Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bayluhay: A Celebration on the Birth of the Ilonggo Nation



San Joaquin, Iloilo will celebrate its annual municipal fiesta with Bayluhay Festival on January 11-16, 2016 highlighted by the street dancing and tribal dance competition on January 14 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, San Joaquin Sports Arena.

The community follow the tradition of the love for their local history. The eventful and fun-filled 6-day celebration started in 2004 aims to generate harmony and brotherhood in the area. Nine participating groups from newly nationalized secondary schools will compete this year.



Bayluhay showcases the historic barter based on folk history of the Maragtas legend narrating that sometime between the 13th and 15th century, ten Shri-Vijayan Datus led by the Sultanate Minister Datu Putih, together with their families, households and subordinates fled Bornay (Borneo) using their balanghais boat for sea travel) in search of a new life. It was said that the group landed in Siruanga (Siwaragan River in San Joaquin) where they bartered their gold and jewelries with the local "Ati" (Aeta) Chieftain Marikudo with his wife Maniwantiwang for the lowlands, plains and valleys of the Aninipay Island (Panay) they called "Madya-as" or paradise. After the transaction was sealed, the Atis were believed to have retired to the mountains and the Malay took complete control of the lowlands.

Madyaas was politically subdivided into Akean (Aklan and Capiz) under Datu Bangkaya, Irong-irong (Iloilo) under Datu Paiburong and Hamtic (Antique) under Datu Sumakwel. Datu Putih along with the other remaining six Datus: Datu Balengkaka-Akean; Datu Kalantiaw-Akean; Datu Manduyog-Akean; Datu Padojinog-Irong-Irong; Datu Madnayag-Akean codified the Code of Kalantiaw (by Kalantiaw) and the Maragtas Code (by Sumakwel) for the people of Panay Island. After the event, two datus left for Batangas and Mindoro and Datu Putih was said to have returned to North Borneo.



Excerpts of the performances will also include the portrayal of everyday life during the ancient times. Ritual drama are also incorporated which includes music, song, drumming, chanting and mass participation. These ritual traditions have left a lasting impression on our Malay brothers that are very much visible to this day.



San Joaquin has one of the most visited destinations in Iloilo, and the chance to observe Bayluhay Festival at this stunning National Historical Treasure site is one of the most exciting opportunities that this town’s wealth of attractions has to offer.

San Joaquin is a 2nd Class municipality and is 85 kilometers away from Iloilo City. It is the last town south of the province. It has a land area of 23,135 hectares subdivided into 85 barangays. It annually celebrates its patronal fiesta every January. Market days are every Wednesdays and Fridays.

To get to the town one can take a jeepney situated at the market in Rizal Street the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo or at the Don Benita Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary Terminal in Barangay Mohon, Oton, Iloilo. For more information, please contact Mrs. Erlyn Alunan – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09176619120.



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