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The 12th Binanog Festival 2015

Binanog Festival

The 12th Binanog Festival 2015 – The Binanog is a traditional Philippine celebration and courtship dance performed by the Bukidnon tribe of Lambunao. The dance involves movements in imitation of the flight of the hawk or banog, after which the dance is named.

It is performed in honor of the Sto. Nino in a festival that takes place during the 2nd Sunday of January. The dance actually consists of three dance forms: the Binanugan, wherein the movements of the birds are imitated; the Inagong sayaw-sayaw, which is a form of celebration dance; and; the Dinagmay, which is a courtship dance. The rhythmic beating of drums and gongs accompanies the dance.


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According to legend, the Bukidnon people observed that the hawks were taking their chickens and followed them. They became fascinated by the movements of the birds, particularly their flight pattern and how the male hawks chased the female hawks. They also came to revere the hawks as they noticed that their fields grew greener and their landscape more lush with the help of these birds. They imitated the hawks’ courtship ritual to come up with the dance.

With their conversion to Christianity at the time of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, the Bukidnon people decided to perform the dance in honor of the Sto. Nino.

The tradition declined in modern times, but was revived by the local government with the creation of the Binanog Festival in 2004. The highlight of the festival is a dance competition.

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Accuracy and agility of footwork are emphasized in the dance. Minuet-like steps are performed by the brightly-costumed dancers to a lively beat. The climax of the dance is when the woman dancer catches the man with her handkerchief.

The traditional costume for the binanog dance consists of a koton, an intricately embroidered costume, which is worn under either a saipang, a bell-like garment made of piña cloth, or the sinombrahan, which is an embroidered cotton wrap either in red or white.


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