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boholrepublic

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Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« on: August 02, 2007, 08:05:07 PM »
It’s not August yet, is it? No! But what about the Sandugo? What!?! It’s done? The Sandugo happened without me noticing it? The Sandugo actually happened without me noticing it!

This is clearly a stretch. But very likely, considering this year’s Sandugo Festival which could have bannered the theme: Let’s all celebrate – NOT!

I know, we say this each year to most occasions: Christmas, New Year’s, fiestas. “Last year was better.” “It’s so boring this year.” And businessmen would rattle off: “Oh, we incurred much more profits last year.” “The economy’s bad this year.” (When really, the economy has been the same around here – really, really bad – since, forever?) And, ooh, ooh, what about the ear-splitting monologue of them older species? “Everything was better during our time.” Blah-blah-blah. “A sack of rice was only 1 cent.” Blah-blah-blah.

My histrionic is definitely in the running of being tagged along these shady presumptions, but when something sucks, it sucks. This year’s Sandugo, for instance.

The Sandugo Festival is supposedly rooted in Boholano tradition and history, as embodied by Datu Sikatuna’s blood compact and treaty of friendship with the Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi in March 16, 1565. (Its historical context is even debatable but to dwell on that would be a whole new doctorate dissertation altogether, and that’s excluding the National Historical Institute (NHI)-declared site of the supposed event. So let’s not.)

What’s certain is the continuing (and alarming) decline of the festival since its conception as a spectacular and vibrant celebration of the Boholano people. Well, it was also thought up as a marketing measure for the province’s then fledgling tourism industry which should give us all the more reason to up the ante with the Sandugo Festival if just to substantiate our claims that Bohol is (or is becoming) the country’s top tourism destination. (But really, who are we kidding? Boracay is still the most flocked-to island in the country.)

Streetdancing is staple to Philippine festivals as we know them. With Sandugo, it’s that and the blood compact re-enactment. But whereas other festivals like the Sinulog and Maskara have the Sto. Niño (hala bira, Viva Sto. Niño! chant and the signature Sinulog steps), and the colorful maskara’s, respectively, as icons already stamped into Philippine symbology, the Sandugo has – what? Not even the blood compact symbol conveys festive nor memorable enough. Which with the many years it’s been celebrated should’ve already registered something, anything, nothing.

Bohol is still represented by the ever adorable tarsier and the enduring Chocolate Hills. The Sandugo Festival has basically contributed little to our tourism industry. It has almost become a customary (month-long) holiday, something we have to do because we’re supposed to, not unlike those obscure historic holidays where scores of Philippine flags are raised for reasons no longer discussed at length than in the 15-minute recycled speeches of some (clueless, for sure) government official.

Sandugo streetdancing used to be this really huge event where people go out of their way in droves to watch the city’s main thoroughfare transform into a gushing stream of dazzling dancing, captivating music and a sincere air of small-town intimacy about it. Streetdancing competitions were stiff (which meant superior performances), parade floats (I remember dump trucks suited up as galleons) were imposing. This year’s streetdancing was a non-event really, barely rescued by the recycled Sandugo Oracles updated only with Cesar Montano and Cesar Montano? (Will we have a yearly Sandugo Oracles staging hereon? That idea is not exactly revolting but not exciting either.)

Other Sandugo Festival elements have, equally if not even more, retrogressed. The Miss Sandugo Pageant was again bypassed this year. Trade Fairs and Product Showcases have been deliberately split (in what seems to be) along social lines. And we know which class got the pier, made obvious by its growing number of ukay-ukay stalls.

This could go on forever, me, pointing out the failings of this year’s Sandugo and those before it. I must stop, then. And must now shift to discussing remedies to the degenerating Sandugo.

Confront the Sandugo site issue. NHI has declared the Loay site as the real location of the Sandugo blood compact. What’s been done about it? Nada. The issue has been largely ignored to Loay’s chagrin for their Sandugo celebration in March was mostly snubbed, too.

Free it from politics, allow more genuine civil society participation in all its stages.

Plan it ahead. Other festivals arranged theirs months ahead and distribute updated festival brochures as early as two months away from the scheduled event. And the planning for this year’s Sandugo was stalled even more, what with the midterm election hoopla.

Sandugo fixture, it should remain so. Not to be replaced with Miss Gay Sandugo, but may only be supplemented with it.

