The municipality of Lambunao takes pride in the culture and tradition of its natives that will be showcased in the week-long Binanog Festival from Dec. 9 to 14. The cultural festival aims to preserve these.
“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.
It is mimicry of the movement of the bird and performed during celebrations, said Jennifer Osorio, the town’s tourism officer.
“We are the only festival in the province that celebrates the culture of our indigenous people. Other festivals talk about their products,” she said.
From being a church-led festival, Binanog 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. This “Adlaw ka mga Bukidnon” is on Dec. 10.
The festival also puts premium on the patadyong and kimona which used to be the typical attire of women IPs. They use piña kimona, 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, Capiz and Calinog, Iloilo.
On Dec. 12 the Lambunao Binanog Festival Queen (LBFQ) will have its finals night. Eight young ladies are vying for the title. A pre-pageant was held on Nov. 28 at Robinsons Place Pavia.
Dec. 14 will be the festival’s “Patadyong Day.” All female participants are encouraged to wear patadyong and kimona and barong or camisa tsino for males.
“Mayor (Jason Gonzales) is wanting to have an ordinance that will declare Binanog Day as Patadyong Day, too,” said Osorio.
Moreover, since the IPs were once weavers, the municipality is planning to re-introduce weaving as sustainable livelihood.
Currently, seven barangays of Lambunao are certified IP villages. These are Panuran, Cabatangan, Jayobo, Caguisanan, Walang, Agsirab, and Bagongbong.
“With the help extended by the local government unit, they have started to embrace and become proud of their culture. They used to be embarrassed when called Bukidnon,” said Osorio.
IP students have been invited to perform during international, national and regional gatherings. A School for the Living Tradition (SLT) is currently based in Barangay Panuran.
Osorio said there is a plan to establish an IP museum. It would make Lambunao 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 week-long celebration, the municipality will also mark its 107th independence from the municipality of Janiuay on Dec. 13, 1911.PNA