Sunday, January 1, 2017

Binanog Festival: Promoting Cultural Heritage of Lambunao

Lambunao, Iloilo, is all set for the 14th Binanog Festival that will take place on January 5-8, 2017.  Binanog is a very popular festival of Iloilo and is the first major festival celebrated in the opening of every year.

With this year’s theme, “Binanog: Bugal nga Dunang Manggad kag Kultura kang Lambunaonon,” annual special events are conducted during the 4-day celebration. January 5 (Thursday) us the Opening Salvo with a Mass at 1:00 p.m., Motorcade at 2:00p.m., Opening Program at the Bandstand with a 3-minute performance from every participating tribe at 3:00p.m., Kinaadman Dos - a Painting Exhibit by Lambunaonon Artists at 5 p.m., Pasidungog kay Sr. Sto. Niῆo - a Torch Parade, Para-Liturgy and Praise and Worship Night at 6 p.m. and Sinadya sa Plaza at 10 p.m.

January 6 (Friday) IP Day with the theme,” Kulturang Bukidnon nga may Panimad-on, Ipabugal kag Padayunon,” will open with the IP Sinaot sa Dalan Paradeat 8 a.m., IP Program follows at 9 a.m., IP Food Festival at 12 noon, IP Sinadya kag Binayle at 1 p.m. onwards, Motor Show at 6 p.m., Stylized Folkdance Contest at 7 p.m., Sinadya sa Plaza  with Acoustic Band at 9 p.m.

January 7 (Saturday) Farmer’s Day “Fiesta sang Mangunguma” at 7 a.m., LAKAN-DIWA-TA LGBT Induction of Officers and Basketball Friendship Game at 8 a.m., Launching of 6-36months Feeding Program by Negrense Volunteer for Change with Vice President Maria Leonore G. Robredo at 11 a.m., Motor Show (Open Category – Iloilo City) at 1 p.m., Lambunao Binanog Festival Queen Talent Competition at 2 p.m., 8:00p.m., Lambunao Binanog Festival Queen Coronation Night at 8 p.m.

January 8 (Sunday) Mass for Competing Tribes at 12 noon, Opening Program and Tribe Competition with 3 Judging Areas (New Gymnasium, front of market and plaza), the Dance-Drama Presentation with the theme, “Binanog, Bugal nga Dunang Manggad kag Kultura kag Lambunaonon,” featuring the six competing tribes at  1 p.m.,  Merry Making at 4 p.m., Awarding (Bandstand) at 6:30 p.m., Fireworks Display at 7:30 p.m., Sinadya sa Plaza with Live Band at 9 p.m.

Dance, music, performance are still today a very important part of Indigenous life and customs. There were dances and songs for every occasion, some of which were expressed in special ceremonies. The mountain ranges of Panay, connecting the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz and Antique has some of the most amazingly beautiful and rich indigenous cultures in the Philippines. It contains some of the most complex folk dances and music styles that you will meet.

For the towns of Lambunao and Calinog in Iloilo, the Binanog dance is one of the most commonly practiced folk dances. You can find it being performed in special occasions such as festivals and other local celebrations in Iloilo and continues to remain the most popular amongst our indigenous dances. It is a dance often seen performed in two major festivals of Iloilo: Lambunao (Binanog) and Calinog (Hinirugyaw-Suguidanonay) and is often performed by large groups of people even though it is a dance of two.

This courtship dance is said to have been inspired by the mating of Banog birds. It is a mix of indigenous flare with the popular beating of a gong. For the Panay Bukidnons, the word Binanog translates to a dance of twos, or dancing in pairs, a male and a female.

There can be several formations that the dancers perform. The steps are fast and mostly with stamping movements. The man follows the woman throughout the majority of the movement and the man is typically very happy and celebratory by nature. The base dance for Binanog is ethnic which imitates life. The banog bird (hawk) becomes the inspiration for this dance complemented with a courtship dance. The choreography is lively where hands are extended as if imitating a bird in flight. The legs are stomping creating a unique beat as the male dancer observes his female counterpart as if pursuing her by following her steps. A handkerchief or a bandana is an important prop to the dance. The dance ends with the girl trying to catch the boy using her handkerchief or bandana. You can find the constant sound of a gong.

In all its dance performances there is a particular dress code. When performed by the indigenous people the men are typically found wearing black or red pants with black or red top with embroidered (tubok) patterns with red bandanas tied around their heads. The women can be seen wearing a “pudong” or a headpiece made of old coins, exposing their faces. A “biningkit” or an adornment of old coins for the neck. Their tops are In red or white with embroidered patterns and a patadyong draped as a skirt with a piece of cloth wrap around their waists.

Dances, songs and performances have been part of our indigenous culture since it began. It is part of our history and they play a vital part in our present culture. Tourism can widely contribute to the wealth of Iloilo in promoting its cultural heritage.

Thanks to the role of our local festivals in protecting and conserving our heritage and in the promotion of cultural diversity. The annual celebration of cultural festivities promotes the essential interaction between protecting the cultural heritage and cultural development of a locality.

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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