BAGUIO CITY – A neophyte entry to the grand street dancing parade of the Panagbenga grabbed the limelight from other veteran competitors when it emerged as the champion in the open category of the streetdancing parade and ground demonstration held at the Baguio Athletic Bowl last February 25, 2017.
Streetdancers from the Pugo Catholic School representing Pugo, La Union’s Tinungbo Festival entertained the huge crowd gathered along the parade route and at the Baguio Athletic Bowl with their sterling performances capped with their well-choreographed dances.
The dancers depicted the town’s lush mountains and clean rivers and the richness of God’s blessings of nature, thus, the people have the responsibility in minimizing damage against it, protecting and nurturing it.
Their streetdance showcased their old traditions through four basic steps; agawis steps (to invite) wherein it showed farmers going to their fields, happy with their intentions so they call upon each other for help; gaget steps (industrious) wherein farmers start going to work wholeheartedly, happily to make their work lighter; billet-Pugo steps wherein in the olden times, as Pugo was composed of thickly forested rancherias, that is why pugo or quail birds abound and that is how it got its name, Pugo; and rukbab steps where farmers celebrate a fiesta and thanksgiving after a good harvest.
Further, the dance showcased picnics in the various parts of the town wherein in the olden times, elders used the bolo internodes or ‘tubong’ to cook the rice, fish, and vegetables over low fires or charcoal and that the tinungbo cooked food comes out aromatic with a little sweet tangy taste, prepared with lots of love and caring for family and friends.
The Pugo dancers used recycle biscuit pails, indigenous materials, old papers as their props.
Pugo was founded on December 11, 1911, as a township of the old Mountain Province but in 1920, it became a part of La Union.
Pugo bested the contingents from Lubuagan, Kalinga which performed the Laga festival; the Virac drum and lyre group, the Manaoag National High School, the Chalibers from Bontoc, Mountain Province, the Madaymen, Kibungan drum and lyre group, the Sta. Maria, Bulacan marching band and the Ayyoweng di Gangsa of Tadian, Mountain Province.
The Pugo streetdancers went home with a cash prize of P130,000 with Lubuagan snaring the P100,000 second prize while Virac snatched the P80,000 third prize. The fourth to eight placers got P30,000 each delegation.
In the elementary level, Apolinario Mabini Elementary School retained the overall champion for the fourth straight year with Baguio Central School placing second, Emilio Aguinaldo Elementary School landing third while Josefa Carino Elementary School placed fourth. Rounding up the participating schools were Jose Laurel elementary School in fifth, Pinget Elementary School in sixth, Dona Aurora Elementary School in seventh place, Dominican elementary School was in eighth and Camp 6 Elementary School placed ninth.
Mabini came home with the P150,000, Baguio Central got the P130,000 second prize, Aguilando won the P110,000 third prize, Josefa Carino got the P80,000 fourth prize while Luarel went home P60,000 richer.
The sixth to ninth place received a cash prize of P40,000 each while the 10th to 12th placers got P30,000 each.
Aside from the cash prizes received by the participating contingents, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) provided P20,000 each for all the 12 participating contingents in the elementary level as a subsidy for their participation in the grand streetdancing parade of the flower festival.
In the secondary level, the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) streetdancers retained the overall championship followed by the contingent from the St. Louis Laboratory High School in second place, the Pines City National High School in third place and the Pinsao National High School in fourth place.
BCNHS took home the P100,000 cash prize with SLU Laboratory High School snaring the P80,000 second prize followed by the PCNHS took home the P60,000 third prize with Pinsao garnering the P50,000 fourth prize.
Aside from parading along the 5-kilometer parade route, the participating streetdancing contingents were required to perform their respective pieces for a maximum of 8 minutes in front of the huge crowd to fully entertain the viewing public.
By Dexter A. See