Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Showcasing Traditional Miagaowanon Values Through Salakayan Festival

Miagao, Iloilo will celebrate its 301st Foundation Anniversary on February 1-12, 2017 highlighted by the annual Salakayan Festival tribe competition on February 11 (Saturday) at 9 a.m. Visitors will witness moving, entertaining cultural events and pay homage to old traditions.

This year’s theme, Kari Kita sa Miagao, Kasaysayan, Kultura kag Pagtuo sang Pumuluyo Ipadayon, the celebrations’ daily activities are beautiful expressions of their unique character. February 1 (Wednesday) is the soft opening of their Food Fair at the town plaza, 6 p.m.; February 2 (Thursday) Film Showing at the town plaza, 6:30 p.m.; February 3 (Friday) MCES Alumni Night Batch 67 Golden Jubilarians at the town plaza at 6 p.m.; February 4 (Saturday) National Aquathlon at 5 a.m.at OWL – UPV MIagao Campus, St. Louise de Marillac School of Miagao Alumni Homecoming at 1 p.m., Miagao Vocational Class 67 Golden Jubilarians at town plaza at 6 p.m.; February 8 (Sunday) NOTYOURUSUALTRIATHLON at the town plaza at 5 a.m., Salakayan ng mga Tattoo at JRBB Hall at 1 p.m., Battle of the Bands at the town plaza at 5 p.m., Car Show at the Municipal Building grounds at 5:30 p.m.

February 6 (Monday) Pamukaw at the Poblacion at 5 a.m., Salakayan Mass at the Miagao church at 6 a.m., Opening of Agro-Trade Fair at the Municipal Building grounds at 10 a.m., Opening Salvo at the Poblacion at 2 p.m., Salakayan Re-enactment at town plaza at 5 p.m., Opening of Food Fair at town plaza at 6 p.m., Miss Salakayan 2017 Talents Night at JRBB Hall at 7 p.m., Live Band at the Municipal Building grounds at 7 p.m.; February 7 (Tuesday) Cavalcade of Dances in front of Miagao church at 2 p.m., LIGA Night at town plaza at 7 p.m.; February 8 (Wednesday) Balikbanwa Night at the town plaza at 7 p.m.; February 9 (Thursday) Drum Corps Competition in front of Miagao church at 2 pm., LIGA Night at town plaza at 7 p.m.; February 10 (Friday) Mass and Fluvial Parade in Barangay Baybay Norte at 8 a.m., Games at Sea in Barangay Baybay Norte at 10:30 a.m., Laro ng Lahi at the Municipal covered court at 10:30 a.m., Float Parade at the Poblacion at 3 p.m., Higante Contest at Municipal Building grounds at 6 p.m., Harakhak sa Miagao at the Municipal Building grounds at 10 p.m.; February 11 (Saturday) Salakayan Tribe Competition at the Poblacion at 8 a.m., Street Dancing at the Poblacion at 3 p.m., Tribe’s Night at the Municipal Building grounds at 7 p.m.; February 12 (Sunday) Mass at Miagao church at 7:15 a.m., Agape at the JRBB Hall at  8:30 a.m. and the Coronation Night at the town plaza at 9 p.m.

Coined from a Hiligaynon term “salakay” or “to attack,” Salakayan is a street dance-drama that depicts the hardships and eventually the victorious battle waged by the MIagaowanons against Muslim marauders sometime in 1754.

The presentations capture the resilience of the human spirit in this dance-drama that recreates brutal human bondage in the hold of Moro pirates. An eclectic mixture of fast, dramatic rhythms with soulful vocals, Miagaowanons tell the story of a journey out of freedom into slavery and to declare that, in spite of the horrible darkness of this enslavement, there is nothing that can extinguish the light of the human soul.

Miagao, along with neighboring Guimbal was the epic enter of piratical attacks in the First Congressional District of the province during early Spanish period. It caused periods of misery for the inhabitants. Most Spanish-held settlements were devastated by constant Moro attacks. Organized Moro fleets carry weapons that can equal to that of the Spaniards. These fleets were said to have spread all over the archipelago. Towns and churches were looted of their ornaments and jewels and then burned. The townspeople were carried away to slavery.

It was said that the raids were reaction to the zealous propagation of the Christian faith by the Spaniards. A popular method was the surprise attack in force. The locals would be caught unaware. As a result, Moros capture many natives for slavery. Slave-holding was something they cannot live without. Slaves were used as medium of exchange at that time, a form of investment. It was the base of their wealth and happiness. It made them powerful and influential. The Christians captured in the raids were used extensively in the incursions as oarsmen of Moro vessels, freeing them from odd jobs especially during naval encounters.

Forts, watchtowers in strategic places along the coasts and other structures for defense were constructed by the townspeople through the leadership of their parish priests. Many were employed to build these structures. Some were even asked to donate lime and stone. Ruins of these structures in Miagao and Guimbal now stand as silent reminders of the dreaded Moro piratical attacks made in their community.

Miagao’s annual Salakayan Festival is to celebrate, teach, honour, and strengthen the traditional Miagaowanon values of God, family, freedom, and community.

Miagao is 40.5 kilometers south from the city. It has a land area of 13,286 hectares subdivided into 199 barangays. It is bounded by the town of Igbaras in the northeast, by Guimbal in the east, by San Joaquin in the west and by the municipality of Sibalom in the province of Antique in the northwest.

To get to Miagao, one can take a jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary Terminal in Barangay Mohon, Oton, Iloilo. Metered taxis are also available at the terminal. For more information, please contact, Anthony Selorio-Municipal Tourism Officer at 09391737407.

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