The city government of Makati, through its Museum and Cultural Affairs Office (MCAO), will stage the 31st Caracol Festival on February 26, Sunday, at the Globe Circuit Events Grounds in Barangay Olympia.
Makati Mayor Abby Binay invited the public to the festival, the city’s own version of Mardi Gras.
“We are inviting residents, tourists and the general public to come and join us in one of the most colorful and exciting events in the city dedicated to promoting a deeper sense of appreciation and caring for the gifts of Mother Nature, especially among the youth,” Binay said.
The festival name, Caracol, was derived from the Spanish word for snail, with its shell regarded as a symbol of protection from the harshness of life.
“To us in Makati, Caracol alludes not only to the city’s firm commitment to a healthy and sustainable environment, but also to its resiliency against disasters arising from climate change,” Binay said.
The mayor also thanked the sponsors of this year’s Caracol which include Circuit Makati, Ayala Land, Make it Happen. Make it Makati Initiative, and Manila Bulletin.
MCAO officer-in-charge May Santillana said the festival will start at 4 p.m. with a parade of around 1,000 performers along A.P. Reyes Avenue.
The highlight of the festivity will be a dance competition wherein the participants will be dressed up in colorful, nature-inspired costumes like flowers, insects and rare animals.
There will be 12 competing groups this year – three in the elementary category, three from high school and six from the barangay clusters – three for each district. Each dance group will have 30 to 40 members excluding musicians and propsmen. They will be judged based on costume originality, beauty and creativity, and performance level of the dance. Special awards will be given for the best costume and best choreography.
For the elementary category, participants dressed as flowers and insects will show off their talents in ballet or waltz. High school students will be dancing to ballroom beats as aquatic animals, while the participants from the barangay clusters will be dancing to retro or pop music as endangered animals.
The competitors in the first category are Makati, Gen. Pio del Pilar-Main and Pembo Elementary Schools.
For high school, the contestants are San Isidro National High School, Makati and Bangkal High Schools.
The three barangay clusters from District 1 will be composed of the following: Cluster 1 – Bel-Air, Dasmariñas, Forbes Park, Magallanes, San Lorenzo and Urdaneta; Cluster 2 – Bangkal, La Paz, Palanan, Pio del Pilar, San Antonio, San Isidro and Singkamas; and Cluster 3 – Carmona, Kasilawan, Olympia, Poblacion, Sta. Cruz, Tejeros and Valenzuela.
From District II, the composition will be Cluster 4 – Guadalupe Nuevo, Post Proper Southside, Pinagkaisahan, Pitogo and South Cembo; Cluster 5 – Comembo, East Rembo, Pembo and Rizal; and Cluster 6 – Cembo, Guadalupe Viejo, Post Proper Northside and West Rembo.
The winners in each category will receive a trophy and cash prize of P120,000 for first prize, P100,000, second prize; and P80,000, third prize.
Cash prizes will also be given to winners of special awards: Best in Costume, P40,000 and Best in Choreography, P40,000.
The Caracol festival was conceptualized in 1986 and ushered in the Fiesta Islands Program of the Department of Tourism in 1989. It is celebrated every last Sunday of February.