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November 29, 2005
  • Choosing the next Miss DR
  • Juan Luis Guerra in Santo Domingo
  • Guloyas cited by UNESCO
  • Tour operator Felix Jimenez to preside WATA
  • Getting ready for the World Baseball Cup
Choosing the next Miss DR
The Miss Dominican Republic pageant is due to be held on 18 December at the Palacio de los Deportes, with a capacity of 8,000 spectators. Twenty-one contestants from the Dominican Republic and one from the Dominican community in the US are taking part. The pageant has been getting more support from sponsors and is being taken more seriously now after so many Dominican Cinderellas, who many times had to travel to contests at their own expense, have been increasingly highly placed in international beauty contests. Today, there is no shortage of famous local designers willing to dress the participants. The experience gained by those who have made it or almost made it is helping the new representatives perform better in these international competitions.
Ever since Ruth Ocumarez made it to the finals of the 2002 Miss Universe pageant, the eyes of the jurors seem to be on Dominican women. The following year, Amelia Vega was crowned Miss Universe 2003. This was after 20 years had gone by since Dominican Mariasela Alvarez won the Miss World contest in 1982.
Subsequently, Dominican participants have done well in international beauty contests, both those representing the Dominican Republic as well as those representing other countries. For instance Miss USA Susie Castillo in the 2003 contest, was the daughter of a Dominican father. Miss Italy in the 2004 Miss Universe pageant was Maria Teresa Francville, the Dominican-born daughter of a Dominican mother and Italian father. She took part in two consecutive years. That year she competed against Luisana Cicilia, whose mother is Dominican, and who was representing Aruba in the pageant.
In the 2004 Miss World contest, the DR's Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodriguez came in as first runner up. Miss DR Renata de Jesus Sone Savery was the first runner up in the 2005 Miss Universe contest. Yadira Geara Cury was also first runner up in the Miss International pageant held in September 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. This year, in the Miss Earth contest held in October 2005 in the Philippines, Amell Santana de Jesus, representing the DR, was the first runner up and was crowned Miss Air 2005.
The http://www.ip.com.do allows online readers to have a say in the selection of Miss Dominican Republic 2005.
Juan Luis Guerra in Santo Domingo
Following his win of two awards at the Latino Grammys in October, Juan Luis Guerra will perform for Dominican audiences at the Olympic Stadium this 17 December. His "20 Years" Tour commemorates his successful start as a composer-performer with the 4-40 quartet. Tickets for the performance are on sale now at Orange stores, the Supermercado Nacional and Jumbo stores for RD$600 and RD$400 each. Contemporary singer and composer, Pavel Nunez will be opening the show. Following Juan Luis Guerra's performance in Santo Domingo, he is scheduled to appear with British band The Rolling Stones on 11 February 2006 at the Jose Miguel Agrelot coliseum in Puerto Rico.
Guloyas cited by UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has just named the Cocolo Dance Theater of San Pedro de Macoris, a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" in its third proclamation of 42 masterpieces that took place in Paris on 25 November. Popularly known as the Guloyas, these magical figures perform dances during holiday feasts and carnival time. According to tradition, these dance groups were formed during the 1920s by Thepphilius Civerton. Civerton had arrived from the island of Nevis in 1923.
The story is even older. Coming from the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean to work in the sugar industry, the "cocolos" - originally coined as an insult but later evolving into a cultural term - brought their dances and many of their customs. This year, the traditional dances, held from 25 December until 6 January will be different - they are now part of the World's Cultural Heritage.
UNESCO designates intangible forms of art, including oral expression, music, rituals and social practices. This is the UNESCO's third proclamation of the kind. A combined 47 masterpieces were chosen in the first two proclamations. The traditional rituals of The Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of the Congos of Villa Mella in the Province of Santo Domingo were recognized in the first UNESCO proclamation of oral and intangible manifestations held on 18 May 2001.
For more information on the cocolos dance, see http://www.jmarcano.com/mipais/cultura/cocolo2.html#deporte
For more information on the proclamations, see http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=2226...
Tour operator Felix Jimenez to preside WATA
Dominican Felix Jimenez will preside over the executive board of the World Association of Travel Agents. Jimenez takes over the top post of the global network of leading travel agents from outgoing president Marc Dans (of Brussels International Travel Service in Belgium). WATA association, created in 1949, is an internationally recognized network of leading travel professionals who provide services to individual travellers, incentives and special interest groups in main markets round the globe.
WATA chose Jimenez for his strong background in wholesale and retail travel sales and his proven skills as a tourism marketing strategist. Based in Toronto, Jimenez is the founder of the Dominican Travel Group Turinter in the Dominican Republic. Previously he served as president of the Dominican Republic Association of Tour Operators, before opening his own tourism marketing agency in Canada, Perfect Destinations in 1998. See www.wata.net
Getting ready for the World Baseball Cup
Stanley Javier, general manager of the Dominican team for the World Baseball Classic, announced that team practices will begin in mid January, once the regular Dominican Winter Professional Baseball season ends. The first time ever nations against nations baseball cup will take place in March and the Dominican team, this time with an expected roster of the best of Dominicans in the Major League Baseball, is one of the strongest contenders for the championship. The team manager will be Manny Acta, former manager of the Licey Tigers. The managers concern is that while many Dominican players are stars in their own right in the US Major League Baseball, few have played together. Getting the players to perform as a cohesive team is the greatest challenge ahead. The Dominican team will play its first games of the championship in Orlando, from 8-10 March. The Dominican team will play its first games of the championship in Orlando, from 8-10 March. Then it will travel to Puerto Rico for games on 11-15 March. The semi-finals will be played in San Diego, California from 18-20 March.
The president of the Dominican Baseball Federation, Hector (Tito) Pereyra says that the DR is taking a great team to the World Baseball Classic and is a strong contender for the championship. "We have the best talent in the world and we are going to show it in the March event," he stated.
For more on the potential of the Dominican team in the event, see http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/wbc/dominican_republic.jsp

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