Call it taking one of my missions in life seriously, I mean, after all, this is how my blog site came to be and is about: the journey of the native stranger now paying attention.
I celebrated my riding of the tartanilla (a horse-drawn carriage that is commonly known in other parts of the Philippines as kalesa) for the first time. Why is it worth to celebrate for me? Well, my university days was a four and a half years of traversing the streets surrounding Carbon Market, Duljo Fatima, Pasil , Leon Kilat and more and I never rode the tartanilla.
And in case you do not know, these are the routes of these humble (and old) means of transportation today. I did not miss a day not seeing the carriage around. I always said to my self then that one thing that will complete my being a Cebuana is to ride the tartanilla. And it feels good to fulfill that small promise. Thanks to the Gabii sa Kabilin celebrated last night. Know what it is about here.
So yes, the Night of Heritage.
I spent most of my time at Casa Gorordo Museum, the home of the first Filipino Bishop in Cebu, Bishop Juan Gorordo. According to the guide, “Filipino” then was more of a political term so it may not mean that the bishop was of Filipino blood. The Casa Gorordo was built in the mid 19th century and was bought by Juan Isidro de Gorordo in 1863.
For the Gabii sa Kabilin celebration, a program (there were also presentations in every participating museum) was held in the garden outside the museum itself. There was the dancing of the Kuradang, a Visayan festival dance which opened the event held at Casa Gorordo. The Marigondon Elementary School Stringed Orchestra also entertained the guest with their music; the repertoire included the songs from The Sound of Music and a few Visayan songs.
One of the most enjoyable parts was the Balitaw performed by the natives of Dumanjug, Cebu. The man offered his love to the woman but the woman only said “wala na’y masugo si Mama (there is no one else to help Mother)”. Balitaw is a Filipino literary tradition – an extemporaneous exchange of love verses* (like a debate in courtship) between a man and a woman accompanied by a song.
Then there were also songs from the Talisay Fisher Folk Combo Lata and their performance was no less than effortless. Mura ra sila’g na’g-inom og tuba o Kulafu sa ilang tugkaran o sa tindahan ba kaha ni Manang. If I am not mistaken the songs they sung were of Max Surban and Yoyoy Villame – the Visayan music legends.