THE City Tourism Board and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro invite all local poets to join the first-ever “Balak Idol: Cagayan de Oro Edition” which will be staged on Feb. 13, 2010, this city.

Ingrid Chaves-Agudo, City Tourism Board member and chair of the event, said the contest aims to instill pride and confidence on one’s roots / ancestry, and to preserve the art of “Balak”. A debate in poetic verse, which is slowly becoming extinct because of external influence.

“The contest also hopes to cultivate the art of public speaking, debate and poetry in the vernacular and to promote goodwill among members of the community,” Agudo added.

The contest is open to all residents of Cagayan de Oro City. The entrants’ registration form must be signed by their Barangay Captain to certify that he / she is a bonafide resident of said barangay.

The “Balak” must be at least 2 minutes long but not exceeding 5 minutes and must be as close to the vernacular as possible. The content or message of the “Balak” must not be offensive to public morals, must not use indecent language and must promote goodwill in the community suggested topic such as: love, pride for the country, praise of person/s, expressions of virtues and the like. The contest piece must be original.

The piece should have a proper rhyming and cadence must be observed, use of background music (live or canned) is allowed but must not interfere with the delivery of the contest piece, wearing of costume and use of props may enhance the over-all delivery but will not be judged. The decision of the board of judges is final.

February 13 is set for elimination round for the 15 finalist while the final contest will be on February 14. The contest piece must be submitted on or before February 10, 2010, at the City Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office at City Hall.

Criteria for judging will be 30% for content / message, 20% on rhyme / cadence, 20% on delivery / voice, 20% on originality and 10% on audience impact.

The grand champion will receive P15,000 plus a trophy, while the first and second runner-up will receive P10,000 and P5,000 plus trophy, respectively. The other finalists will receive P1,000 each.

For more details, you may visit the City Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office at the ground floor of the Tourism Hall, City Hall. (City Information Office)

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