Sandugo is superior to the TBTK. The Sandugo may not be masked over each time there’s TBTK, but be even made more spectacular with the participation of the homecoming Boholanos.

Concentrate the Sandugo. Clearly we can not sustain a month-long Sandugo. The bulk of the gaiety still goes to the streetdancing weekend, where it should be. So why not just make it into a weekend festival, 3 days of non-stop party, or week-long max if need be. Most festivals are: Pahiyas, Sinulog, even, Woodstock (3 days of peace, love and music).

Create a festive Sandugo symbol already. Blood is good. Or something red, for blood. We could all walk around painted all over with red. Or have a huge puddle of red mud where we all dive to get red-stained (yah, as in Woodsstock). Invent a Sandugo dance step. A Sandugo mascot. Something, anything.

Let’s just make it bloody exciting please. An anemic Sandugo celebration is not what Sikatuna and Legaspi slashed their wrists for.

Linkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=3076.0
The Journal for the High-minded Boholano|BOHOLREPUBLIC.COM|The Journal for the High-minded Boholano

Ligalig-Mike

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 08:49:35 PM »
The decadence of Sandugo happens because history and the reason for celebration started with the wrong foot.
Romans 10:9
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si makapuling

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 08:59:19 PM »
i go for the week long or even just 3 days long non stop party!!
"whoever said that nothing is impossible has obviously never tried nailing a jell-o onto a tree"

Macky Ferniz

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 09:42:16 PM »
Or activities "for a good cause" like blood-letting drive. We could be in the guinness world record for the "greatest volume of blood donated in a day", a good strategy to advertize Sandugo Festival.

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junayag

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 12:27:58 AM »


Bitaw, walang ingenuity nor something that would invite people to come for the difference.  What's being said are good ideas for the organizers to ponder on.  Kon mouli na ko pohon, moshare ko sa mga ideas.  Kaila man ko sa ubang organizers as we had the chance to meet during the Forum For the Bohol Commission for Arts and Culture? held at Meridian Hotel last May.  gamay ra man ang niattend sa forum, this means na gamay ra ang mga artists or those with inclination to arts in Bohol?

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Ligalig-Mike

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 12:42:58 AM »
Based on my hands-on observation while I was writing for the Bohol Chronicle for more than three years, it appears to me that our Sandugo activities are exercises of tasteless monotony. There's nothing new every year.

boholrepublic

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2007, 01:43:23 AM »
It is good to see this issue discussed. My true wish is that we (the stakeholders, basically, all Bol-anons) could all discuss this with the policy makers, public officials and the Sandugo Foundation where fruitful and tangible solutions could be made, at last. Sometimes, it's frustrating when all you could do is post about it in your blog or in a forum.  :)

(Note:Oops! I'm missing a few lines in my post. There should be: "Traditions started within the festival must not only be added, enhanced, innovated, not diminished. If the Miss Bohol Sandugo is already a" before "Sandugo fixture...". To read the full article with images, please visit boholrepublic.com)


ryan

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 09:44:34 AM »
july%2020-22%20081 - Sandugo 2007 was anemic - Talk of the Town

It was not anemic! Hahaha Or so I wrote in my blog. I had a fun taking photos of people, especially the dancers, who weren't having fun at all. I mean, under the sweltering heat of the freaky July sun, only a few could really afford a smile. Not without prodding from their trainors who would shout at those poor kids, "Smile! Smile mo! Kay naay piktyur!"

Oh, well.

For more photos, please click here.

or go to: http://ryanmacalandag.blogspot.com

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Sigbin II

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 11:25:29 AM »
It's part of a cycle.  Aside from the issues that boholrepublic has raised, which are perfectly valid, no Sandugo Festival celebration held in an election year has ever been noteworthy.
Buno!  Bangko-lamesa, tinidor-kutsara, plato-platito, sud-an, adobo, pahawa ka!

boholrepublic

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2007, 04:43:03 PM »
ditto to that sigbin 2. where in that cycle are we kaha?

