Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Carol in Ilocos

Just a few days before Christmas, The Integrated General Parent-Teachers’s Association in cooperation with The Supreme Student Government of Ilocos Norte National High School staged a concert called Gratias! A Choral Celebration.



This has featured four choir groups consisting of Laoag City Children’s Choir, INHS Youth Choir, Samiweng Singers and the Coro Ilocano.

The Coro Ilocano is composed of choir conductors and singers headed and conducted by Robert Caluya. They sang Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jingle Bell Rock, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and We wish you a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Promising Rock Band

I don’t know why they call themselves as Hydrosepaluz but it sounds like a medical condition. We commonly knew it as the enlargement of the head. When they say big headed, it figuratively means having an attitude problem. But this promising rock band is a no-no. They are down to earth people. I personally met them during the Sunrise Festival where we jammed together at one of the banana que stands in Laoag City. They are so courteous and hilarious at the same time. They invited me to see their concert.

So when I went to watch them, I liked their music. They play different genre of music. According to them it’s a proto-experimental music. It’s enjoyable to listen to. It’s not heavy and the song is easy to understand. They sang Sa Gabing Ito and other songs.

This band originated from the province of Zambales. It is founded on October 2006 with its original members Makuri Makuru as vocalist and guitarist and bassist Rakizza. The new members are Juvy (Trumpet) and Buboy (Drums). They play on various gigs in Manila and other provincial areas. They do not dream to conquer the mainstream industry but only to share the music they love. So when you share something that you love, people will love it too.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Indigenous Peoples' Celebration

October is the month of the indigenous peoples. It was on this month that the indigenous peoples’ celebration in Ilocos Norte was held at the Janssen Hall spearheaded by the Diocese of Laoag.

It was celebrated with the theme “Panagpaimbag ti napalabas para ti panagkaykaysa gapu ti nagbiduttan kadagiti kapuonan.” It means healing of the past to make reconciliation and unity among the peoples.

It was a celebration full of cultural value. The rituals and ethnic performances were showcased on this celebration. There was dancing, chanting and singing from the different groups of indigenous peoples.

In Ilocos Norte, there are four major towns inhabited by the indigenous peoples group namely, Adams, Dumalneg, Carasi and Nueva Era. Aside from this activity, they also hold an annual gathering every April that rotates on this towns. The other towns that have the IP groups are Vintar, Solsona, Pagudpud, Marcos, Dingras, and Bangui. Apayaos, Igorots, Itnegs and Tinggians were the first inhabitants of the province. Other groups are Yapayao, Kankanaey, Isneg, and Imalawa.

TIPS holds Kadaanan Photo Exhibit

The Ilocandia Photographic Society recently held its photo exhibit on December 16-18, 2010 at the Heritage Resort of Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. It was entitled KADAANAN: A Photography Exhibit on Ilocandia’s Old World Charm. This was a showcase of the vintage Ilocos. It featured photographs of the world heritage monuments, the old colonial fashion and other ancient practices of the Ilocanos.

This was held in time for the 5th Nakem International Conference with the theme Adal ken Sirib: Education to Cultural Diversity and Linguistic Democracy. It is a conference on the Ilocano culture and literature. It was attended by delegates from Hawaii, US mainland, Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and other places.

The exhibit was opened by Caoayan Mayor Germelina Singson Goulart and MMSU president Dr. Miriam Pascua.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recitation of Daniw

A poetry and literature night was held at the Mariano Marcos Memorial University College of Teacher Education campus in Laoag City during the 7th Sunrise Festival. Supervisors and teachers participated in the recitation of daniw or poem. They interpreted the poems of Ilocano poets and writers such as Dr. Godofredo Reyes, Mr. Cles Rimbaud, Dr. Alegria Visaya and many more.

It was my first time to see recitation of daniw. It was fun to watch them deliver every line. It is totally different when you just read. When they recite with feelings, you appreciate it much more. All were written in Ilocano dialect so I had difficulty understanding some high falutin words but with recitation I can grasp the meaning. Most of the poems rhyme beautifully and some were funny.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Festival of Light: An Ephemeral Art


An ephemeral art is an art that lasts for a short period of time. It is transitory or short-lived. The festival of light held in Laoag City during the 7th Sunrise Festival is an ephemeral art. Some of the delegates includung us members of The Ilocandia Photographic Society (TIPS) joined and documented this very interesting activity. It was held in the wee hours of the morning at Padsan River under the Laoag bridge.

It was started at 4 in the morning with arrangement of pieces of coconut shells with wick made of linen or woven cloth and placed oil on it. They were scattered all over the river bank. The group also made a bonfire and started to light everything at the same time. Some of the lights were floated into the flowing water. The participants beat the drums and sang and chanted babanam kevalam which means love is all there is. While the rest danced. This is truly another unique experience.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pen Pen de Sarapen

Pen pen de sarapen is a popular children’s song in the Philippines. It’s been a long time that I did not hear this music until Emil Sanglay and Penpen performed this song during the 7th Sunrise Festival in Ilocos Norte. It has a new twist because they added lyrics with a very meaningful message in a new arrangements. The following is the lyrics of the original song:

Pen pen de sarapen,
de kutsilyo de almasen
Haw, haw de carabao batutin

Sipit namimilipit ginto't pilak
Namumulaklak sa tabi ng dagat.

