‘Kahimunan’ rolls amid rains, cheers and criticism

By Abe Cuartino

It rained cats and dogs and cheers and criticism. To sum up yesterday’s Kahimunan Festival which as usual started with a street-dancing from J.C. Aquino Avenue to Libertad Playground.

Nine contingents of high-school and college students from as far as Mati City, Davao Oriental, Liangga, Surigao del Sur and Bayugan City came, thumping their feet, running around and often shouting, all wet and soak but giving their best performances, never minding the cold, but enjoying and thrilled to the bones. Or so it seems.

“Ulan o u init, ato kining halad sa balaanong bata’ng si Santo Niño (This is our offering to the sacred baby Santo Niño),” says a middle-aged woman with a white umbrella lining up the highway.

“First time gyud ni nakong apil ini nga ulan pero sige lang, kay para man sa Diyos (This is my first time joining in the middle of the rain, but never mind, its for God),” explains a college student.

So who can quarrel with faith and devotion and feeling good and yes, having fun? Not the die-hard audience scattered everywhere, most with colorful umbrellas to match the street performers playing in the rain. Even the reynas dressed in ballooning gowns leading the contingents swayed and waved looking easy and light.

In terms of aesthetics, all groups did well, from costumes, props and choreography. Rain or shine, they outdid each other and did so well.

To think I am only talking of the street-dancing, not the grand contest presentation at the front of the huge playground. Hurray for Pinoy’s creative spirit!

But not all will be impressed. Not the emerging and emerged born-again Christians who find it irrelevant, unnecessary, outdated and even unchristian. They said it’s not a reflection of being a true Christian.

Again in the end, who will quarrel with faith and personal belief?

I guess we just have to respect each other.

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