Street kids to represent PHL in Switzerland dance contest
Two Filipino teenagers living in an orphanage are set to represent the country in a prestigious dance competition in Switzerland this January.
Edward Sumera and Benedict Sabularse were among the 78 teenage dancers chosen from 338 candidates from 36 countries to participate in the Prix de Lausanne, to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, from January 29 to February 5.
Sumera and Sabularse, as well as Daniel Vallejos, who is also living in an orphanage, recently qualified for and won medals and special awards in the Asian Grand Prix (AGP) International Ballet Competition, held last August in Hong Kong.
Daniel Vallejos, Edmar Sumera and Benedict Sabularse - street kids from Tuloy Foundation - are carving a name in the international world of ballet. Photo courtesy of PAL
Sumera placed second and won a summer school scholarship for Elmhurst School for Dance in the United Kingdom, while Sabularse placed fourth and won the Fonteyn Prize, named after late English ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn de Arias.
The three boys entered Tuloy Foundation three years ago after they were turned over by their estranged parents to indigent relatives.
Through the support of patrons and a sponsorship blog maintained by Bubut de los Santos of Tuloy Foundation, the boys were able to train for AGP 2016.
Cherish Garcia, directress of Academy One Music and Dance Center, said the boys had potential "to be great ballet dancers." "They have the right physical traits and mental alertness of a ballet dancer,” she said.
Garcia trained the boys for free from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., six days a week for months to help them qualify and win in AGP.
The Royal Academy of Dance-affiliated ballet school continues to train them in preparation for Prix de Lausanne.
Sabularse said he is determined to make ballet his professional career and through it, inspire other Tuloy residents.
"Kahit nahihirapan po kami, kahit lagi kaming puyat at pagod, hindi po namin iniisip yun, kasi iniisip namin yung mga pinagdaanan naming hirap nung wala pa po kami sa (Tuloy) Foundation," he shared.
"Kailangan din po naming isipin yung future namin. Iniisip din po namin na makatulong kami sa kapwa sa pamamamgitan ng pagturo ng ballet sa ibang taga Tuloy paglaki namin," Sabularse, for his part, said. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News