Hinugyaw Streetdancing 2010
Article and photography by Jojie Alcantara
The Hinugyaw sa Kalsada Streetdancing Competition is one of the highlights of the Hinugyaw Festival (Aug. 28- Sept. 1), coinciding with the 96th Foundation Anniversary of the Cotabato Province. Annually held in its capital city, Kidapawan, this grand showdown is the culmination of a weeklong festivity that showcases activities like civic parade, ethnic performances, sports competition, concerts, battle of the bands, and agri-trade fair. Hinugyaw means "loud merrymaking".
Giving the unique Cotabateño culture and rich heritage a boost, the participating groups came from municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Makilala, Midsayap, Alamada, Aleosan, and Matalam, mostly secondary school students. All were equipped with inventive costumes and huge props (Matalam went as far as bringing a fire truck in to shower “rain” during the entrance of their performance) to provide spectacular performances to a huge crowd in the large Cotabato Province Sports Complex. Peace and order was admirably maintained through the vigilance of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army who kept the crowd orderly.
This year, the contingent from the small town of Alamada won grand champion, receiving a cash prize of one hundred thousand pesos and a trophy. They won the crowd and judges with their faultless choreography, consistently high energy and very attractive costumes. The group from Matalam town won second place (P95 thousand pesos), and Midsayap came in third (P70 thousand pesos). The champion is set to represent the province in Cebu’s Sinulog Festival in January 2011.
Gracing the event and cheering their respective groups were mayors from different cities, VIPS, local officials, and new Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza, who thanked her constituents and local executives for a successful celebration, hoping the next year will bring in more participants to the festive foundation anniversary. It was her desire to bring the celebration closer to the barangays and not limiting festivities within capitol grounds by tapping different municipalities to co-sponsor events and traditional games. A wildly unique one I wasn’t able to catch was the Ki-at sa Kabaw ug Kabayo where they put on dresses, head gears and makeup on their prized cows and horses, proudly parading them around the grounds as they vie for the judges’ approval.
Special thanks to Ms. Marie Fe “Ging” Geronga-Pame (head of Kidapawan City Tourism & Investment Promotions Center and President of the Association of Cotabato Provincial Tourism Officers) for the assistance, and accommodation in Old Barracks Suites courtesy of Kidapawan Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco. For more information of the province and its tourist destinations, visit http://www.cotabatoprov.gov.ph.
(Jojie Alcantara is a travel photojournalist and SunStar columnist based in Davao City. She has been writing and painting before she picked up a camera in 1996 and expanded her world through images published in magazines. Her recent travel to the Cotabato Province is a documentation project for DOT Region XII. View her works and adventures in www.pbase.com/jojie_alcantara)