The village of Estefania emerged as the big winner in the 40th MassKara Festival after bagging two championship trophies in the street and arena dance competitions of the 40th MassKara Festival over the weekend.
On Sunday night, Estefania won the top prize, besting 13 other entries in the barangay category, including last year’s winner Barangay Tangub, and pocketed PHP250,000 in cash after a two-decade drought.
A crowd favorite, Estefania, mentored by Jeodem Casabuena and Mark Philip Lamirez, took home two special awards — Best in Choreography and Best in Concept — with a cash prize of PHP10,000 each.
“We are blessed to have won the championship. We have been praying to God for this,” said Casabuena, who now has five titles in the barangay category.
His team steered Barangay Granada to a three-peat in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and also won the title for Barangay 18 in 2017.
Tangub, trained by 22-time winner Segundo Jesus Cabalcar Jr., settled for first runner-up to win PHP175,000, and was named Best in Mask, Best in Costume, and Best in Original Music.
In 2018, Cabalcar, the reigning champion of the choreographers’ dance showdown, also frustrated Casabuena’s attempt at a back-to-back win for Barangay 18.
Other winners were Barangay 16, second runner-up, with PHP150,000; Barangay Banago, third runner-up, PHP100,000; and Bata, fourth runner-up, PHP75,000.
On Saturday, Estefania Elementary School dominated the field of seven entries in the school elementary category.
It was followed by Education and Training Center School (ETCS)-III as 1st runner-up; R.A. Medel Sr. Elementary School, 2nd runner-up; and Jose Gonzaga Elementary School, 3rd runner-up.
In the high school level, Mariano G. Medalla Integrated School captured this year’s title, followed by Luisa Medel National High School, first runner-up; Angela Gonzaga High School, second runner-up; and Domingo Lacson National High School, third runner-up.
Winners in both levels received the following cash prizes: champion, PHP150,000; first runner-up, PHP100,000, second runner-up, PHP75,000; and third runner-up, PHP50,000.
Both Estefania ES and Mariano G. Medalla IS won the Best in Choreography, Best in Concept, and Best in Original Music awards while ETCS-III and Luisa Medel NHS were awarded Best in Mask and Best in Costume, with a prize of PHP10,000 for each award.
On Friday, Barangay Banago was declared champion in the Electric MassKara performing floats contest, followed by Barangay 16 as first runner-up; and Barangay 37, second runner-up. (PNA)