olintaha

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2007, 10:14:59 AM »
I join your views.  Sandugo Festival is a misnomer.  Except for the re-enactment, what we see there does not relate to what a “sandugo” is.  So if what makes it a festival is the re-enactment only, we better forget it because we are not even settled where the actual event took place.  In similar non-religious festivals like: Camiguin’s “lansones festival”, the motive of the festival goers is to feast on their abundant lansones and to have a taste of their latest variety.  So do with other festivals like, Pangasinan’s “bangus festival”, Cordova’s “bakasi festival”, Talisay’s “lechon festival”, etc.  So you could just imagine what it would be like for a “lechon festival” without a smorgasbord of lechon, or a “bangus festival” without feasting on bangus.   Yes, we need to reinvent the festival to make it bloody exciting in the words of boholrepublic.  So here’s my two cents worth on this:  1.) I endorse Mackie Ferniz’ “blood-letting” for world record. At least, our festival goers have something in mind why they will go there, that is, to donate blood as a way of celebrating the sandugo festival.  2. To have a showcase of all “DUGO-DUGO” recipes which we boholanos are famous for, like “dugo-dugong baboy” and “dugo-dugong kabaw”.  Who knows there are other delicious dugo-dugo recipes out there waiting for a break.  In fact, in my hometown Sikatuna, we use to have DUGO-DUGO NGA SAGING SAGULAN UG TINADTAD BUKOBUKO SA MANOK, colored with chicken blood mixed with “saweti”.  It’s very delicious, like dimsum rice.  I really miss it.  Di ba nindot sanu, magpakuha kag dugo first, and then after you will eat your heart out with all kinds of dugo-dugo?  After that, pwede na ka mamalit ug ukay-ukay sa pier.  OK, lets make our views known to the sandugo organizers.

boholrepublic

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2007, 05:58:38 PM »
olintaha: thank you. i've heard of that sort of dugo-dugo you just described, particularly with the saging. and the way you describe it, sounds really delish! (god! i miss red meat! hehe) about the bloodletting, we used to have this event with my old org: padugo para sa bayan, basically a mass bloodletting activity and come to think of it, i think it would seem like fun to have a huge bloodletting activity, and i imagine the event to be really festive, there'd be music, bands, food, games, stuff (celebrities?). and i think it would sort of mainstream bloodletting, make it a really cool thing to do, not just for ROTC people or junkies who do it for the money. now, this'd all be just wishful thinking, is it not?

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olintaha

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2007, 09:59:05 AM »
Sandugo should innovate.  You know, according to my P.E. Teacher (sometime ago), the basketball game came into being because of the wishful thinking of the people who wanted to have an indoor game during winter season. And what used to be a primitive basketball game was continuously revised and improved to what it is now, also by the wishful thinking of the people who love the game.  It’s nothing different with our Sandugo Festival.  I’m sure it was also conceived out of the wishful thinking of our past leaders like Joe Torralba who (if I’m not mistaken) portrayed Datu Sikatuna in the first re-enactment.  So it’s just natural for us boholanos who love the festival to think, even wildly, of ways how to make it exciting.  Surely the organizers are not insensitive of clamors for change.  It is change for the better anyway.

junayag

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 04:14:17 AM »


i go for the idea of re-inventing sandugo... something that is festive and consummate a noble mission like the blood donation type.

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2007, 10:50:12 PM »
maot oy ang sandugo celeb na for the past years..walay life.

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2007, 07:00:09 PM »
I have hoped that Loay and Tagbilaran could come to an agreement to celebrating the Sandugo.  It would be more in keeping with the spirit of Sandugo.

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2007, 07:01:55 PM »
Every town in Bohol should have a Sandugo celebration.
Every province, even.
This smacks of a grand conspiracy to hide the non-existent, to identify the nameless, to paint a picture of the unseen. -- Benelynne

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2007, 07:02:28 PM »
The Blood Compact is not just for Bohol.

It is for the world.

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Ligalig-Mike

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2007, 07:07:51 PM »

Mogawas gyud ang pagka ija-ija, aho-aho sa mga Bol-anon as shown in Sandugo site war.

Sigbin II

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Re: Sandugo 2007 was anemic
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2007, 07:58:03 PM »

I've always hated that phrase and whenever it arises I try to interpret it along the more favorable terms of Engr. Jes Tirol, that it means Boholanos have a distinct respect for the individual rights of others instead of greed and self-interest.

Anyway, I've also wanted a real reenactment of Sandugo. ;)  They need not drink the blood, I'd just like to see if politicians have the guts to draw their own blood.

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