TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Island Mindanao, Philippines – Following weeks of pre-Musikahan Festival 2015 activities, the auspicious Grand Opening of the 14th edition of the Tagum City Musikahan Festival on February 28, 2015 at the Freedom Park was finally carried out amidst pomp and gaiety.
The grand opening, which is part of the city’s Trio Celebration, showcased productions involving different musical groups and genres and was witnessed by people from all walks of life.
Hon. Allan L. Rellon, DPA, in his speech during the aforesaid grand opening of the 2015 Musikahan Festival, stated that the efforts exerted by the City Government in positioning the city as the Music Capital of the South and the City of Festivals has paved the way for Tagum to gain international recognition and appreciation that will resultantly lead to Sister Cities International relations, thus promising a boost in the local tourism industry.
Subsequent to the festival’s grand opening is the holding of Rondal-Awit Plucked Strings Competition on March 1, 2015 at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan, Davao del Norte Provincial Government Center where the Tagum City National High School won the contest’s Open Category ahead of the University of Mindanao (UM) Tagum Rondalla and Maco National High School contingencies who were named 1st and 2nd runners up. The winners received the cash prize of P55, 000.00 for the grand prize, P40, 000.00 for the 2nd prize and P25,000.00 for the third placer. A cash prize of P5, 000.00 was respectively offered for the consolation prize, best in costume, best conductor and best interpreter/soloist.
Maco Heights Elementary School’s entry to the Rondal-awit Competition’s Children’s Category was declared the champion, followed by Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School and Manat Elementary School, the competition’s respective 2nd and 3rd place winners.
On the other hand, the Kantahan sa Tagum Grand Finals on March 1, 2015 at the Freedom Park, saw Angelica Torreon of the neighboring provincial town of Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province winning the competition’s Children’s Category, besting over Sto. Tomas bets Rovelyn Marqueza and Alexis Ritz Labaya, the other contestants who respectively placed 2nd and 3rd at the competition while Rhea Alondra Velarde of Carmen, Davao del Norte was declared the Adult Category’s Grand Champion, winning over Tagum’s Chloe Palar and Marianne Ross Vinculado. The prize money for the Kantahan was pegged at P20, 000.00 for the first prize, P15, 000.00 for the second prize, and P10, 000.00 for the third prize. A consolation prize of P2, 000.00 was also given to the contestants who failed to place at the said Grand Finals.
Meanwhile, the Himig Handog Choral Competition held at varying venues in the City on March 2, 2015 resulted to Los Cantantes de Manila winning two of the competition’s four categories, the Adult/College and LGU/Church Categories, grabbing a consolidated cash prize of P80, 000.00. The second place, with a cash prize of P30, 000.00, went to UMTC Harmonic Chorale, for the Adult/ College Category and Mt. Carmel College Chorus, for the LGU/Church Category, respectively. Davao Chamber Singers placed 3rd for the Adult/College Category while Agnus Dei Chorale grabbed the same prize for the LGU/Church Category. The cash prize winnings of the 3rd placers were P20, 000.00.
The grand prize of the Himig Handog Competition’s Children and Youth Categories were respectively won by Munting Tinig MPCES Choir and Vox Unito Chorale, while the second prize for the same categories were won by Matina Central Elementary School Children Choir and TCNHS’ Tinig Ensemble. The Children’s Chorus Serenata and Davao Chronicles Singer respectively placed 3rd on the competition’s Children and Youth Categories.
The city’s 2015 Musikahan Festival, organized by the City Government of Tagum and the Tagum City Tourism Council and sponsored in part by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), will run until the 7th of March, 2015, in time for the celebration of the 17th Araw ng Tagum. (Richi D. Gulle of CIO- Tagum)