Alabel, Sarangani Province ( November 28, 2013) –During the Panagtigum 2013: Anniversary Program of the 21st Foundation Anniversary and 11thMuna’to Festival of Sarangani Province, the Cultural Exchange ( Cultural Dance Presentation – Finale) was presented by the Infinity Dance Troupe.
The highlight of the presentation was the Pangalay– a traditional Tausug dance performed in elaborate body postures and gestures, with graceful arm and hand synchronization, to the tune of the music of agong, gabang, gandang, and kulintangan. Pangalay is also referred as the fingernail dance amplified by the use of janggay or metal claws, usually performed in wedding celebrations and at big social affairs.
According to Talib ( as he is fondly called) – an experienced cultural dance instructor and head coach of the Local Government of Unit of Malapatan for the Street Dancing Competition of the Muna’to 2013, Pangalay is a cultural dance which is performed in rhythmic bouncing of the shoulder, simultaneous waving of the arms , and emphasizes agility of the upper body or torso.
To the audience, the Pangalay may look quite simple at first glance but looking closely, its profoundness and intricacy becomes more obvious. Other Southern Asian modes of classical dancing includes the Cambodian, Burmese, Javanese, Balinese, and Thai. “Temple Dancing” is its name in Sanskrit, or the Holy language of much of India.
It was amazing to have experienced watching the cultural showcase during the Muna’to (muna’ – first; ‘to – people) Festival because our understanding of our heritage and culture is now wider and strengthened. Any efforts now for development is a lot clearer with a firm understanding of our origins.
Alina Santos, Camille Tapec, Eden Bombeo
Munato Festival is an annual celebration to commemorate the first inhabitants of Sarangani. Like any other festival, beauty pageant has become a part of this celebration.
Pearl of Sarangani is one of the highlight events, representatives were sent by different municipalities namely: Maasim, Maitum, Kiamba, Alabel, Malapatan, Glan and Malungon to compete for the crown.
The Pride of Alabel, Janekka Escudero bested 12 other candidates during the Pearl of Sarangani 2013 pageant night, held in front of Sarangani Capitol last November 29. Mario Valentino Baladjay and Dyan Castillejo hosted the event.
The stage heated up, when the candidates ramped wearing their Creative, Casual, Swimsuit and Filipiniana Attires. The first three minor awards were brought by Candidate No. 7 (Alice Villanueva of Kiamba) and the last one was brought by Candidate No. 11 (Shiriel Pelones- of Maitum).
Ovation and cheers thundered across the scene when these 13 candidates were cut down into six after the attire competitions and preliminary interview. The competition was getting intense when Candidate No. 8 (Janekka Escudero-Alabel), 9 (Sharene Joy Chato-Glan) and 2 (Queenie Lyn Arellano-Alabel) survived with another set of interview and was announced as the final three.
Silence filled the crowd as these candidates faced the final Q&A answering the same question: “If you have a one million dollar right now, what would you do first and why?”
“I will help the people who are less fortunate, I’ll donate some to our church and I’ll save the rest for future purposes.” uttered Nicole in a confident voice.
All eyes were set on the stage, waiting for the final announcement of who will be wearing the prestigious crown. However, Escudero ramped her way to victory. Meanwhile, Chato emerged as 1st runner-up and Arellano was proclaimed as 2nd runner-up.
Escudero at first was not the crowd’s favorite, but when she was awarded as the Best in Talent, Dyan Castellejo was amazed that she did skating, twirling, singing and dancing all in one production and she got everybody’s attention when Castillejo notice her confidence in speaking in English.
For three consecutive years, Municipality of Alabel has able to produce winners in the most prestigious pageant in Sarangani. In 2011 Lara Robles and Nina Alba in 2012 were crowned as Pearls of Sarangani and now, another pride of Alabel, Janekka Escudero brought home the most coveted title.
