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Visayan Sinulog Group in New Zealand win Auckland International Carnival
by Ferdinand Esclamado of Katilingbang Bisaya sa New Zealand
November 7, 2010

The Sinulog Dance Troupe of the Katilingbang Bisaya sa New Zealand (KBNZ) was crowned as Grand Champion in the First Auckland International Carnival held at the Ellerslie Event Centre in Auckland City on November 6-7, 2010.
The KBNZ troupe in their colourful attire wowed the judges and the audience in their 7-minute contest piece that mashed up modern electronic beat with the traditional Sinulog anthem – and 40 dancers synchronized in their choreography that had sprinklings of Latin and Zumba added to the wave-like movements of the dance of praise.
Choreographer Melodi Jam Parado, a Dance Sport champion and certified Zumba instructor,   commended the troupe for their great performance. She said, “High kaayo ang energy and everyone just smiled throughout.” What distinguished the KBNZ group from the rest was the presence of its queen (15 years old Ina Esclamado) who gracefully moved through the troupe and was raised up in the final minutes of the number.
Ching Mandawe, chair of the Cultural Committee of KBNZ, received the award and the $5,000 cash prize in a formal ceremony. She thanked the organizers for giving opportunity to Filipino migrants to participate and showcase their culture. Camille Nakhid, chair of the Board of Judges, said “KBNZ was the best.”
The competition featured dances of different ethnicities including Chinese, Thai, Indian, Brazilian, Chilean, Ethiopian, Polish and Korean.   Other participants came from Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Ukraine, Eritrea, Burundi and Cook Islands.  The Brazilians had five samba groups coming from the major cities in New Zealand.

The Sinulog queen- Ina Esclamado
Photos of the event