I went to Masbate to attend the National Rodeo Finals for the second time, this time making sure I witness the whole thing – – – from the Grand Parade to the Awards Night.
THE GRAND PARADE: April 8
The Grand Parade officially ushers the opening of the competition, starting with the participants from all over the Philippines and the rodeo officials. The parade ended at the Rodeo Arena where the opening ceremonies were held as soon as all the participants, officials, and guests were in the arena.
student and professional teams joined the parade
cowboy priest, Father Mark Sese
guest of honor, Albay Governor Joey Salceda
El Presidente, Judge Manuel Sese
Libuna team, with Rodeo King Kenneth Ramunal
Magayon Dancers brought in by Governor Joey Salceda from Albay
Rodeo Masbateno official Maloli Espinosa
whip cracking demo on the road while on parade
my favorite Rodeo 2014 team, Benguet State University
Next day, April 9, was the Cattle Drive. Some 140 heads of cattle were released from the city center , tru the streets of Masbate, to the Rodeo Arena. Cowboys on their horses herded the cattle, with some going astray. The events organizers have teams of cowboys assigned to handle cattle that will stray from the herd.
140 heads of cattle at the city center, prior to the cattle drive
real-life cowboys herding the cattle thru the city streets
The events consisted of Penning (herding assigned cattle to the pen within 5 minutes), carambola (2 person or 4 person carambola) where cowboys put down a cow and tie them up, Rustling from Horseback, rustling on foot, lassoing, and bullriding.
Bull riding is the most exciting. Cowboys need only to ride the bull for 8 seconds to qualify. This one obviously didn’t make it, and was lucky he was not harmed
2-person carambola. Even a rodeo official escapes from a rampaging bull by climbing the fence
this event is called CASTING DOWN. The cattle must be roped in by the head and by the diaphragm, and must be felled and tied down
I liked this event last year and decided to support the rodeo this year
I took this photo on day one, and this guy covering his face would turn out to be the Rodeo King, student division
This event called PENNING was introduced only this year. Cowboys need to pen in 2 cows, selected at random. No other cow has to be in the pen to qualify and, if an unwanted cow joins, it must be extricated or else the team loses
THE PARTICIPATING TEAMS
Teams from various schools offering animal husbandry or veterinary medicine from all over the country participated. From as far north as Benguet, to the Visayas and Mindanao. They were joined by professional players, real life cowboys working in ranches.
TAKING CARE OF ANIMALS AND MEN
the cattle were taken care of and well fed throughout the event
a medical team is always on standy
THE AWARDS NIGHT
Awarding of individual and team prizes happened on a Saturday night, April 12, 2014.
This season roved to be an upset. The perrennial Rodeo King, Kenneth was injured early on, and was prevented by doctors from further competitions. The Rodeo King and Queen, student division, went to Benguet State University and to the Central Mindanao University players, respectively. Perrennial team champion Xavier University from Cagayan de Oro was elevated to the Hall of Fame, and this years champion was my favorite Benguet State University.
The awarding was preceded by a beautiful ceremony with candles held by everyone lit one by one, and the ritual seemed magical. When all the candles were lit, the bonfire was lit ablaze. Everyone feasted on catered dinner and a roast calf at the center of the arena. There were fireworks at the start, and beer and dancing at the end.
Fireworks started the awards ceremonies
the barkers during the events were also the night’s emcees
The president of Rodeo Masbateno, Inc was there – – Judge Manuel Sese
the participants and guests
photographers and TV networks covered the event from start to finish
live cowboy music
(Volunteer Rodeo Officials of Masbate) in a celebratory mood
the traditional cowboy cigar, lit to mark the rodeo’s success
The night was capped by merry making – – drinks and line dancing
Next year’s rodeo is scheduled April 14-18, 2015. I will again be there.