Today was a really long day for all of us. We woke up early this morning to travel a long way to get to Kampheang Phet from Nakhon Sawan. After the big lunch-welcome-party (yep, part-eeeee!) we had in the university, we went to the hotel to quickly unpack our stuffs and prepare for the parade in the afternoon. Just a little time for knick-knacks, and we’re off.
Our most anticipated first Mindanao performance will follow after. Wooohooo! I’m already getting nervous and nervous and nervous. I’ll now be performing that hard-sweat Pangalay dance with my ladies, and I’m pressuring myself to be able to perform it in perfect shape as they’ve taught me. You know, I should be able to give it more dignity not the other way around. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever done it well and good enough in any rehearsal. I was always their apple of the eye, ’cause I’m not getting anything perfectly. Not to mention that I haven’t danced since Grade 2, but it’s a big challenge to learn one of my country’s renowned traditional dances. In short, I don’t think I’m ever prepared for this.
Moving on. The whole delegates arrived for the parade all clad in their costumes. Along the international teams, there are also several groups coming from Kampheang Phet. There were groups of little girls to highschool to college students.
We waited for quite a long time before our line started to parade around. The delegates went with their own noise makers. The Taiwanese plays all their traditional instruments, while the Malaysians patiently carried their gongs lined on the stands hanging on their shoulders while their ladies play their very catchy traditional ‘welcome tune’. The Azerbaijans are with their drums, while the Indonesian high school girls goes with their Angklungs. The Philippines didn’t have any noise makers with them on the parade. We’re not set to use those freakin’ heavy Cordi gongs in the performance tonight, and we didn’t have bamboo sticks to hold them for us the whole time so we haven’t had the idea of bringing them along in the first place. Too late did we realize about the noise maker thing. What we did instead was cheer out our own University of the Philippines’ chant, and occasionally, sing along the Malaysian’s welcome tune. Regardless of what we lack, we’re still having a good time.
At the end of the parade, each delegate team was presented to the congregation (with their VIPs in front sitting cozily in sofas). It was a long opening ceremony- very, very long. Our lines are already getting distorted, because we’ve been standing there for almost an hour (not to forget the long time we had on the parade). My legs are almost aching with Pangalay in mind. Ugh! While our team is getting busy taking selfies/groufies, I noticed that the other groups standing still by their lines- the Kazakhstans, Taiwanese, etc. We’ll then be reminded to get back again on line. As the ceremony goes on, some of my teammates began talking with other teams na talaga, making friends. It was such a long ceremony, it’s so typical of us to be talking to people next in line. And which team goes next with us? Malaysia! The bond goes on.
We’re getting busy mingling and picture taking, we forgot about the ceremony until we’re all surprised with their big set of fireworks. It was so grand. All of us stopped and watched and was all stunned. The fireworks was beautiful.
As our performance gets nearer, my team’s getting more anxious. We’ve all worked so hard for this with all those costumes and props. We’re all praying to be able to give our best. This is it! The moment finally arrives. Go UP! Raaak!
On my perspective, I think that our tonight’s performance went well. We had problems with the stage. Its setup doesn’t suit enough heavy movements like ours, but our boys defied it. Even with big helmets on, they still dance out really good. There was a little flaw on Jay-R’s end note, but he concealed it well. Hannah was doing awesome with her Babandir. She’s mastered the sequences well. Everyone and everything worked together that our boys got enough time to change their clothes. And with the Pangalay? I’m happy on how it turned out. I’m always frantic about the transition between the second section to the last part. It’s like, I never get it right. So I have to figure out how I’ll know at what exact point or count will Anna flip her hands up, which cues for our transition and Marla and I would have to slide to the back line. But this time, I think I’ve done it perfectly in time. Yipee-yipee-yey! Hahaha. Yes, I still made mistakes like on the last time that we’ll move our one foot over the other. I went a split-second late for that, and one of my hands aren’t always pointing on top until I would get conscious that’s its not in its perfect form. Then there’s one very obvious wrong position of my hands on (my favorite pa naman) our finale moves. But at least, its not as big as obviously getting late for the transition. Haha. Our choreography adviser says we need to work for more. But on this night, I’ll pat myself- just for a little. Haha (To God Be the Glory!)
Generally, it wasn’t that perfect. But it was certainly a good job from all of us. We didn’t feel a great response from the crowd, probably because the distance from the stage was so great a far from the audience. Furthermore, it was an open space, we could hardly hear our music at the background. Likewise, they hardly hear each other, too. So it was like performing with blindfolds for us. But our adviser who has been watching with the crowd says that we sounded good enough. The boys may still need to work on their formation, and I need to work on keeping my proper stance consistently. But all in all, it’s been well done. UP-TugMA rak!
ps. More happening this night. We also got to talk with the Taiwanese team. And Chi Yan who has been eating worms that looks like maggots asked us to try it. Ewe!!! Joshua and Jason liked it. It ended in my mouth (I shouldn’t have asked), too, actually. But never chewed down, of course. =P Then Julia, Hannah, and I made Chi Yan sing for us. He was so good with a very high voice, we’re astounded. He sang a Chinese or Taiwanese opera made for women in a way similar to Koreans. It was a thick, head-tone thing. It was very interesting, that they really preserve their own music and that they do practice them in their own theaters. Too bad the camera went down too early, we didn’t get to take pictures of the latter events. The Taiwanese-Filipinos group picture failed tonight. Aww. So sorry about that. But it has been a long day! Ehe. Anyway, more will be coming soon. =)