18th Gulingtangan Competition for Brunei Colleges and Secondary Schools

Maktab Duli as runners up in the 18th Gulingtangan Competition for Brunei Colleges and Secondary Schools

RIPAS Secondary School as the Winner of the 18th Gulingtangan Competition for Brunei Colleges and Secondary Schools
I was honoured to be invited to officiate at the 18th Gulingtangan Competition for Brunei Colleges and Secondary Schools on 23rd June 2012. It was held at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Secondary School in Tutong.

I have never been to the competition before and I had to admit I thought I would be looking at something very traditional which I always see being performed. When the first group from Maktab Duli went up the stage and started their performance, it was an eye opener. They were good, in fact, they were very very good. I did not realise that even a traditional instrument such as guling tangan could be made to sound the way it sounded. This is not even taking into account other on stage performances, theaterics and costume worn by the students. I was impressed. I had a bad flu on that day but the performances blew me away.

I thought Maktab Duli would have won it as the next seven schools did well but not as well rounded as the Maktab Duli's performance. Though RIPAS Secondary School, the last of the eight competitors did give Maktab Duli a run for their money. Even though in the end, I was a littlbe bit surprised when RIPAS Secondary School, the champions for the last three years won it for a fourth time with a score of 79.6 and Maktab Duli was second with a score of 79.3. I did ask the experts and the answer was that RIPAS was slightly better at managing the gulingtangan (mengangkat is the word that I was given). So Maktab Duli knows what to do to win it the next time round.

I was impressed with the preparation for the competition by RIPAS Secondary School as the host. It must have taken the teachers and their students a few weeks at least to get the stage ready and to put up all those huts and decorations on stage. So well done too for the successful hosting of the competition.

But above all, well done to everyone who took part and contributed towards making the Brunei legacy of gulingtangan, a legacy that will not be forgotten by the future generation of Bruneians.


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