CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (January 19, 2015/for #newmedia) — In keeping with the traditions of the Gorordo family and the Parian area, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. continue with the annual “Sinug sa Casa Gorordo” even when the museum is closed for upgrading and “beat keeper” Estelita “Nang Titang” Diola has already passed away.
Casa Gorordo Museum is a historic house museum that showcases 19th-century Cebuano-Filipino lifestyle, was closed last Sept. 20 to give way for an eight-month upgrading program that will bring the facility to be at par with world-class museology standards.
House traditions, including the Sinug, of the Gorordo family are continued to be celebrated by the museum as part of RAFI’s pledge to conserve aspects of local heritage that contribute to Filipino cultural identity.
Today, for the second straight year, the dance ritual showing the original Sinulog dance steps was performed without Nang Titang, whose death last March 2013 left a void in the task of keeping this Sinulog heritage alive.
Nang Titang, however, managed to pass on the dance steps to her daughter Carolina and original Sinulog drum beat to Carolina’s son Rommel.
Since the Casa Gorordo Museum is closed, however, the Sinug was held infront of the RAFI Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center building across the museum in historic Parian.
Sinug is a traditional dance-prayer offered to the Santo Nino de Cebu. Its beat and choreography are different from the popular Sinulog street dance seen during the feast of the Holy Child in Cebu every third Sunday of January.
The more popular Sinulog and Titang’s Sinug differ in many ways. The less known Sinug dance has its own fixed format and its own unique beat and steps not present in the Sinulog, despite the fact that both dances pay homage to the Senor Santo Nino.
The Sinug does not have a dancing “reyna” who carries the image of the Senyor in the Sinulog. Instead, the icon is placed at an altar facing the dancers.
The dance narrates the coming of Christianity to the Philippines, the conflict between the locals and the Spaniards and eventual peace between the two forces through the intercession of the Sto. Nino.
The Sinug dancers were traditionally invited by the Gorordo family and other Parian families who wished to pray for the souls of their departed loved ones in this special way, on the Monday after the fiesta of the Senyor.
Believing that the dance ritual is worth preserving for the next generations to witness and experience, RAFI, through its Culture and Heritage Unit, has supported the group’s efforts to ensure that the Sinug tradition lives on.
The Sinug dance ritual this Monday would still be performed by the Turang Dance Troupe from Mabolo, Cebu City. The dancers, though, would be led by Carolina Diola and her son Rommel Borja, upon whose shoulders now lie the responsibility of preserving this unique aspect of the Cebuano’s Sinulog heritage.
Titang Diola learned the dance steps when she was seven from her father, Buenaventura “Turang” Diola and was taught the beat by a certain Mariano “Iklot” Bontilao.
“We’re still continuing this one because this is part of our tradition. Even during the war, the Sinug was always danced. We are keeping it alive,” Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, RAFI Culture & Heritage Unit executive editor, said.
Aside from the Sinug, the Casa Gorordo Museum continues to carry out its other house traditions like the Kwaresma Procession, Pista ni San Juan, and displaying of the Gorordo Belen.
For inquiries, please call May Sanchez at 418.7234 loc. 703 or Rene Martel at 418.7234 loc. 407/540.###