Most part of the city will burst with sights and sounds this afternoon as the yearly ‘mardi gras’ known as Sandugo festival takes to the streets for the street dancing competition featuring six contingents. Rhythm and rhymes of the music, colorful costumes and active participation of at least six contingents earlier announced in the three-kilometer parade from tourist city seaport will certainly dominate the city and conclude the month-long Sandugo commemoration this year. Also invited to grace the big event is Senator Chiz Escudero as guest of honor. TV and movie personalities are also expected to do entertainment numbers during the program at Pres. Carlos P. Garcia sports complex, including actress Agot Isidro, Miss World Philippines Miss Anna Maris Igpit, GMA’s Kapuso’s stars like PBA’s icon Benjie Paras, Raymund Bagatsing, Jean Garcia, Allen Richards, Lucho Ayala and comedians Moymoy Palaboy. Miss Bohol Sandugo 2012 Idy Caseñas Cagas and her royal court are expected to be on the float for the grand parade today.
The diminishing productivity in terms of the number of street dance contingents seemed to be the order of the day since Carmen town, the grand champion of last year’s street dance contest, won’t participate in the mardi gras race. In an interview with the media, Mayor Conchita "Che" de los Reyes, who attended the change of command of the Special Forces in Bilar, said that her group of dancers will defer this year their participation. Asked why, she said, she would give chance to other participants to show their wares. The move of Carmen not to take part in this year’s street dance race would give prospects to Catigbian and HNU, last year’s second and third runners-up, respectively, to make it this year. This year’s hopefuls are the Holy Name University (HNU), Bohol Island State University (BISU-Candijay), Immaculate Mary Academy of Catigbian town, local government units of Ubay and Garcia-Hernandez. Top-notch contingents of Dauis, Maribojoc, Dr. Cecilio Putong High School, Tagbilaran City High, Baclayon and Manga High schools, which actively joined in 2011, will not see action today.
Asked why the short list of competitors this year, the Bohol Sandugo Foundation street dance organizers said that a lot of supposed contingents which used to take part declined because of the preparation for the new K to 12 curriculum since most of the participants are school students or teachers. The foundation organizers did not name who were those who won’t participate this year, saying that a hefty amount as assistance provided by the foundation for their practice and incidental expenses were returned. Street dancing and reenactment of the Blood Compact were organized sometime in 1980s to pay tribute to native chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi who forged the first recorded treaty of friendship known as “Sandugo” but they had since been scrapped for reasons only known to previous organizers. This year’s champion will bring home P200,000 as the top prize while the first runner up will pocket P150,000. The second runner up will be given P100,000 while non-winning contingents receive P30,000 each. (With reports from RVO)