Bayanihan, the Philippine National Folk Dance Company makes historic win in Brazil

Bayanihan, a Filipino dance group, wins first prize at the first Federation of International Dance Festivals (FIDAF) Brazil World Championship. (Fabiane Marchesini photo)

Brazil — Bayanihan, the Philippine National Folk Dance Company, made the country proud by winning the Grand Prize of the first Federation of International Dance Festivals (FIDAF) Brazil World Championship at the 15th edition of the Festival Internacional de Folclore de Nova Prata in Rio Grande do Sul.

The Nova Prata International Folklore Festival, which ran from 11 to 15 September 2019, gave Brazilians and foreigners alike an opportunity to discover and learn more about the culture of other countries.

Coinciding with the event this year is the very first FIDAF World Championship in South America, with some of the most outstanding folkloric dance companies of the world competing, including those from Russia, Mexico, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Brazil, and the Philippines.

The Philippines was judged the best by a jury composed of representatives from Brazil, Spain, and Turkey.

Bayanihan, which has just added its 13th international recognition to their belt with the win, not only represented the Philippines but Asia as well, being the only competitor from the region.

Led by Bayanihan Executive Director and FIDAF Asia Chair Suzie Moya Benitez, Bayanihan’s trip to Brazil was an opportunity to expose the beautiful culture of the Philippines through dance and music to the people of this region.

It was significant participation given how cultural exchanges between Brazil and the Philippines have been few and far between due to the great distance separating the two countries.

The Bayanihan’s success not only gave a glimpse of the beauty and diversity of Philippine culture through dance and music  but also demonstrated great Filipino talent leaving an indelible mark on the history of FIDAF in South America being its first-ever grand winner.

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