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The Commission on Higher Education – Caraga Regional Office (CHED Caraga) concluded the month-long celebration of the 56th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Founding Anniversary on September 22, 2023 with back-to-back talent competitions: the Battle of the Bands and Cultural Dance Competition at Robinsons Place Butuan.

CHED Caraga OIC Regional Director Ms. Alma Sy-Patron welcomed participants and emphasized the value of celebrating ASEAN community during her opening message, stating “let us be aware, avail, and value the many opportunities of this engagement for a better us, better you, better tomorrow. I believe that working together is to live life better.”

The two competitions proceeded with the audience enjoying cultural dance performances with interludes of band performances. For the cultural dance competition, student performing arts groups dressed in beautiful costumes and entertained the crowd with the cultural dances of various ASEAN member nations. The battle of the bands featured songs celebrating ASEAN culture performed by student bands and vocalists.

Fifteen (15) Caraga Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) participated in the Cultural Dance Competition and six (6) HEIs joined the Battle of the Bands:

ASEAN Cultural Dance Competition:

•ACLC College of Butuan (ACLC)

•Agusan Colleges Inc (ACI)

•Agusan Del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT)

•De La Salle John Bosco College (DLSJBC)

•Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU)

•Merchant Marine Academy of Caraga Inc. (MMACI)

•Mt. Carmel College of San Francisco (MCC)

•Northeastern Mindanao State University – Main Campus (NEMSU Main)

•Northern Mindanao Colleges (NORMI)

•Philippine Electronics and Communications Institute of Technology (PECIT)

•Saint Francis Xavier College (SFXC)

•Saint Michael College of Caraga (SMCC)

•Siargao Island Institute of Technology (SIIT)

•Surigao Del Norte State University – Main Campus (SNSU Main)

•Surigao Education Center (SEC)

ASEAN Harmony: Battle of the Bands

•Agusan Colleges Inc (ACI)

•Agusan Del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT)

•Northern Mindanao Colleges (NORMI)

•Saint Francis Xavier College (SFXC)

•Southway College of Technology (SOCOTECH)

•Surigao Del Norte State University – Main Campus (SNSU Main)

Two (2) panels of capable and accomplished judges witnessed and evaluated the performances of the two (2) competitions. Judging the cultural dance competition were: Mr. Rolly Balbutin, Associate Professor II at Philippine Normal University – Mindanao Campus (PNU Mindanao) and member of several Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for various dance competitions across the Caraga region; Mr. Danny Baldos, Education Program Supervisor in MAPEH & Sports at the Department of Education, Division of Agusan del Sur; and Mr. Oscar Jose Fajardo,   Artistic Director of the University Center for Culture and the Arts Office, Caraga State University-Main Campus.

For the battle of the bands, the judges were: Mr. Ross Francis Atillo, RN, MPA, a National Finalist of the National Music Competition for the Young Arts; Mr. Androe Dela Peña, Founder of Make Some Noise Productions Butuan and experienced musician; and Mr. Marco Angelo Plaza, Founder and Music Director of Balangay Singers.

SFXC received the champion award for the Battle of the Bands. ASSCAT was awarded 1st Runner Up, and ACI the 2nd Runner Up.

For the Cultural Dance Competition, NEMSU Main were named champions, with ASSCAT receiving the 1st Runner Up award and SFXC receiving the 2nd Runner Up award.

CHED Caraga would like to thank the FSUU Voices of Light Chorale for performing during the preliminaries and Robinsons Place Butuan for providing the venue.

The Regional Office would also like to thank all HEIs who participated in the competitions and culmination ceremony and congratulate the winners.

The 56th ASEAN Founding Anniversary Celebration wouldn’t be possible without the support of Caraga HEIs and our higher education community. Thank you for being with us and see you all next year for the 57th ASEAN Founding Anniversary Celebration!