Monday, January 26, 2015

Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival: Vibrant and Distinctive Storytelling Traditions

With the theme, “Kay Sr. Sto. Nino Maghugyaw, Para Pag Amlig Dunang Manggad Mangibabaw,” the municipality of Calinog, Iloilo will highlight its tribal dance competition on February 1 (Sunday) at 9 a.m. This annual celebration of Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival communicates its cultural traditions, values, and beliefs through dances and storytelling expressed in chants.

The performances are unique with a dynamic interaction between the storyteller (chanter) and the audiences. During the chant, listeners create mental images of the story’s events. The presentations are of two parts; the Hirinugyaw and the Suguidanon. It normally starts with the Suguidanon or storytelling done through chants.

The chanting of synopsis of chapters of Hinilawod provides spectators with highlights in chapters of the epic assigned annually. The legendary epic poem, Hinilawod (Tales from the Mouth of the Halawod River) is hailed to be one of the longest epics in the world. It is one of the country’s biggest and richest literary pieces. It is said that when recorded it takes about 30 hours and when performed as a chant with interruptions for meals and sleep, the epic lasts for three days.

Hinilawod is written and recorded by Ilonggo Anthropologist Dr. F. Landa Jocano (a native of Cabatuan, Iloilo) in 1957 based from stories from the inhabitants of Central Panay (Sulodnon). It is a rich source of their cultural practices, religion and rituals. The Sulodnon or Bukidnon tribe in Calinog comprises its thirteen (13) mountain barangays.

The epic tells of the exploits of the three demigod brothers of Panay: Labaw Donggon, Humadapnon and Dumalapdap. It showcases value of honor, courage and dignity. By portraying Visayan mythology through chants and movement, the festival performances show how audiences can relate to and understand the same story in different ways, and how the exploration of this tradition could benefit people from all walks of life.

Suguidanon (storytelling) develops as the community looks for a recreation of memory in community life. It is a program that will explore and celebrate the role that Panay Bukidnon oral traditions have played in the shaping of our local culture. Suguidanon will take a close look at how the oral traditions of the Sulod have entertained and influenced generations of people.

The last part of the presentation is the Hirinugyaw. Derived from the Hiligaynon word hugyaw or joy, it showcases Calinognon’s devotion to the Sr. Sto. Niño or the Child Jesus where dancers move out in rhythmic, jerky dance steps, with shouts of joy synchronized to the beatings of the drums.

Calinog is 59.3 kilometers central of the province of Iloilo. It is politically subdivided into 59 barangays over its land area of 23, 280 hectares. The town is bordered in the north by the Municipality of Tapaz, Capiz; in the northeast by the Municipality of Bingawan; in the northwest by the Municipality of San Remigio, Antique; in the south by the Municipality of Lambunao; in the southeast by the Municipality of Dueñas and in the southwest by the Municipality of Valderrama, Antique. Market day is every Tuesday. Its religious Fiesta is annually celebrated in honor of Immaculada Concepcion every 8th of December.

To get to Calinog, numerous jeepneys and buses run daily from Pavia People’s Terminal in  Barangay Ungka-II, Paviaa beside Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines plant or at the Bus-Jeepney Terminal fronting Christ the King Memorial Park in Jaro, Iloilo City.

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