Gayon Bicol Showcase in Naga during Fiesta

THIRTEEN contingents and over 2,080 dancers and band members representing the 6 provinces and 7 cities of Bicol will be swaying and shouting to the beat of drums during the Gayon Bicol streetdancing competition that the Department of Tourism and the City Government of Naga are co-sponsoring as one of the highlights of this year’s Peñafrancia festival.

A festival showdown, as it was last year, will be held on September 14, at Plaza Quezon after the street dance and parade of colorful indigenous costumes by the participating contingents. Streetdancing will start at 2:00 p.m. at CB2 along the jeepney terminal. It will move towards Panganiban Avenue and the old Business District along Elias Angeles, towards Caceres and Gen. Luna Streets into Plaza Quezon.

DOT Regional Director Nini Ravanilla said all the LGUs have confirmed their participation in the regional streetdancing competition, as in fact these contingents are now in the thick of their practices and rehearsals for the Sept. 14 showdown here.

Naga City Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, will welcome all the guests and participants during a brief program as the whole street dance contingents approach the stage.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano has been invited as guest of honor and speaker during the opening program. More top officers of the DOT and other national offices and tourism regional directors from all over the country have been invited to grace the affair.

Both Robredo and Ravanilla said that Gayon Bicol shall henceforth be institutionalized to be the region’s socio-cultural festival that will rival Cebu’s Sinulog, Bacolod’s Masskara, Iloilo’s Dinagyang, or Davao’s Kadayawan.
Each participating province and city will present and showcase their respective festival for the streetdance showdown: Paroy Festival (Albay); Ibalong Festival (Legazpi City); Tabak Festival (Tabaco City); Sunflower Festival (Ligao City); Pili Festival (Sorsogon City); Kasanggayahan (Sorsogon Province); Kaogma Festival (Camarines Sur); Tinagba Festival (Iriga City); Lapay Bantigue (Masbate City); Himag-Ulaw Festival (Masbate Province, last year’s champion); Katandungan Festival (Catanduanes); Palong Festival (Camarines Norte), and; Peñafrancia Festival (Naga City).

Criteria for the street dance competition are choreography (25%); performance (20%); theme/concept (15%); props (15%); costume (15%), and dance consistency (10%).
Grand prize winner will receive P300,000 in cash prize, while second and third runners-up wil each receive P200,000 and P100,000 respectively. An additional P20,000 will be given as special award for the best in street dance.

Festival queens

An added feature of the regional street dancing competition is the Search for the Bicol Festival Queen which was won by Yen Zaragosa, an 18-year old tourism student of the Ateneo de Naga University. She represented Naga City’s Peñafrancia Festival in terno and festival costume designed by Naga couturier Ariel Alvarez during the pageant night.

Contestants to this event, picked by the respective participating LGUs or festival contingent, must be at least 16 but not more than 23 years of age, single and with pleasing personality.

The Bicol Festival Queen Pageant will be held at the Plaza Quezon thirty minutes after the last Festival street dance contingent has been through.

The winning Queen will receive P30,000; the 1st Princess and the 2nd Princess to receive P20,000 and P15,000, respectively, plus trophies. Other prizes are Best in Costume, Best in Philippine Terno, and Best Designer.

Contestants will only wear dresses made of Bicol or indigenous materials to be designed by local couturiers and dressmakers.


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