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February 15, 2010

Dinagyaw Sa Tablas 2010: Teaser Pictures

I am currently editing the video clips I took during the Festivities at Candoni last February 11, 2010. For now I am posting teaser pictures of the Dinagyaw sa Tablas Festival. This is the 2nd year of a young festival celebration which is actually portraying the very history of this town.

Dinagyaw means "Bayanihan" or Community Spirit. This is commemorating the exodus of Negrenses led by Santiago H. Diego and founded the town of Candoni, nestled in Tabla Valley. The pioneers were called Tablenios. Since then, the early settlers built roads and bridges and buildings without a single centavo from the Philippine government. It was through cooperation and unity that the early settlers were able to establish what is now a thriving municipality.

As mentioned in my earlier blogs, I was able to make a suggestion during the working committee meeting for the Festival if the town can adopt a Bahay Kubo or Nipa Hut as the Festival's icon. The symbol of a Nipa Hut being carried on the shoulders of men is a strong icon of Filipino Bayanihan. I was happy that they were able to take the suggestion. Now, Candoni has a signature festival of its own. Bacolod has its masks, Bago has its cannons; La Carlota has its latin drum beaters; Kabankalan has its Aetas and The Sto. Nino. Now Candoni has its payag or Bahay Kubo.

The Dinagyaw Dance depicts both myth and reality. It tells the historic account of how the early settlers arrived in Tabla Valley, cleared the area, tilled the soil and establish a growing community. It also tells of a legendary story of Candonay, a demi-goddess or diwata or fairy of Tabla Valley. According to legend, Candonay was a forsaken lover who killed herself when abandoned by her love. It is said that the name of the town was taken from her name. Some old folks would refer to a real person and tell of a real story somewhat similar to the myth of Candonay. But whether she existed or not, she has become also another iconic symbol of Candoni: a wild spirit that will never be killed. She roams the forests of Candoni believed to be still searching for her love. To commemorate Candonay, every year the municipality would host the Lin-ay sang Tabla Valley Beauty Pageant.

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