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After massive flooding, Olongapo seeks to break street dancing record

/ 09:47 PM October 27, 2013

THE STREET DANCING event “Galaw Gapo” generates a huge crowd in Olongapo City on Friday. Some Olongapo officials claim the attendance reached at least 16,000. ROBERT GONZAGA/Inquirer Central Luzon

OLONGAPO CITY—After suffering record-level flooding last month that eventually led to an outbreak of leptospirosis, this city wants to break another record—in street dancing, this time.

Mayor Rolen Paulino said the Philippine street dancing record, which was set in Manila by 8,000 performers, was breached by residents here on Friday during the last day of the annual local Mardi Gras.

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“The record we were breaking was 8,000 [participants]. Our target was 12,000 [and I am] happy to announce that the record last night [was] 16,000 [dancers],” Paulino wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

But the mayor did not reply when asked about the method used to validate the number of street dancers who joined the “Galaw Gapo” event.

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The Philippine Book of Records is verifying the results, said Aurelio Pineda, spokesperson of the Metro Olongapo Chamber of Commerce Inc., which organized “Galaw Gapo.” The Book of Records is a program sponsored by the television network GMA 7 .

The event came on the heels of a less publicized record-breaking event—a simultaneous breast-feeding project of the evangelical group, Ang Dating Daan, that aimed to break a world record on Thursday.

The group’s television network, UNTV, had announced to Baguio City reporters that the event drew 33,186 pairs of mothers and their babies around the country. UNTV said it attempted to break the world record of 15,128 pairs of mothers and children. The Baguio leg drew 132 mother and child pairs.

In Olongapo, Pineda said the younger members of the business chamber, led by Maan Tan, orchestrated the street dancing feat “to turn Olongapo into an entertainment city.”

Olongapo had always been referred to as “the boarding house of SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, which operates the Subic Bay Freeport Zone),” he said, “but now we would like this to be a regular thing [and] bring life back to Magsaysay Drive (the city’s main street) by organizing weekly activities here.”

“This is the biggest event of the year, of course,” Pineda said.

He said this year’s Mardi Gras was staged in five major points at both ends of Magsaysay Drive.

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The city’s first Mardi Gras, he said, began in 1980, when former

Sen. Richard Gordon was city mayor.

“The role of Mardi Gras was to show the world that Olongapo can make it back [from last month’s disaster and the outbreak that cost lives].

“There’s no reason for us to stop entertaining and enjoying ourselves. This is an ego booster,” Pineda said.

Resident Mitch Santos, 37, said the city had a shot at breaking the record. “There were so many people. But not many of them were dancing,” Santos said.

Rita Estrella, a resident of Olongapo who is based in Taiwan, said she watched city dancers attempt to break the street dancing record via live streaming online.  Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon, with a report from Richard Balonglong, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: floods, Galaw Gapo, leptospirosis, News, Regions, Santi
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