The traditional Sayawan sa Calle in celebration of the 249th Feast of Patron Saint San Roque in Valenzuela City drew a crowd of more than a thousand devotees and tourists.
San Roque (St. Roche) is the Patron Saint of the sick and invalid, but in Valenzuela City, he is also known as the Patron Saint of the unmarried. Through the years, the Sayawan sa Calle had drawn single men and women from inside and outside the city to ask for help in finding their true love. It is hailed as the oldest and the only celebration of its kind in the whole of Metro Manila.
Several street dancing groups, in colorful costumes, from different barangays of Valenzuela and other cities and provinces joined the dance parade. 16 groups, aside from asking for blessings, health and love, also competed for exciting prizes.
Each year, the City Government allots fund for the street dance competition through the City Cultural Affairs and Tourism Office (CATO). A total of PhP 122,000 cash prize was won. Each group was allowed a maximum of 50 members in full costume. Although, they danced continuously throughout the parade for the spectators lined up on the side of the streets, they were judged on the prepared 5-minute choreography. Choreography ranged from traditional folk dances to pop modern and fusion.
This year’s Panel of Judges was composed of Mr. Jilson Tio, Chairman of the Commission on Social Communications of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Ms. Edna Prudente, Project Assistant Director at the Valenzuela City Center for the Performing Arts, choreographers from the cities of Caloocan and Malabon respectively, Ms. Filipina Sison and Mr. Edgardo Del Cruz, and Mr. Jose Carmelo Lita from the City Cultural Affairs and Tourism Office (CATO).
Out of the16 groups, Barangay Tagalag placed 5th, winning PhP 10,000 cash prize; Barangay Palasan, 4th, winning Php 15,000 cash prize; Brgy. Marulas, 3rd, winning PhP 20,000 cash prize; Barangay. Balangkas, 2nd, winning PhP 25,000 cash prize and Barangay Rincon, was once again adjudged as the champion, winning the much-coveted PhP 30,000 cash prize.
Barangays Lingunan, Coloong, Coloong 2 Bungad, Liga ng mga Barangay Group, Mabolo Island Circle, Mabolo WCY Group, Mabolo Batang Gapo, REXLadies Foundation, Chireno, Nuestra Senora De Guia Academy, and San Diego Parochial School received consolation prize of PhP 2,000 each for competing.
City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian and 1st District Representative Congressman REX Gatchalian joined the crowd of dancing devotees, together with, 2nd District Councilor Lai Nolasco, 1st Distirct Councilor Marlon Alejandrino and Punong Barangay Joseph William "Gho Go" D. Lee of Barangay Mabolo, where the San Roque Chapel is located at.
- Lauro Zyan F. Caiña