Keeping the “Sinug” Alive

The weather may be bad that day, but it did not stop and dampen the essence of the once a year dance prayer tradition or Sinug, held a day after the feast of the Señor Santo Niño on January 16,2017.  This has been a part of the tradition of the Casa Gorordo Museum that pays homage to the Holy Child.

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Sinug is a traditional dance prayer that has been considered the forerunner of the more popular Sinulog. The dance prayer has its own fixed format and unique beat not seen in modern Sinulog dances.The dance recounts the arrival of Christianity here in the Philippines and how it started, highlighting the skirmishes between the Spaniards and the natives as well as the reception and rebirth of faith of the locals through the intercession of Sto. Niño.

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The niece of the late Estelita Diola, known as “Inday Titang,” Carolina Diola, 66, the oldest among the dancers of the Barangay Mabolo Turang Dance Troupe, led the dancing of the dance troupe. “Inday Titang,” who was said to be the “keeper” of the dance and the beat of Sinug passed away last 2013.

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Leading the young group is a challenge for Carolina. But it has been a tradition for their family to offer a dance prayer to the Holy Child. She said the lasting legacy of the dance was handed over to her by Inday Titang.The Sinug steps and the drum beats are complicated compared to the Sinulog dance steps.

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She also added that the Sinug is a dance of prayer and faith which she also tries to convey to the young members of the dance troupe. According to Florencio Moreño II, Curator of Casa Gorordo Museum, it has been a tradition of the Gorordo family and other families living in Parian to invite Sinug dancers to offer a prayer dance for the souls of their departed loves ones.

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The Ramon Abiotiz Foundation  through its Culture and Heritage Unit believes that the dance ritual should be kept and preserved, for it shows the Cebuano history and that the Sinug tradition lives on.

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