Sunday, January 4, 2015

Binanog Festival: Inspiring and Unifying the Indigenous Community in Lambunao

Binanog Dancers in front of Lambunao Church photo by Jennifer Osorio
Twelve years in Iloilo. That makes the scenic town of Lambunao one of the provinces’ well-established festivals and justly-famous. Take a look at what Lambunaonons will offer for 2015. Come and be part of something extraordinary.

January 7 (Wednesday) is the Opening Salvo at 8 a.m. with the opening of the Inter-agency Basketball and Volleyball; Mass at 1 p.m.; Motorcade at 2 p.m.; Opening Program with special performances from competing tribes at the front area of the Municipal Hall at 3 p.m.; Cultural Village Tour featuring ethno-culinary dishes at the Food Festival at 4:30 p.m.; 3rd Pasidungog kay Sr. Sto. Nino Torch Parade and Para-Liturgy - Veneration of Sr. Sto. Nino at the Municipal Bandstand at 5:30 p.m.; Talents Night of Lin-ay Sang Binanog 2015 at the municipal gymnasium at 9 p.m.

January 8 (Thursday) opens with an Inter-agency Basketball and Volleyball at 8 a.m.; Lin-ay Sang Binanog Talent Showcase through Ethno-Culinary Cooking Competition at 8 a.m.; Indigenous People’s Day through an immersion and dance presentation at the Cultural Village at 9 a.m.

January 9 (Friday) features the Inter-agency sportsfest and immersion at the cultural village at 8 a.m.; Coronation Night of Lin-ay Sang Binanog 2015 at 7 p.m.

January 10 (Saturday) Inter-agency sportsfest and Battle of the Mini Sound at 8 a.m.; Stylized Folk Dance Competition at 1 p.m.;  Harakhak sa Plaza at 7 p.m.

January 11 (Sunday) Mass for the competing tribes at 6:30 a.m.; Tribe Competition at 8 a.m.; Awarding Ceremony at 5 p.m.; Fireworks Display with Live Band at 6:30 p.m.

photo by Jennifer Osorio

The highlight of the tribal presentation is the “binanog” dance, a courtship dance that imitates the movements of the 'banog' bird (hawk) commonly found in Panay farmlands. Dressed in traditional male and female Panay Bukidnon costumes the presentation begins with a chant. Male dancers in red pants with black top with traditional red and white embroidered patterns take centerstage and dances in leaping motions to get the attention of his female counterpart.  Female dancers attract their male counterpart using their hips and graceful movements of the hands. Wearing a “pudong” or headpiece of old coins exposing her face and a “biningkit” or an adornment of old coins for the neck. In red or white top with embroidered patterns and a patadyong draped as a skirt with a piece of cloth wrap around her waist.  The harmonious pulsating movement of both male and female dancers synchronizes to the beating the gong as each dancer matches the steps of its counterpart. The dances reaches climax as the female dancer ties her male counterpart using the cloth wrapped around her waist.

photo by Jennifer Osorio
A group of indigenous people known as Panay Bukidnon or People of the Panay Mountains live in the highlands of Panay. This small ethnic community is believed to have been the descendants of 10 Bornean Datus (chieftains) that landed in Siwaragan River in San Joaquin and purchased the rich plains of the island from the Ati tribe, the original settlers. Several generations later, when Spanish authorities ruled the island, they relocated into the mountains.

Just like any other indigenous group in the Philippines, the Panay Bukidnons are known for their rich culture in music, dance, and chants. Most recognized is the chanting of the Hinilawod epic (Tales from the Halawod River) that has been kept alive even up to this day.

Lambunao’s Binanog Festival is an opening salvo for Iloilo’s year-long of municipal and city festivities. Dance enthusiasts from near and far gather to enjoy Lambunao’s warm fellowship and this town’s rural charm

photo by Jennifer Osorio

Lambunao is a second class municipality in the third district of the province of Iloilo. The town is comprised of 73 barangays and is 48-kilometer or an hour leisure trip by either van or bus from the terminal fronting Christ the King Memorial Park in Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Miss Jennifer Osorio- Municipal Tourism Officer at 09199950593.

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