Thursday, January 2, 2014

BINANOG: Performing Arts Traditions of Music, Dance, and Drama

The Panay Bukidnon community of Lambunao is poised to unfurl their traditional Binanog dance once again on the celebration of their 11th Binanog Festival on January 8-12, 2014.  An integral part of the indigenous folk art and craft of this scenic municipality, the festival reflect the rich cultural ancestry and traditional legacy of the ancient times that has penetrated modern Lambunao.

The Binanog dance popularly known as Dinagmay or the courtship dance is associated with a particular event and is performed on special festive occasion. The celebration dance locally known as Inagong sayaw-sayaw is accompanied with its traditional musical instrument, the gong that continues to cast its magical spell on spectators who are always awe struck with the brilliant performances of the local dancers.

The physical movements, from wing flaps or interpreted locally as the Binanugan variety which imitates the movements of the birds. In the dance, the female representing the female banog bird (hawk) will mostly dance for her male while he observes her actions, then both partners will interact with one another. The elements of the dance are performed faster and demonstrate better motor coordination. The climax of the dance features the intricate moves and the recognizable swinging of the shawl from the female dancer is used to capture her male partner to assure a compatible mate.

The Binanog costume reflects the popular culture, indigenous customs, local habits and social life styles of the indigenous inhabitants of Panay. Nestled in exotic valleys and mountain ranges, it has a cold weather for most part of the year. Most of the local inhabitants of Panay Bukidnon prefer to wear colorful traditional attires. Very colorful and attractive look with its multi-colored needlework locally known as Tubok is done with their own deft hands.  The unique dressing style of the local inhabitants displays their rich artistic caliber and creative instinct. The fine quality and the harmonious blend of attractive colors of the Panay Bukidnon clothing have taken many cultural workers by storm and whoever visits the place makes sure to purchase their unique traditional needlework items.

Most of the participants are from the young generation who flawlessly perform this traditional art and spread happiness in the community.

Just like most towns in Iloilo, tourism is one of Lambuno’s most important businesses, and it is blessed to contain all the necessary ingredients of a good tourist destination. Eco-tourism is this town’s number one business and with good reason since it is home to several waterfalls, mini-rainforests, mountains and more. Lambunao’s biodiversity is what makes it one of the key destinations in Iloilo. But if you look beyond ecotourism, cultural treasures are also found in the area.

The indigenous Visayan group of Panay Bukidnon also known as Suludnon are a group of people who reside in the mountainous areas of Capiz-Lambunao and are the only culturally indigenous group of Visayan language-speakers in the whole of Western Visayas. The group is known for their Binanog dance and the use of bamboo musical instruments when express themselves through songs and dances. They are also popular with Panubok or their detailed embroidery.

The 11th Binanog Festival in Lambunao opens on January 8 (Wednesday) with a Motorcade at 1 p.m., Performances of Non-Competing Tribes at 2 p.m., Food Festival, Torch Parade for the Pasidungog kay Sr. Sto. Nino at 6 p.m., Talents Night for Lin-ay Sang Binanog; January 9 (Thursday) Inter-agency Sports Festival and Laro Ng Lahi, Stylized Folkdance Competition at 7 p.m.; January 10 (Friday) Invitational Basketball Tournament at 9 a.m., Search for Lin-ay sang Binanog at 7 p.m.; January 11 (Saturday) Tribe Competition at 1 p.m. and Live Band and Awarding at 7 p.m.

Lambunao is a 48-kilometer or an hour ride by either jeepney or van from Iloilo City via the terminal fronting Christ the King Memorial Park in Jaro. A 2nd class municipality in the third district of the province of Iloilo Lambunao is politically subdivided into 73 barangays. For more information, please contact Miss Jennifer Osorio- Municipal Tourism Officer at 09102401933.

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