Last week of January till 1st week of February
Municipality of Calinog
3rd District, Iloilo
Calinog celebrates and shares its culture through dance and chants with the annual celebration of Hirinugyaw–Suguidanonay. The festival is known to be Iloilo’s only literary festival that showcases the wonderful story of Hinilawod through dance performed in its unique mix of poetry, chants and music.
It is a special event of great beauty and cultural significance. The festival highlighted by the tribal-dance competition performed in two segments. It starts with the Suguidanon that provide visitors with their authentic indigenous culture. Suguidanon, a story-telling done in chants, performed and showcased annually in chapters from the folk epic poem Hinilawod (Tales from the Mouth of Halawod River) considered to be the 2nd longest epic in the world 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.
Hinilawod is one of the hardest of all Panay oral literature passed from generation to the next. It has been said that the chanter, the Babaylan (native priest) can only take one apprentice at a time to learn the epic by listening and internalizing it. 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.
Each year, one chapter from the epic is performed accompanied by chanting done in Kiniray-a.
The last part of the presentation is the Hirinugyaw. From a Hiligaynon word hugyaw meaning to cheer, the performance is inspired by the Dinagyang Festival that anchors on the religious aspect of venerating Sr. Sto. Niño and highlighted by colourful costumes with fast-paced dances movements.
Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival provides a fantastic opportunity for attendees to be fully immersed in Calinog’s Panay Bukidnon and local culture. This is a celebration of their lives together as one people living in mutual respect of their differences in faith, identity, and ethnicity.
Municipality of Lambunao
3rd District, Province of Iloilo
The indigenous Visayan group of Panay Bukidnon also known as Suludnon are a group of people who reside in the mountainous areas of Capiz-Lambunao. Considered to be the only culturally indigenous group of Visayan language-speakers in the whole of Western Visayas, The Suludnons live in small disconnected settlements and have retained their own culture, their own unique forms of dance and music, which they have preserved through the ages, surviving through years of colonial invasions.
Reflecting their rich cultural ancestry, Lambunao highlights their most highly developed art, its Binanog dance through the annual celebration of Binanog Festival. Enhanced by their colourful costumes using detailed needlework and complex gong-bamboo musical accompaniment, the festival is celebrated every 2nd week of January.
The Binanog dance has three varieties: (1) Binanugan which imitates the movements of the birds; (2) Inagong Sayaw-Sayaw or the celebration dance; and (3) Dinagmay or the courtship dance. With the symbolic beating of a gong, pairs move in these simple varieties that involve the extension of the arms, flapping in unison with various foot works. Dancers, normally in pairs pace themselves as they move to the steady heartbeat of the gong and dancing for attention with each other. The climax of the dance features the intricate moves and the recognizable swinging of the shawl taken from the waist of the female dancer as she captures her male partner.
The Sulodnons wear their traditional clothing. For the female, the lower part is a Patadyong, a cotton fabric in plaid patterns of red, blue, yellow, green and pink with white borders and is considered as the most popular hinabol, the term given to any hand-woven fabric made out of fibrous materials. The top is of bell sleeves known as Saipang and is embellished with multi-coloured needlework locally known as Tubok and is done with their own deft hands. Their outfit is accentuated by a Pudong, a headpiece of old coin and a Biningkit, a neckpiece of old coins with glass beads.
Binanog Festival is an opening salvo for Iloilo’s year-long of municipal and city festivities. Visitors from near and far gather to enjoy Lambunao’s warm fellowship and rural charm.