IT’s all systems go for the Search for Balak Idol: Cagayan de Oro Edition at 8:00 in the morning on May 22, 2010.

The City Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office has already received entries from balak artists from the various barangays in the city.

With this contest, the city government hopes to cultivate the arts of public speaking, debate and poetry in the vernacular. It has been noted that balak as an art form is now slowly becoming extinct because of external influences.

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

The “balak” must be at least two minutes long but not exceeding give 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 to the community. Suggested topics are: 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 proper rhyming and cadence must be observed. The use of background music (live or canned) is allowed but must not interfere with the delivery of the contest piece. Wearing of costumes and use of props may enhance the overall delivery but will not be judged. The decision of the board of judges is final.

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

The top 12 finalists in the elimination round will proceed to the finals round which will be held on May 23, 2010 at 3:00 in the afternoon in Kiosko Kagawasan, Divisoria.

The grand champion in the barangay category will receive P15,000 plus a trophy while the first and second runners-up will receive P10,000 and P5,000 plus trophy, respectively.

For more details, you may visit the City Tourism and Cultural Affair Office located at the ground floor of the Tourism Hall, City Hall or call telephone number 857-3164.

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