Iloilo town festival showcases authentic IP culture, tradition

ILOILO CITY – The municipality of Lambunao takes pride in the authentic culture and tradition of its natives that will be showcased in the weeklong Binanog Festival from December 9-14.

The cultural festival aims to “preserve the rich culture of Panay Bukidnon.” It is mimicry of the movement of the bird, which is performed every time there is an occasion, said Jennifer Osorio, the town’s tourism officer.

“Binanog” derives its name from the word “banog,” a bird belonging to the hawk family that is abundant in the hinterlands where the indigenous peoples (IPs) known as Panay Bukidnon can be found.

“We are the only festival in the province of Iloilo that speaks about the culture of our indigenous peoples. Other festivals talk about their products,” she said.

From being a church-led festival, it was adopted by the local government in 2002 for continuity and sustainability of the celebration.

During the five-day event, a whole day will be dedicated to the IPs dubbed as “Adlaw ka mga Bukidnon” on December 10.

During the entire week of the festival, the IPs will be present to display their collection, offer indigenous food and have their group be known to the public.

The festival also puts premium on the “patadyong” and “kimona,” which used to be the typical attire of women IPs. They used piña kimono, which they weave themselves.

This, aside from the red and white and colorful blouse known as “saipang,” which is being shared with the Panay Bukidnon based in Tapaz and Calinog.

On December 12, the Lambunao Binanog Festival Queen (LBFQ) will have its finals night where eight ladies are vying for the title. A pre-pageant was held November 28 at the Robinsons Mall in Pavia.

December 14 will be the festival’s “Patadyong Day” where all female participants are encouraged to wear a patadyong and kimono and barong or camisa tsino for males.

“Mayor (Jason Gonzales) wants to have an ordinance that will declare Binanog Day as Patadyong Day,” she said.

Moreover, since the IPs were once weavers, the municipality is planning to re-introduce weaving as a source of their sustainable livelihood project.

“If the Patadyong Day will be materialized then probably that’s the time that patadyong weaving will be revived,” she added.

Currently, seven barangays (villages) of the municipality of Lambunao are certified as IP barangays and four more are seeking accreditation.

The existing accredited barangays are Panuran, Cabatangan, Jayobo, Caguisanan, Walang, Agsirab and Bagongbong. Still in the process of applying are Pughanan, Caninguan, Sagcup and San Gregorio.

“With the exposure that is extended to them by the local government unit, they have started to embrace and become proud of their culture. Before, they are embarrassed when called as Bukidnon,” she said.

IP students have been invited to perform during international, national and regional gatherings. A School for the Living Tradition (SLT) is currently based in Brgy. Panuran.

Osorio said there is a plan to establish an IP museum, making Lambunao as the first local government unit in the region to have such a facility that would house IP collections.

The museum would also house the “Balay Tulun-an” (School for Living Tradition) making classes accessible to those living in the lowland.

“We plant to have SLT in all (IP) barangays to preserve the culture,” she said.

Within the weeklong celebration, the municipality will also mark its 107th independence from the municipality of Janiuay on December 13, 1911. (PNA)

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