This year Two thousand and eight (2008) is indeed the YEAR OF EXCELLENCE for the city of General Santos and her young and dynamic “generals”, as proclaimed by City Mayor Pedro B. Acharon, Jr.!  For one, another group of individuals has again made us proud.

Two young choreographers from General Santos City shone at the recent Wifi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival Young Choreographers Competition held at the Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) last June 12-16, 2008 by taking home the top prize.

Wifi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival which is presented by the World Dance Alliance- Philippine Choreographers’ Network, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Japan Foundation is the biggest gathering of independent dance artists and companies in the Philippines.


Julius Lagare (below) and Deejay De Vera’s winning form while performing “MANOY”. (Click photo for larger viewing)

Julius Lagare‘s Work, “Manoy”, a duet he performed with Deejay De Vera won the nods of the judges to win the Top prize.

On the other hand, Deejay De Vera‘s solo piece “Suguilanon Ug awit sa Kahaponon” also impressed them that it finished third among fourteen finalists selected from all over the country.

The 23-year old Lagare is the Second Winner of the Wifi-CCP-JF NeXtage Award.


Jayvee De Vera’s “Sugilanon ug Awit sa Kahaponon” which took home 3rd honors (click photo for larger viewing)

As this year’s Wifi- Cultural Center of the Philippines- Japan Foundation NeXtage Awardee, Lagare’s winning work will be the official entry of the Philippines to the Yokohama Dance Competition. “Manoy” is also being considered by the Japanese Contemporary Dance Network to be performed at the “Dance Wave Asia Contemporary Dance Now!”, an international dance festival.

Lagare and De Vera are members of the Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges Teatro Ambahanon Contemporaryo Dance Company, one of the Philippines’ Ten Most Outstanding Young Dance and Theater Companies which is under the tutelage of Bing Cariño.  A constant presence in various city cultural programs and presentations (like this one, CLICK HERE),  they have been wowing everyone with their gravity-defying contemporary dance interpretations.

By the way, their trip to Manila was made possible with the help and support of the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s Committee on Education chaired by Councilor Meg Santos.

CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!!!! We are so proud of you!!!

Thanks to Bing Cariño and Egai Cadiente for supplying me with details and materials for this post.