WINNING DANCE GROUP: The PL1 dance group which won 3rd Place recently in the Visayas leg of the World Supremacy Battlegrounds (WSB) Pilipinas, will be among other groups that will represent the Philippines in the international competition in Australia in October this year. (Photo courtesy of M. Masangkay)

A Palaweño group of dancers won 3rd Place in the Visayas leg of the World Supremacy Battlegrounds (WSB) Pilipinas held recently in Cebu, qualifying them to compete in the international street dance competition in Australia on October 4-6.

Called “PL1” or short for Palawan, the group won on April 6, said Mich Masangkay, one of the leaders of the dance group.

She said their group has been selected to be one of the Philippine representatives to compete in the Monster Crew Category.

“Ngayong 2019, nag-try kami uli, not for experience na kasi nakita na namin kung ano ang kalakaran, ano ‘yong klase ng kompetisyon na meron sa Cebu. This time ‘wag na lang experience, i-aim natin na manalo, i-aim natin na makapasok tayo sa Top 3,” she said Friday.

The PL1 is composed of students and working individuals from different areas of Palawan.

The group was formed as PPC All-Stars back in 2016 with members from various dance groups who had already performed province-wide, she said.

Masangkay said they started to join the Hip Hop International and won a silver medal.

In 2018, they joined the same competition in Cebu and ranked sixth to qualify for the wildcard.

Masangkay narrated that their group was only aiming for experience during their first competition at the national level of the WSB.

During then, she said they qualified to also represent the country internationally, but they faced difficulty in securing their passports.

This year, however, Masangkay said “fate brought them back” and won 3rd Place out of 17 other dance teams that competed under the same category.

The PL1 was motivated to show what is unique in their group compared to the other participants, she added.

The PL1 is composed of 34 members who will be joining the competition this year.

Masangkay believes that Palawan dancers “are very talented”, especially the younger generations.
Even if the competition does not have monetary rewards, she said it could help to raise the bar in dancing in Puerto Princesa and Palawan.

“Kapag hindi natin sinubukan na mag-move out of our box, hindi natin malalaman na kaya rin natin, na kaya rin natin ipakita na may talento rin tayo dito sa Palawan. Naniniwala ako na ‘yong step na sinimulan namin ay hindi lang siya magtatapos dito. At least makikita nila kaya rin pala ng mga taga-Palawan so bakit hindi rin naming subukan kasi may mga nauna na,” she stressed.

In preparation for the international competition, the group is still pushing themselves to learn and to establish their own foundation, which Masangkay stressed are factors that locals are sometimes deficient of.

They are also continuously investing in conducting dance workshops and inviting professionals from Manila to teach them. Masangkay said they are raising funds to invite and accommodate their mentors here in the city.

The group was inspired by the traffic scenario of Puerto Princesa as the concept of their performance in Cebu this year and hopefully when they represent the Philippines in Australia.

PL1 is also preparing themselves for the expenses they need for airfare, accommodation, and compliance of their visas.

Masangkay said each of them needs around P50,000 to P60,000 to join the competition.

She expressed hope that the residents of the city and the province will help them to achieve their dream not just for their selves but also to give pride to Palawan.

“We’re hoping na ‘yong mga kababayan natin dito sa Puerto Princesa ay matulungan kami dito sa gusto naming mangyari na ipakita ‘yong talent natin hindi lang sa Palawan kung hindi sa ibang bansa. This is the first time na magkakaroon ng representative ang Palawan sa world na competition. Sobrang laki niyang competition at recognition kapag nagkataon, sana mabigyan nila kami ng chance na matupad,” she added.