TAGBILARAN City—Wearing colorful costumes and dancing with limping and swaying motions, participants danced in the main street to the applause of spectators who came to celebrate the province’s Sandugo festival.
The “Bangga sa Kuradang ug Subli sa Sandugo” (Competition of Kuradang and Re-enactment of the Sandugo) was just introduced last year after replacing an almost two-decade cultural dance to wean the Sandugo dances from the Sinulog dances of Cebu.
Local historian and cultural worker Marianito Luspo said that the introduction of the folkdance “kuradang” theme was prompted by observations from culture and heritage enthusiasts noting that the competition has become similar to Cebu’s Sinulog festivities and has languished in terms of ingenuity.
Street dancers liven up the celebration of Bohol’s Sandugo festival.
Photo by Leo Udtohan
“Bangga sa Kuradang ug Subli sa Sandugo” used the kuradang as the main basis and inspiration of the dance competition to make it more rooted in Boholano aesthetics in music, dance and content. It had also put emphasis on the Sanduguan of Spaniard Miguel Lopes de Legazpi and a native chieftain Si Katuna.
“Well, it’s unique and special because it really comes from our culture,” said Luspo, one of the members of the Sandugo Artistic Committee.
“It is an attempt to make the festival more relevant by basing the whole concept on the nature of the culture of the place,” he added.
Luspo said kuradang is not only done in Bohol since it’s a popular native dance in the Visayas region particularly Bohol, Cebu, Leyte and Panay.
“It’s a Visayan thing but we infused it in our important historic event in Bohol to make it something special. It is packaged to reflect something we have and which we can rightly we proud of,” said Luspo.
Kuradang is dance during social gatherings such as birthday, baptism, wedding and fiesta because of its lively moves and the life it gives to the gatherings. It is dance with the accompaniment of the rondalla that it makes kuradang flared, brisk and romantic.
The kuradang, a courtship dance, imitates the playful "birig" or courting movements of the aggressive rooster and coy hen.
The province’s official dance is kuratcha Boholana. However, many people considered kuradang their unofficial dance because of its popularity and familiarity in the island.
For two years, the Sandugo Street dancing use the dance
steps of the Kuradang replacing the almost
two decades festival to make it more “Boholano.” Photo by Leo Udtohan
Luspo said it was well received and embraced by the people. The reactions from the audience and dancers, it seemed kuradang has seeped through the fancy of the Boholano young and old.
“They feel it comes from inside of us. It is not something that is imposed from outside. This is something worthwhile, something we can proud of, something we can claim our own,” Luspo said.
It also drew millennials, attracted to both the music and the new twist of "Binol-anon kuradang.”
“I was overwhelmed they showed us how to dance the kuradang with dignity and pride,” said John Rel Alagadmo, 18, a student of Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School in this city.
Excitement filled the air about 3 p.m. on July 29, when the sound system blared the festival music, an original composition with a samba beat.
Ten contingents from different towns danced in the parade. They wore costumes and props in vibrant colors and designs.
Each rendered their own interpretation of kuradang during the final performance at CPG Sports Complex.
The contingent of barangay Napo in Loon town was declared champion for two years. It brought home P250,000 and also harvested other prizes such as the Best in Kuradang and “Kuradang King and Queen” for second time and Best in Music.
The San Isidro town was adjudged as first runner-up with P200,000 prize, and Pilar town was declared second runner-up with P150,000 prize.
Pilar also won the “Best Pair of Datu Si Katuna and Gen. Legaspi” and Best in Costume/Production” with an additional P15,000 prize.
Others contingents include Balilihan, Baclayon, Catigbian, Concepcion, Mabini; San Miguel, Tubigon and Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School in Tagbilaran City.
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