Sunday, December 11, 2011

San Joaquin Celebrates 9th BAYLUHAY Festival

photo by Jose de Luna

Bayluhay Festival of San Joaquin is a celebration complete with culture and history.

Visitors step back in time and relive the period of the historic landing of the ten Bornean Datus in Panay. Bayluhay commemorates the barter of the island that ultimately lead to the inhabitation of the Malays in the entire Philippine archipelago.

photo by Jose de Luna

The celebration showcases the various ancient customs and traditions that we Filipinos have inherited from the Malays. Colorful rituals are deeply ingrained in the lives of the people of San Joaquin and are up t the present evident in their daily lives and existence as San Joaquinhons.

A tradition for nine years already, the feast is held annually held on the grounds of the San Joaquin Park and Sports Stadium situated at the back of the municipal hall. This year, Bayluhay is scheduled on December 14 at 3 p.m. where participating tribes will showcase their ritual dances accompanied by the loud drum beats infusing traditional elements and new components.

photo by Jose de Luna

Ritual practices in San Joaquin interpreted through a dance during the tribe competition take a multitude of forms. This takes place on any number of occasions and reflects the intentions that motivate the practice. There is a great range of variability in the degree of elaborateness and sophistication in the dances and in the way that they employ narratives and symbolic gestures.

Rituals are best understood in terms of their intentions. And the core of any ritual is the fundamental belief that there exists a delicate balance between man and nature, and the spirit world. It is believed that for good or bad, it is through the actions of man that this balance is shifted. Rituals can be interpreted as an attempt to enhance and maintain this balance. And when the balance is lost, misfortune in various forms plague the village thus, must be performed to restore the state of affairs.

photo by Jose de Luna

Re-enactors dress in elaborate Malay and Aeta costumes, bringing in many visitors each year.

Bayluhay Festival is an opportunity for the people pf San Joaquin to express their pride and honor, known to be progenies of these great and noble ancient rulers of the land. It is proof of the greatness that springs from unity among the people in their community; the local government and the private sector, cultural advocates come together.

Special events of the festivity such as church services, fireworks and beauty pageants continue all week as the history of this 800 year old adventure unfolds.

From remembering the civil war in many parts of the province to an appreciation of the arts and culture, historical events and festivals across Iloilo are numerous and varied.

Whether it is a re-enacment, or noting the life and achievements of a human rights icon, Ilonggos are proud of its history and showcases many events and festivals throughout the year.

No matter when you visit, you are sure to find memorable Iloilo historic events festivals in full swing.

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