Cultural Spotlight: Binanog Festival of Lambunao

Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin

Lambunao, Iloilo has its own distinctive personality when it comes to festival.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Binanog, celebrated this year on December 10-19 reflects the culture and interests of the community and is one of the biggest annual festival celebration of the arts in the province of Iloilo that consists of dance and music.

The Local Government of Lambunao in the last 16 years made effort to promote the indigenous culture of their Panay Bukidnon group especially through their dance and music enhanced by colorful costumes where the male typically wears black or red pants with black or red top with embroidered (tubok) patterns although optional, and a bandana tied around their heads. The women optionally wear a “pudong” or a headpiece made of old coins. A “biningkit” or an adornment of old coins for the neck. Their tops are in kimono with a patadyong draped as a skirt and a piece of cloth wrap around their waists.

The Binanog dance performed every tribal presentation is their most highly developed art performed through a celebration known as the Inagong Sayaw-Sayaw and a courtship dance or Dinagmay.

The Binanugan, a movement depicting the flapping of wings of Banog bird is represented by both male and female dancers interact with one another. The leg stomping create a unique beat as the male dancer observes his female counterpart as if pursuing her by following her steps. The climax of the Binanugan is the swinging of the shawl by the female dancer “to capture” her male counterpart.

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 entire province celebrates Binanog Festival that focuses on the traditions, culture and background of the Panay Bukidnon. It is a celebration of their heritage and for both native and non-native cultures to unite so the many aspects of native culture can be shared.

The 16th Binanog Festival opened with Convergence Day by DSWD at 7 a.m., Mass for Binanog Tribe at 2 p.m., Pamukaw with the opening of the IP Village; Kinaadman Seis, Opening of Food Festival and Agri Exhibit at 3 p.m., Street Dance Competition at 4 p.m., Opening Salvo Program at 5 p.m., Grand Switching on of Lights and Fireworks and Binhi Band Entertainment at 8 p.m. on December 10 (Tuesday);

Acoustic Band featuring Emman Abatayo at 8 p.m. on December 11 (Wednesday); Fourth of July Band at 8 p.m. on December 12 (Thursday); 108th Lambunao Day with Motorshow at 4 p.m. and Mr. and Mrs. Smith Band at 8 p.m. on December 13 (Friday).

December 14 (Saturday) opened with Padyak sa Binanog 2019 at 7 a.m., Search for LBFQ 2019 at 7 p.m., Fair Play Band at 10 p.m.; December 15 (Sunday) Invitational Friendship Basketball Game and Reverb Band at 7 p.m.; December 16 (Monday) Indigenous People’s Day with Educator’s Night at 7 p.m. and Full Purse Band at 8 p.m.;

December 17 (Tuesday) Angel A Band at 7 p.m.; December 18 (Wednesday) Mr and Mrs. Smith Band at 8 p.m.;  December 19 (Thursday) Binanog Highlights and Patadyong Day with Mass at 6 a.m., Opening Program at 7 a.m., Tribe Competition with Saut Ka Banog interpretative Dance (Elementary Level)at 8 a.m., Merry Making at 6 p.m.,  Awarding and Fireworks at 7 p.m. with Souled Out Band at 9:30 p.m.

The town of Lambunao is a 48-kilometer or an hour land trip from Iloilo City. A second class municipality in the Third Congressional District of the province, the town is politically subdivided into 73 barangays. For more information, please contact Municipal Tourism Officer Jennifer Osorio at 09199950593.