The Parau Pastores of Pilar, Sorsogon bagged the 1st Prize in this year’s Pastores Bicol 2010 competition held at the Penaranda Park, Old Albay District, Legazpi City on Dec. 13, 2010.
DOT Bicol Regional Director Maria O. Ravanilla said that the Parau Pastores won over eight other pastores groups that vied for the attractive prizes in this year’s traditional colorful yuletide singing and dancing competition.
Aside from the Parau Pastores that went home with the grand prize of P75,000 plus P5,000 for winning the Best in Costume award, the Daraga National High School Pastores of Daraga, Albay unanimously got the judges’ nod to receive the 2nd Prize of P50,000 while the Tobog Pastores of Oas, Albay was favorably adjudged to receive the 3rd Prize of P30,000 over six other contingents – The divino Rostro Pastores of Tabaco City, the Ibog Pastores of Oas, Albay, the Malilipot Pastores of Malilipot, Albay, the Saturday Club Pastores of Camaligan, Camarines Sur, the Tabaquena Pastores de Sto. Cristo of Tabaco City, and the Oas Pastores of Oas, Albay who all received a consolation prize of P5,000 each.
The “pastores” are the biblical shepherds who sang carols for the baby Jesus during the first Christmas in Bethlehem because they were so poor and nothing to offer for a gift.
Today, “pastores” is taken as a group of young men and women donning colorful attire singing and performing interpretative dances with their “pastores arco” in graceful synchronized movements to the tune of “Pastores a Belen”, a Christmas carol composed by our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal more than a century ago.
“Pursuing this unique Christmas tradition is a way of preserving the Bicolanos’ culture and heritage especially for the yuletide season”, Ravanilla said.
Pastores Bicol is an original project of PBN-DZGB in the late 1960’s. In the middle of the 1980’s, the DOT Bicol field office joined efforts with PBN-DZGB to make the activity an annual and traditional Christmas activity.
“This year’s Pastores Bicol was made possible in cooperation with the provincial government of Albay, the city government of Legazpi and radio station PBN-DZGB of Legazpi City,” said Fe R. Buela, tourism operations officer of DOT Bicol and project chairperson of Bicol Pastores 2010.
The intermission numbers during the contest were rendered by the Deo Voce Singers. The evening’s colorful singing and dancing competition for this year’s Pastores Bicol concluded with a 10 minutes colorful fireworks display.
This year’s members of the Board of Judges were: Luisito Benjamin P. Taduran, an associate professor and head of the Physical Education Department and the Performing Arts Department of the University of Northeastern Philippines, Iriga City, who is also a singer, dancer, choreographer, and beauty pageant host; Nick N. Sebastian, alumnus of the Conservatory of Music, UP Diliman, Quezon City, himself a Music teacher of the Yamaha School of Music and band leader of the bands Coup de Grass and Silverstring;
Carina Lanuza-Sales, instructor, Institute of Physical Education, Sports and Recreation, Bicol University, Legazpi City, chairman of Polangui Tourism Council, herself a choreographer, artistic director, and trainer of the BU Magayon Dance Troupe; Dr. Rolando A. Malate, education supervisor of the Physical Education, Department of Education – Region V, Legazpi City; and Jobert P. Narvades, chairman of the Board of Judges, faculty member and chairman, Special Program in the Arts Curriculum of the Camarines Sur National High School, Naga City, himself a cultural worker, dance teacher, performer, artistic director, professional choreographer, and events coordinator. -ggp