KANTA BINISAYA. The Department of Tourism (DOT) through its regional director, Karina Rosa Tiopes, throws support on the ‘Kanta Binisaya’ chorale competition which also aims to promote local songs. Among those in the photo were Regional Director Reyan Arinto of the Philippine News Agency and professor Stephen Legarde of the University of the Philippines-Tacloban Campus. (PHOTO COURTESY)

TACLOBAN CITY- The Department of Tourism (DOT-8) has announced the eight finalists competing for the title of the first champion of the ‘Kanta Binisaya’ Choral Competition.
At least 19 choral groups from various regions in the Visayas and Mindanao submitted video auditions between March and April 24, the submission deadline.

The panel, including Kanta Binisaya book author and University of the Philippines Tacloban College associate professor Stephen Lagarde, selected eight finalists based on the groups’ track records and audition performances.

The eight finalists are: Calbayog Chamber Voices of Calbayog City; Cebu Normal University Chorale of Cebu City; Coro Recoleto of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos of Bacolod City; Koro Seraphim of Tagbilaran City; Southern Leyte State University Glee Club of Sogod, Southern Leyte; Surigao del Norte State University of Surigao City; University of San Carlos Choristers of Cebu City; and Vox Minore Chorum of Talisay City, Cebu
The competition, which aims to promote, disseminate, and popularize the region’s musical heritage, will feature timeless songs from Region VIII.

These songs include “Hadto nga Panahon,” “An Iroy nga Tuna,” “Di Ba?,” “Dinumdum ko Ikaw,” and “Matud Nila,” among others.

DOT-8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes emphasized that hosting such competitions promotes the region’s tourism potential, including its culture and heritage.

“Supporting Kanta Binisaya is in itself supporting tourism promotion. We are promoting cultural heritage through our songs,” she said.

The finals will be held on June 11 at the People’s Center and Library, this city.

The winning choral groups will receive P100,000 for the champion, P80,000 for second place, and P60,000 for third place. Non-winning teams will receive a consolation prize of P20,000.
Special awards will also be given to winners to receive cash prizes.
Additionally, participating teams will receive a cash subsidy of P20,000 from the provincial government of Leyte.
The DOT-8 is partnering with the Tingog party-list and Leyte Normal University to host the Kanta Binisaya Choral Competition.