In a competition that presented thirteen (13) events, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) star dancers shone after capturing three (3) titles in the 2018 Government Corporations Athletic Association (GCAA) Dance Sports Event held on October 23 at the Renaissance Fitness Center in Pasig City. The said dance contest was hosted by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Jenny Escueta, Sharon Lopez-Calo, and Daryl de Leon represented the state social health insurer at the intense battle for dance floor supremacy which featured ballroom classics such as salsa, waltz, and tango. The trio were mentored by no less than Ana Dulce B. Yango, a highly accomplished dance sports coach and sought after international licensed adjudicator together with her professional team which includes: Juan Paolo Tan, Calixto Saludes, Jr., and Melita Palattao. Under the tournament rules, the participants are allowed to be partnered with independent dance instructors.
Escueta and Tan were crowned as champions of the Club Dance – Senior Category after scoring a tie with PAGCOR, while the duo of Calo and Saludes bagged the first runner-up honors in the Senior Ballroom Standard cluster.
“We were trained for only 15 sessions, that was very short but I was able to learn the basics and the routine itself,” said De Leon, the youngest among the PhilHealth dancers when asked of his preparations for the competition. Though feeling a good measure of pressure, he was optimistic of their chances. “Once I make sure that my footwork, posture, and timing are in tune, I think my partner [Palattao] and I have a shot at winning. Hopefully, makuha natin ang gold but my goal is really to enjoy our performance.” De Leon and Palattao eked out a second place finish in the Open Division Ballroom Standard group.
Dr. Rainier Curimao, GCAA Athletic Director, was ecstatic of the success of the 2018 GCAA Dance Sports Event and had hoped for a much grander competition next year. “Now that we have 17 agencies participating in the GCAA, I hope that the sport will attract the interest of the other agencies. This year, five government corporations were represented and we expect to have new entries next year,” Curimao said.
“This is my last performance for PhilHealth before retiring. Maganda pong experience ito, especially for those who are really interested in dancing. Una, it promotes our wellness, and, of course, iyong discipline ng dancing and iyong camaraderie among employees of other government agencies,” Calo related. She also wished, “Sana mas maraming PhilHealth dancers next year. Hopefully, masalihan natin lahat ng categories.” END (JJ Rico)