CHORALE COMPETITION. The chorale group from Cebu Normal University was the declared champion of the first ever ‘Kanta Binisaya’ chorale competition, defeating other chorale groups from other parts of the Visayas. The champion rendered ‘Matud Nila,’ a Visayan popular folksong, as part of their repertoire.

TACLOBAN CITY – The choral group from Cebu Normal University (CNU) emerged victorious in the inaugural ‘Kanta Binisaya’ Choral competition and Love Eastern Visayas music video competition held on Tuesday (June 11).

The chorale competition was organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT–8) in collaboration with the Tingog party-list and the office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez.
The CNU’s chorale group triumphed over seven other groups from across the Visayas and Mindanao during the finals held at the People’s Center and Library in Tacloban City.

The group won a P100,000 cash prize and an additional P5,000 for the best conductor special award, which was given to their conductor Darlene Yap.

They performed an acoustic rendition of “Kuratsa,” a traditional song and dance of Eastern Visayas, and the Binisaya song “Matud Nila.” They concluded their performance with “Tayo’y Magsayawan” by VST & Co.

Cebu Normal University president Daniel Ariaso Sr. joined the choral group in receiving their trophy and cash prize at the awarding ceremony. He expressed his gratitude to the DOT-8 and Kanta Binisaya organizers for the invitation to participate in the competition.

“This is a great opportunity for the choral group of our university to be part of this inaugural competition, and it also allows Eastern Visayas to showcase its rich culture through music. As an Eastern Visayan from Eastern Samar, I am proud to be part of this event,” he said.

DOT-8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes hopes that the success of the Kanta Binisaya choral competition will make it a regular event, showcasing and promoting the rich musical heritage of Eastern Visayas.

“This is the first time DOT-8 hosted a choral competition, and we hope it becomes institutionalized and evolves into a national competition,” the DOT-8 head said.

Tiopes also expressed gratitude to the provincial government of Leyte and the municipal government of Palo for providing a P20,000 cash subsidy to all eight finalists, as well as to Leyte Normal University.

The second place went to Koro Seraphim from Tagbilaran City, which received P80,000. They performed “Anak nga Waray Palad” for their Binisaya song and “Manila” by Hotdog for their OPM song.

Coro Recoleto from the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos secured third place and won P60,000 with their rendition of the iconic Binisaya song “Iruy nga Tuna” and “Pinoy Ako” for their OPM song. They also won the Best OPM special award.

The best kuratsa pair special award was given to the kuratsa dancers of Calbayog Chamber Voices. All non-winning finalists received a P20,000 consolation prize.

The jury for the Kanta Binisaya Choral Competition included arranger, composer, and choral conductor Robert Delgado; musicologist Prof. Thomas Schüle; composer, arranger, soloist, instrumentalist, and choral conductor Cyro Bon Cloui Moral; choral pedagogue, conductor, arranger, choral clinician, and adjudicator Maria Theresa Roldan; choral conductor and church musician Prof. Joey Soliman Jr.; and National Commission on Culture and the Arts Commissioner for the Arts Arvin Manuel Villalon.

Kanta Binisaya is an initiative by DOT-8 aimed at fostering appreciation of the Eastern Visayas musical heritage and promoting it nationally through the chorale competition.
In the music video competition, the entry from Leyte Normal University won first place, earning P70,000. Tanauan School for Craftsmanship took second place with P60,000, and Abuyog Community College placed third with P50,000.

The five non-winning participants received P20,000 consolation prizes. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)