BACOLOD CITY – Three-time champion Barangay Granada returned after six years to win its fourth title in this year’s Masskara Festival street and arena dance competition, besting 16 other villages for the top prize of PHP1-million cash at Paglaum Sports Complex here Sunday night.
Part of the arena event was witnessed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, who lauded Bacolod for its successful staging of the 43rd edition of the colorful festival, which made a comeback after a two-year respite due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Hard work, dedication and discipline,” village chief Alfredo Talimodao Jr. said of their key to success.
The champion also bagged the Most Disciplined and Best in Music special awards that each came with PHP25,000 cash prize along with the recognition as FoodPanda’s PauPau’s Choice, with PHP20,000 worth of food delivery vouchers.
First-timer Barangay Sum-ag, mentored by 22-time winner Segundo Jesus Cabalcar Jr., was first runner-up, taking home PHP500,000, and an additional PHP25,000 for the Best in Mask and Costume award.
The team of Joedem Casabuena and Mark Philip Lamirez, with Romnick Rafael, returned to choreograph for Barangay Granada, which went on hiatus after successive wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016, also under their tutelage.
They dislodged defending champion Barangay Estefania, which settled for second runner-up and received PHP300,000, plus PHP25,000 for Best in Theme and Concept.
In 2019, Estefania was trained by Casabuena and Lamirez to win the championship after a 20-year drought.
Other winners included Barangay 35, third runner-up, which received PHP250,000; Barangay Singcang-Airport, fourth runner-up, PHP150,000; fifth runner-up, Barangay Tangub, PHP50,000; Barangay 31, sixth runner-up, PHP30,000; and Barangay Alangilan, seventh runner-up, PHP20,000.
Meanwhile, Barangay Alijis took home the special award for Best in Introduction, with PHP25,000.
Criteria for judging included 60 percent for arena performance and 40 percent for street dance.
Among this year’s panel of judges were broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez-Roxas, Concert Queen Pops Fernandez, and actor Derek Ramsay.
On Saturday night, Barangay 17 was declared champion of the Electric Masskara float and dance-off competition at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds.
Winning PHP300,000 as the top prize, the village also received PHP20,000 for its eye-catching, colorfully lit Masskara float that bagged the Best Float award.
Barangay 25 was adjudged first runner-up, with PHP200,000 while Barangay 32, second runner-up, with PHP150,000. (PNA)