For four years in a row, the Enriqueta Montilla de Esteban Memorial High School (EMEMHS) has remained undefeated in the fancy drill competition hosted by the Bago City government.
The fancy drillers from Pulupandan town secured their fourth consecutive win during the 12th Bago City Invitational Fancy Drill Competition held at the city’s Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center Sunday afternoon, November 5.
Besting four other competing schools, EMEMHS took home P25,000 in cash prize and trophy.
It also bagged three of the six special awards such as the Best Platoon Leader, Best in Uniform and Most Disciplined. They received P5,000 and a plaque of recognition for each of these awards.
Elizer Pineda, principal of EMEMHS, said the hardships made by the students have paid off.
“We’ve seen their dedication and determination which are very important for us to win in this prestigious fancy drill competition,” Pineda said, stressing the support of the students’ parents, local officials and other stakeholders.
For them, the annual tilt has also put the name of the school to the map, particularly in the field of fancy drill competition in the province, the principal added.
EMEMHS first won the championship title in the 2012, 2014 and 2015 fancy drill competitions of the city dubbed “Battle of the Champions.”
It then recorded three straight wins in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“It’s an overwhelming experience for me because from being the smallest driller in 2019, I am now the platoon leader and I’m so happy to be recognized as the best (platoon leader) this year,” EMEMHS corps commander John Patrick Mula said.
The Lopez Jaena National High School in Murcia town bagged the first runner-up title receiving P20,000 and trophy. The group also won the Best in Street Performance award receiving P5,000 and plaque of recognition.
The STI-West Negros University in Bacolod City was second runner-up receiving P15,000 in cash prize.
It was also adjudged as Best in Production Number and Best in Narration receiving a total of P10,000 and plaques of recognition for these special awards.
The other participating schools included Minoyan National High School in Murcia town and Mariano G. Medalla Integrated School in Bacolod City. They received P10,000 in consolation prizes.
The annual fancy drill competition of Bago City just made a comeback after three years of hiatus due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Gathering thousands of crowds, this year’s competition was among the highlights of the 125th Al Cinco de Noviembre celebration in the city themed “Honor, Ingenuity and Service… On with the Revolution of Progress.”
For the local government, the fancy drill competition mirrors unity, bravery, discipline, integrity, ingenuity and perseverance, among other traits that are innate to the Negrenses, the press release said.
These qualities, like that of the Bagonhon troops led by General Juan Araneta who fought for freedom against the Spaniards over a century ago, are being highlighted during the Al Cinco de Noviembre celebration, it added.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo, in his message during the competition, said it is just fitting that one of the highlights of the celebration is the fancy drill competition alongside the parade of the cannons.
“After the absence of three years, we are now back to seeing the finest and right so because our Al Cinco de Noviembre is about heroism, discipline, ingenuity, bravery and values that do not fade over time,” Yulo said, adding that “these are still very important today and that we have to teach them to our children to become better citizens of tomorrow.”
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio, in a video message, congratulated the city for the successful hosting of the 125th Al Cinco de Noviembre and the fancy drill competition.
“I take great pleasure in highlighting the Bago City Invitational Fancy Drill. I commend your collective dedication and hard work in the resumption of this event which brings together various CAT and ROTC units from Negros Occidental exemplifying the ideals of leadership, discipline, teamwork and excellence,” she added.
Senate Committee on Education Chair Sherwin Gatchalian, also in a video message, lauded the skills of the participants as he urged them to always uphold sportsmanship and camaraderie in every competition they join.
Gatchalian previously filed a bill that seeks to reinstitutionalize the two-year mandatory Basic Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Program and the two-year voluntary Advance ROTC Program at the tertiary level.
Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera III also congratulated Bago for coming up with such an activity that makes the Citizen Army training (CAT) and ROTC programs in the province alive.
The judges were Lt. Col. Colonel Richard Dinayugan, Maj. Jovy Perater, Cadet 1st Class Dezon John Tornea, Cadet 1st Class Clint Rianne Pino and Cadet 1st Class Ayezza Myrisse Candelario.*