Thursday, January 27, 2011

Calinog Celebrates their Cultural Origins through HIRINUGYAW-SUGUIDANONAY Festival

The municipality of Calinog will be celebrating its annual Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival on January 28 to February 6, 2011. Visitors will witness the town’s cultural celebration through literature, dance and arts. The celebration aims at giving today’s generation an overview of their heritage dating back to pre-Hispanic times.

Hirinugyaw is coined from a Hiligaynon word hugyaw or cheer, joy or triumph. The festival was inspired by Iloilo City’s Dinagyang, a festivity showing the people’s devotion to the Sto. Niño or Child Jesus and where they make effort to perform colorful cultural dances and other festive commemorative rites in His honor. A fascinating feature of the celebration is the Suiguidanon.

Suguidanon is an oral tradition of the Suludnon of Panay---an ethnic group that lives in the interiors of Panay, specifically in the mountains of Capiz and some part of Calinog. The name was coined from a local dialect, sulod or interior, and later evolved into the word Suludnon. In the subsequent Spanish conquest and colonization of our land, the Sulodnons were one of those principal pagan or traditionalist groups that refused to submit to Spanish authority.

Just like any other ethnic groups, the Suludnon of Panay have an ancient and rich ethnic cultural background; they have chanting, playing on musical instruments. Music and graceful dancing to intricate rhythms occur in their festivities of social celebrations, and reciting the adventures of the folk hero Humadapnon. They managed to keep their own arts and literature. The most popular is the folk epic poem Hinilawod performed through a chant. It is orally transmitted by a Sulodnon from one generation to another and is still very much a part of their culture. It is performed on considerable gathering or during the festival. The Sulodnons memorize the song which they knew by heart and were learnt in their childhood. They say, it would take about three days to perform the Sulod Hinilawod of Panay epic in its original form, thus, making it as one of the longest epics in the world.

Hinilawod means tales from the mouth of the Halawod River. Known to be the oldest and longest epic of Western Visayas, it has 8,340 verses divided into four episodes, namely: Pangayaw, Tarangban, Bihag, and Pagbawi, and deals with the adventures of our local mythical heroes Labaw Donggon, Humadapnon and Dumalapdap. The epic is of profound significance not just as a piece of literature but it furnishes us of history, sociology, psychology, religion, and so forth of the ancient Sulodnon of Panay.

To know the Sulodnons of Panay is to figuratively take a trip centuries back, through the time tunnel of history, and see to how well they have preserved for us, this present generation, a great source of cultural traditions that might otherwise have vanished forever. Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival made possible the preservation of the Sulod culture with practices providentially still untouched.

The Sulod customs and traditions is the highlight of the annual tribe competition of the festivity that showcases dancers moving to the rhythm of chanting vocals from the epic. Marked by mimicry and symbolism this non-religious dance, more freedom is allowed where fascinating movements are achievable.

Hirinugyaw Suguidanonay Festival of Calinog will open on January 28 in the afternoon with a Mass, Torch Procession and Lighted Sto. Niño Contests and the Presentation of Lin-ay Kag Ulitao Kang Hirinugyaw- Suguidanonay 2011; January 29 with a Cultural Presentation from the Liga ng mga Barangay and SK; January 30 with a Cultural Presentation from Mary Immaculate Academy; January 31 with Talent’s Night of Lin-ay kag Ulitao and Linghuron nga Lin-ay kag Ulitao kang Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay 2011; February 1 with a Cultural Presentation from District I and District II; February 2 with a Cultural Presentation from the West Visayas State University Calinog Campus; February 3 is for the Coronation Night of Linghuron nga Lin-ay kag Ulitao kang Hirinugyaw-Suguidanomay Festival 2011; February 4 is set for the Coronation Night of Lin-ay kag Ulitao Kang Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival 2011; February 5 is for the Cultural Presentation of Calinog Stall Owners and Vendors Association in cooperation with OFW Incorporated and February 6 highlights with festival Tribe Competition at 8 in the morning.

Calinog’s culture is very interesting because they have adhered to their traditions and beliefs. Their traditions, rituals, dances are all retained in near- untouched form and offers precious evidence with today’s exploration for the genuine roots of pre-historic Iloilo.

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