Tacloban City continues to mourn the passing of world-class dance performer and choreographer Jesus “Jess” De Paz, Leyte Dance Theater’s founder and artistic director, who died on September 28 after battling lung cancer.
During the 10th “Sangyaw Awards,” Tacloban recognized the dance troupe founded by De Paz for the honor it gives to the City.
Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez extended her and the local government’s condolences to the family and said that De Paz will always be remembered for his “extraordinary life devoted to the arts.”
The Mayor’s statement read, “Stories of triumph and tragedy of Taclobanons were told through his music and dance.”
De Paz introduced Waray folk songs and dances to both local and international audiences and showcased the socio-cultural features of the region and the Philippines in dances.
Tacloban Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin shared that the Leyte Dance Theater’s performances abroad were always well-received and warmly applauded for showcasing our rich Filipino culture and heritage; while Rey Dacul, former university student of De Paz who is now in the United States, called De Paz “the real, true artist and ambassador of our country in the field of dance around the world.”
“Jess de Paz was more than a cultural icon. He was a visionary who saw the potential in others and the greatness in the culture that binds together the people of our region. His achievements… account him as one of the pillars of our local culture, not only by preserving it but by celebrating it as a living and vibrant testament to who we are as a people,” added Philip Jude Acidre of Tingog Sinirangan partylist in Eastern Visayas.