WANDERLUST| Street dancing showcases skill and culture of Agusanons

FOURTEEN contingents from Agusan del Sur’s 13 municipalities and 1 component city vied in the province’s most awaited event in the celebration of the province’s 50th founding anniversary and 25th year of the Naliyagan Festival.

June 16 marked the 7th day of the weeklong dual milestone celebration and the Agusan del Sur’s hosting of the Naliyagan Street Dancing Competition.

The competition was divided into 2 components: Progressive Street Dancing, where the contingents took their terpsichorean prowess from the streets of Prosperidad to the provincial government complex, and the Theatrical Showdown, where they performed a 7-minute choreographed suite showcasing the Agusanon indigeneity through drama, songs, and dances.

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Invited to judge in this year’s competition were Benhur Abulencia of Koronadal, Lamberto Planisan of Cebu, Jose J. Patubo of Iloilo, George Kimboy of Cotabato City, March Mandal of Tandag City, and this writer.

After a thorough deliberation, considering each group’s execution, mastery, choreography and musicality, Bayugan City emerged as this year’s champion, bagging PhP180,000, a trophy, and a project award for the school amounting to PhP1.5 million.

Bayugan also bagged the Best in Costume, Best in Musicality and Best in Progressive Dancing awards.

Bayugan was followed by the municipalities of Loreto and Veruela, bagging P150,000 and P120,000, and project awards for their respective schools amounting to P1,000,000 and P750,000.

Naliyagan, which means “the chosen one” or “the most loved one” in Manobo, is festival that highlights Agusan del Sur’s rich cultural heritage, products, artifacts, and their traditional practices.

Kudos to the organizers of this year’s Naliyagan Street Dancing competition led by event organizer Nathaniel Lamzon and his team, Naliyagan Stakeholders Foundation, Inc. president and CEO Manuel Rosaut, and Agusan del Sur provincial governor Adolph Edward Plaza.

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