The Delphic Games is an international competition for the arts. It's relatively young, 10 years old, but aims to end up becoming the art equivalent of the Olympics. We joined the competition as representatives of the Philippines for the free percussions category. (Jaimar, Chai, Ate Klara, Myx, Kuya Jayson, Rhea, Regh, Me, and Frey)
Our performance doesn't stick out to clearly in my mind. A 13.5 minute piece we crammed for in a week doesn't really get you emotionally attached. But we sure didn't think we were going to win anything. We went against 4 Korean teams who were clearly joining the competition to win. (We were happy just being part of the whole event) It seemed our well-worn gamelan instruments paled in comparison to their big and shiny drums. But we gave it our best and hoped it would be enough to make Sir Edru proud. (Yun lang naman talaga goal namin eh. Pasayahin si sir at wag pahiyain ang KG)
The audience said we did great. Although the only ones I heard clapping were the Koreans. There were a few giggles when we did the Tongatong dance, Yogad. It's funny they thought we were Vietnamese or something and some of the locals were surprised that we had Gangsas in our ensemble.
We went out that night after watching the unbelievably lame Time&Transformation concert. We went to Oh My Gulay only to find out it was closed and decided to head to some pub where the drinks were expensive and the music was so-so. We got drunk on laughter and were lucky not to get kicked out for all the noise we made.
The next day, we were asked to do a repeat performance but Sir decided to have us do our usual KG repertoire instead. (Thank God.) The audience was much more appreciative this time. Things went pretty well except for the fact that I lost my bulalakaw in mid-dance. Ah yes, the things I do just because I love performing. The show must go on right?
That night, we watched the concert the Koreans prepared. It changed the way I see Koreans. I mean, yes they're invading the country by hordes but all the culture they have, the history of their art, the way they continue to love it and pass it on is just so inspiring that I can't help but have a new vantage point from which to view them now. After, we went to Oh My Gulay only to be disappointed once again so we went on an ukay-spree instead. (P50 duffel bag vs P150 duffel, P100 fur-lined boots, animal toe socks, and "ukay" redefinition)
Special mention of The 50's Diner where frey brought us is in order. My goodness! That place was food heaven. Servings were giant-sized and incredibly cheap. I'll upload the pics later on.
Our last day in Baguio was probably the best one we had in the competition. We headed the first part of the interaction between delegates. City High students came in droves asking questions and begging not to be left with a Korean delegate. We talked to the Samulnori Band members and despite the language barrier were able to make friends with them, exchanging email adds and going around the hall with them. It's funny they remembered us from the free percs competition because they were amazed about us putting on make-up backstage.
Kuya Jayson was the star of the show when almost everybody started congregating around his drums. People were jumping on stage and the high school students started exchanging songs and chants with the Koreans. Sung kept explaining the songs to Regn and me, "Traditional Korean Song" "Soccer...Cup...Cheer?". I was disappointed with the Filipinos, however, who just kept singing Wowowee songs. *sighs*
That night, the awarding took place. The performances were amazing. We had no idea we were going to get 2nd place (we had inside information that the Korean judge was extremely unfair and biased against us). It still hasn't sunk in. We got 2nd in an international competition. I look at the medal now and can't seem to muster much emotion about it.
I went there to experience something that I wouldn't have the chance to experience elsewhere. The prize seems irrelevant now. All I'm really happy about are the moments I had with my friends and the people I got to meet there. What an experience.