moraleda, UNEP president, expressed happiness with the award. “The festival is deeply rooted in its spiritual context, that’s why we see to it that our performers really know by heart what they are doing. Perhaps that’s the reason why they won in the competition, not to mention the rigorous practice and selfdiscipline that they have imposed upon themselves.”
Delicia Alfelor-Tibi, UNEP’s dynamic and energetic vice president for Finance, was in high spirits and teary-eyed after hearing the official announcement declaring the university as the over-all winner.
“This is a concerted effort of everybody, of the students, the parents, and the trainors, who have unselfishly shared their talents and time in perfecting the performance. They should be congratulated for a job well done.”
The awesome street dance performance of the UNEP dancers proved once more the school’s high standard, not only in the academic field but also its excellence in extracurricular activities.
UNEP Performing Arts Director is Luisito Taduran. Closely working with him are Romeo Abano, artistic director for Dance and the university’s team of choreographers.
Tinagba Festival’s street dancing contest was introduced in the 1990’s, where it became an added attraction to the caravan of carts loaded with freshly harvested fruits and vegetables.