Sayang pula tatlong pera
Sayang puti tatlong salapi


Kutsilyo means knife, batutin is stinky, almasen means warehouse and ginto't pilak is gold and silver. The verses don't make much sense but the words rhyme and are fun to recite. Filipino children sing this to select the person who's going to be the "it" in a game. This song is the counterpart of the English counting rhyme "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe."

The Andean Music

This genra of music comes from the Inca Empire before the European influence. The Inca Empire includes the people of Quechuas and Aymaras covering the countries of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. This music from South America makes use of wind and percussion instruments like the panpipe called antara or siku. I was able to play with t2is instrument wen I visited La in America. The}e instruments are constructed from aquatic reeds found in many lakes in the Andean Region. The sik├║ has usually two rows of canes and are tuned in either pentatonic or diatonic scales.

Lucky that I watched the performance of a guest during the 7th Sunrise Festival in Ilocos Norte. He was Alex Amador of Bolivia. He has performed several times during the event and everyone enjoyed his music. He played the panpipe, flute and other wind instruments.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Ethno Tribal Performance

During the celebration of the 7th Sunrise Festival in Laoag, the Kawangis ng Tribu of Palawan, a group of young people who has the big passion for music, came to perform. They did an astonishing number during the opening of the Saringit Art Exhibit at the Laoag City Hall Auditorium. Personally I and the crowd enjoyed their music very much. They used drums and other musical instruments such as tambol, agung, babandil, gangsa, kulintang, kudyapi, hegalong, babandil, atong-atong, solibao, dabakan, bungkaka, kubing, gabang, budyong, rainstick, seed, bamboo and brass chimes to deliver an exciting sound..

Ethno comes from the word ethnic and connected to moderno. Their music genra is a fusion of the tribal, traditional rhythms and the jive of the worlds drum beat. They adapt music from the different ethnic tribes such as the Palaw an, Tagbanua, Bagobo, T'boli, Muslim, and Igorot. This group of Kawangis is a member of the Maharliqa Artists and Wuiters Federatiou and has perforued in various events all over the country.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bunubun Children Street Art

It’s a historic feat that the province of Ilocos Norte has set a record for getting a large number of children and did a simultaneous street art activity. It’s actually a chalk art activity where some benevolent people donated various colors of chalk.

The Maharlika Artists and Writers Federation (MAWF) in cooperation with the Department of Education Ilocos Norte brought 2500 students infront of the Capitol Ground who participated in the said event. There were some 50 teachers who accompanied the students.

This is the very first time that a street art activity was held in the province. Children formed some groups while others worked individually. They drew landmarks of Laoag such as the belltower with the sunshine logo. They drew varied art designs.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ylocosining: The 7th Sunrise Festival

The 7th Sunrise Festival spearheaded by the Maharlika Artists and Writers Federation (MAWF) was held on November 24-28, 2010 in the province of Ilocos Norte with the theme Ylocosining: Hidden Treasures of the North. Several activities were held in the various towns of Ilocos Norte.

The event had a launching ceremony at the town of Badoc. The mayor warmly receives the entire delegation. There were 500 participants in this event with performers, visual artists, photographers, professors, poets, cultural workers and others. The participants came from different places such as Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Zambales, Iloilo, Cebu, India, France, Italy, Australia and Bolivia. A lecture on the life and works of Juan Luna was delivered by the curator.

The delegation was later taken to Paoay Church for a quick stop then to the town of Batac where a discussion and interaction with local students was held at the World Peace Center. It was followed by an exciting poem and literature night held at the Mariano Marcos State University in Laoag.

On its second day, an Ephemeral Art Exhibit on the Laoag Festival of Lights was conducted in the wee hours of the morning at the Padsan River in Laoag. Several coconut shells with gas mantles were lighted at the river banks. Some of them were placed on the flowing waters. Prayers and chants were offered then drum music was later played.

An opening ceremony of the Saringit Visual Arts and Photo Exhibit organized by artists Florence Cinco and Guijo Duenas was held at the Laoag City Auditorium. TIPS members were there to present their photos. Vice Mayor Domingo cut the ceremonial ribbon. Later, a rock concert was held at Batac with performances from different bands.

The third day was a folk and acoustic music concert held at the old plaza of the town of San Nicolas. There were performances from the local singers such as Rudy Corpuz. The Kawangis ng Tribu of Palawan, PETA group of Manila Pangalay Artists Circle, HydroSepalus, Emil Sanglay, Alex Amador of Bolivia and so many others have performed.

The fourth day was the Bunubun Children Street Art. There were some 2,000qstudents of theqprovince particupated in this cualk art event. Singising cultural night was later held at the Capitol in Laoag with the performances from a dance group from Pangasinan, Kiangan Cultural Troupe of Ifugao, Ilocos Sur Cultural Troupe, Saguday DanceTroupe, Northern Christian College Dance Troupe, Glasspoint, HydroSepalus, Unitiima and a lot more converge to showcase their talents in this festival.

On its last day and to conclude the event, a workshop on castle making, djembe, creative and fire dance was held in the town of Pagudpud.