Sunday, January 3, 2016

Binanog Festival: Fostering to Preserve Old Rural Traditions in Lambunao

With this year’s theme: Binanog, Bugal nga Dunang Manggad kag Kultra sang Lambunaonons, The 13th Binanog Festival in Lambunao, Iloilo kicks off on January 6 (Wednesday) with a Mass at 1 p.m., Motorcade, Opening Program with excerpts from participating tribes at 3 p.m., Torch Parade at 6 p.m. and Binanog Festival Queen Talents Night at 8 p.m.;  January 7 (Thursday) IP Sinaot sa Dalan Parade at 9 a.m., IP Program at 10 a.m., IP Foodefst at 12 noon, IP Sinadya kag Binayle at 1 p.m. onwards, Stylized Folkdance Contest at 7 p.m., and S9inadya sa Plaza at 9 p.m.; January 8 (Friday) Farmer’ Day Festival at 8 a.m., Lambunano Festival Queen Coronation Night at 8 p.m.; January 9 (Saturday) Laro ng Lahi at 8 a.m., Sinadya sa Plaza at 9 p.m.; January 10 (Sunday) Tribe Competition at 1 p.m., Merry Making at 5 p.m., Luces in the Sky at 7:30 p.m., and Sinadya sa Plaza at 9 p.m.

The Binanog dance with its music along with the Suguidanon  or chanting have always been significant in the lives of the Sulodnons or Panay Bukidnons, a tribal minority 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.  These art forms are both a common amusement and a solemn duty. It has played an important part in the way they interact, celebrate and relay historic events.  These art forms are communication style and play a functional role in their society. They accompany marriage, birth, death and even political activities.

Although the musical styles and instruments vary from tribe to tribe, there are some common forms of musical expression. By far the most significant instrument in its music is the gong. Used in the Binanog dance, the gong evokes emotion. The beat of the gong is considered the “heartbeat of the Binanog dance” and its rhythm is what holds the dancers together.

Binanog dance is very much liked everywhere, since they are lively and very graceful. It is a courtship dance re-enacting the coupling mechanism of two banog birds locally known as dapay or hawk, accompanied by the beating of a gong. The dance is an integral part of the Panay Bukidnon culture. Dancers use symbolic gestures, costumes and hand prop to communicate. The dance movements can be simple or complex with intricate actions including fast rotation, flapping of the arms, swaying of the hips and stomping of feet.

Dancing regalia includes brightly-colored needlework locally known as Tinubok, a harmonious blend of attractive colors and natural patterns; the patadyong (a cotton fabric in plaid patterns of red, blue, yellow, green and pink with white borders), a headwear, necklace.

The Binanog dance as a way of re-enacting and chants of Suguidanon as a way of reverence both essential to the Sulodnons.  It is an extension of their belief where they see it as vitally important to their identity and an intrinsic part of their culture.

It is wonderful that this beautiful Panay Bukidnon art is propagated and annually celebrated since it is a valuable treasure, which should be kept alive.

The scenic town of Lambunao belonging to the Third Congressional District of the province is an hour drive or 48 kilometer away from the city. The town is comprised of 73 barangays. One can take a jeepney or van at the terminal fronting Christ the King in Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Miss Jennifer Osorio- Municipal Tourism Officer at 09199950593.

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