By Bryan Edulzura
Veterans and pioneers, winning pop singers are named Most Outstanding Butuan Artists and Cultural Workers in the grand fiesta celebration of the 30th Balangay Festival, “Lamdag and Indak-Indak sa Balangay” Saturday evening (May 19) at the festival center of the Butuan City Sports Complex .
Thelma Villanueva, the respected founding teacher and choreographer since the 70’s of her own Ballet studio, and Pepito Mosquito. Contemporary and folk dance-movement teacher and choreographer of Father Saturnino Urios University are named outstanding artists in dance for excellence and consistency.
Mariano “Anoy” Catague, a self-made painter known as a pioneer of gracious and colorful Mindanaoan tribal art considered at par with Australia’s Aborigine and Indonesia’s Balinese art is cited outstanding artist in the field of visual arts.
Despite having a main job as a cameraman to a giant television network in Davao, he manages to hold regular painting exhibits locally and internationally.
Cited with him in the same field is Edison “Etchok” Cachuela, also an acknowledged visual artist and cultural worker based in Manila and actively connected to Butuan.
In the field of Literature, magazine writer Ramon Jorge Sarabosing is named outstanding for his body of works as playwright, scriptwriter, children comic book author, art reviewer and inspiring support to artist-colleagues.
Both Catague and Sarabosing pioneered independent film-making even when the word Indie film was not even coined in the late ’80’s. They came up with a dozen commissioned short films and documentaries shot in rural and urban mountain and coastal barangays in Caraga region.
Pop song contest winners Jason Dy and Lance Busa are named outstanding in the field of music. Both are making a mark with the young crowd with their charisma and confidence. Dy didn’t make it personally at the awarding ceremony.
Handing the awards were Mayor Ronnievic Lagnada, Vice Mayor Jose “Joboy” Aquino and several councilors. The festival, which ran from May 16 to 19 was a joint project of the Butuan City government in partnership with the private sectors.
With the recognition of local artists and cultural workers as partners of creative critical wisdom and development the legacy of creative original excellence through hard work, discipline and resilience anchored on culture and identity is passed on by these veterans and achieving young practitioners.
Photo courtesy of Catague Mariano