The much-awaited annual Kaamulan Festival in Bukidnon province and one of the country’s oldest produced a Butuanon artist whose entry in the float competition was named champion, April 13.
Kit Gresos, a young Butuanon production and set designer, who runs Papelemento Art Gallery was commissioned by the town of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon and ran away with the championship title. Gresos’ team beat seven float entries from all participating towns of Bukidnon.
The winning float was based and inspired on the local myth with a huge mechanical snake stealing the crowd’s attention. Ancient belief states a snake symbolizes either good or bad luck to the mountain tribes.
Traditional stories visualize in the competition was a big festival factor. Gresos entry, the audience commented, rose beyond expectations.
It took him two months to come up with the project, from research and conceptualization to physical set-up to technical consideration including sleepless nights in the concluding week.
“It was taxing but always challenging and fulfilling,” shares Gresos who’s been in visual arts since a child.
Initially a child stage actor of Artists Quarter (AQ), a community-based theater company that produced artists like Owen Jaen and Mae Oclarit who have carved a name in arts management and performances. Oclarit choreographed and trained the winning dance-theater showdown in Balanghai Festival last year.
Gresos victory adds another feather in the cap of Butuan artists who ruled other prestigious festivals.
Three years ago, ethnic musician Titing Trinquite and movement artist Sai Collado were separately declared grand winners in ethnic music and dance competitions in Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival. No other city had done a back-to-back achievement.
In the future, Gresos is coming up with projects like life-size sculptures or monuments and an exhibition in established galleries in Mindanao and Visayas. He can be contacted in his Facebook page.