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PIA Press Release

Davao B'laan dance wins 1st place in DPWH Nat'l Cultural Presentation

by Jenny Juezan and Rose B Palacio

Davao City (17 July) -- The DPWH XI delegates, led by Regional Director Jerome dela Rosa, finally bagged 1st place in the DPWH National Cultural Presentation held in Manila Hotel last June 23, 2008.

The DPWH Malita Engineering Office spearheaded by District Engineer Danny Versola representing Mindanao Region, won the national competition.

Performing last among the four Cluster champions namely, Region III, Region V, and Region VIII, and the Central Office, Davao did not fail to give the audience the best performance, with the loudest drum beat of the night.

The judges gave it an average of 97%. One of them reportedly gave a hundred percent.

They also enjoyed an early lead in the grapevine, enough to build up interest among the audience who came all over the Philippines and brace themselves to their seats until almost midnight.

Also adjudged as second and third placers were the entries of the Central Office and Region III.

As the champion, DPWH XI received a trophy and a cash price of Php110,000.

Davao's B'laan entry wowed the audience several times during the performance.

"Yung props n'yo, grabe. Yung tree n'yo biglang naging bridge with approaches pa at ang performers n'yo, pang-international ang dating," said a Public Relation Officer from Luzon in a text message.

Another impressed spectator was Movie Director Mario J. delos Reyes, chair of the panel of judges, who approached Regional Director Jerome dela Rosa and District Engineer Danilo Versola, and later the dancers and choreographer from Kaliwat Dance Group to express his insights about the concept used in the production.

The two other judges who also came to congratulate and mingle with the group were Denisa Reyes and Butch Perez.

The Davao entry, which represented Cluster D or the Mindanao Region, gave a theatrical tribal dance number that told a story of how infrastructure development entered into the way of life of the lumads or natives in the far-flung areas of Region XI.

The not so popular B'laan dance (particularly among the Luzon and the Visayas viewers) captured the imagination of the audience as it clearly conveyed the saga of tribal and modern Filipinos brought together in an experience that started in conflict and ended in a joyful resolution, spiced up with a display and interplay of traditional and modern cultural ways.

The ensemble and concept was originally put together by the Davao del Sur 2nd District Engineering Office - Malita, led by District Engineer Danny Versola, who went through a grueling regional elimination round in Davao City last May 2, 2008. After months of daily practice and several production enhancements the simple B'laan dance number became the toughest contender in the cluster and national competitions. (DPWH/PIA) [top]

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