The newly crowned Pearl of Sarangani will carry the burden of being an Ambassadress of Goodwill, Beauty with a Purpose and most of all she will represent Sarangani Province in one of the famous beauty pageant in the World- Ms. Earth Philippines.
Moros are a multilingual ethnic group whose name originated from the Spanish word Moor, and most of them live in the western part of Mindanao Island. There are at least ten Moro ethno-linguistic subgroups, all descended from the same Malayan race that populated the rest of the Philippines. Three of these groups make up the majority of the Moro. They are the Maguindanaos of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Maguindanao provinces; the Maranaw of the two Lanao provinces; and the Tausug of the Sulu Archipelago. Smaller groups include the Banguigui, Samal, Badjao, Yakan, Ilanon, Sangir, Malabugnan, and the Jama Mapun.
They are not closely knit and somehow lack solidarity. Every group is proud of their own uniqueness in terms of culture, identity and language, including their variation of Islam and one of the best ways to portray their identity is through the form and structure of their ancient community, the Pangingadan.
For three consecutive years of Munato Festival, the Province of Sarangani, in order to preserve and display the richness of Moro culture as well as to educate the present generation showcases different moro houses in a pangingadan which was participated by six of its municipalities. This year’s pangingadan was formally opened with a traditional moro wedding ceremony which starts from the catching of ring at the main entrance of the village by Sarangani Gov. Steve C. Solon who plays to be the groom, as he is being led and guided by the pandita ( moro religious scholar) and then welcomed to a moro house by the tribal chieftain. Inside the house awaits the first lady, Michelle Solon, dressed in a moro wedding gown. A salah (muslim prayer) is being recited to the couple then the groom goes around the bride for three times and points his thumb to the bride’s forehead which formally confirms them as a newly wed couple.
Afterwards they are being presented to the public for the kanduli (banquet) where moros gather and enjoin in feasting and eating over muslim delicacies such as panyalam, made from ground rice, kumokonsi,made from flour and the tinagtag, which according to moros is the hardest delicacy to be made because of its sensitivity in the eyes of the people .According to one of its makers, the tinagtag during the earlier times is made inside a kolambo (mosquito net) because it will not grow if many people will see or talk about it.
Moro pangingadan is composed of a number of houses or cottages in a moro community, which is different from every muslim tribe. Every moro tribe presents its own uniqueness in structural design and architecture which reflects the tradition and culture of the moros.The Muncipality of Alabel presented a cottage based on a Maranao culture being traders, its cottage showed different moro clothing and utensils. Maitum municipality,also presented a Maranao inspired cottage which attracted the eyes of the visitors with its colorful architecture and woven linen.In contrast, the municipality of Kiamba presented the simplicity of Tausugs but shows their identity as warriors and fierce moros. The municipality of Maasim with its Samal moro tribe concept, presented a cottage with banig as a the primary design.
The Municipality of Malapatan was championed, it represents the Maguindanaon moros. The house is made of cogon and bamboos which was supported by a piece of uway, the traditional moro nail, surrounded by bamboo flagpoles which are called pasandalan (the tallest),pasilong (the medium-height) and the pamanay(the smallest).Every flagpole shows the bright colors of gold and green which is only reserved for royal blooded moros. The house is atleast 3-6 feet above the ground. A small stair made of bamboo can also be seen in front of the house. A moro cottage is best described as a bedroom-kitchen house because it has no other features than a bedroom and a kitchen compared to the present generation houses.Inside a moro house is a room without a door where the moro family sleeps or takes a rest after a long day of farming, hunting or fishing.The floor of the room is matted with a hand-woven banig no beds or chairs. This is usually seen only in a datu’s house to symbolize royalty among moros. Beside the room is the kitchen with a palayok , sandok ,kabo ( moro drinking glass) and a banga where water is being kept.
Moros live in a simple way of life. To be able to stay in a simple house, to eat and sustain in a living will be enough for them to survive each day. They are the moros, our fore fathers, one of the Muna’ to (first people).