Sibug-Sibug festival is one of the local cultural heritage in the municipality which was promoted during the administration of Mayor Erlinda E. Dela Victoria at the annual celebration of the foundation day of Albuera on December 19, 2011. The festival is in line with the provisions of R.A. No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 where local government units (LGUs) are mandated to ensure the protection, preservation, conservation and promotion of the local cultural and historical heritage.
For the ensuing years the Sibu-Sibug festival was presented during the annual foundation day celebration, however, during the succeeding administrations in recent years the activity was not continued.
With this present administration’s program to revive this cultural activity with deep-seated historical significance, Sibug-Sibug festival of Albuera is worthy of conservation and continuance to instill awareness and appreciation among the present and future generations of Albueranos on the noble exploits and resilience of our local forefathers who were the early settlers of the periphery of Sibugay river and its adjacent coastal areas. The following is the whole concept originally created by the main author.
Sibug - Sibug Festival of Albuera 2019
Sibug-Sibug Festival is a cultural commemoration of the life and environmental condition of the Sibugaynons and the early settlers of Albuera before it became a municipality. It is directly related with the main body of fresh water upon which the early settlers depended in their daily life. The said waterway, during the later years, was always threatening the settlers and their livelihood especially during inclement weather condition. This was due to changing route of the flow of water within the adjacent areas along the present Sibugay River. This threat was compounded with the band of Moros invading and rampaging the coastal settlements including Sibugaynons.
Later Generations in the 20th and 21st centuries have tried to revive the achievements of the early Sibugaynons through cultural presentations in the form of stage performance during fiestas (locally called “Linangbay,” a crab specie) and foundation day celebrations, however, these were not sustained.
As a fitting tribute to this unique and informal cultural achievement of our early ancestors, a modified traditional and “modern” dance presentation is evolved.
THE CONCEPT OF SIBUG-SIBUG FESTIVAL
The general connotation of “Sibug-Sibug” implies a forward-backward movement of anything. However, for the specific application of the term, insofar as Sibugay river is concerned, it is the sideward changing flow of water (Sibug-agay, thus, shortened as Sibugay) from upstream to downstream in which the areas of lower elevation is usually inundated. For relatively flat areas, such as the Poblacion area, there have been several changes in the river course through the years and this was how Sibugay River got its name.
The history of Albuera indicated that the dominant settlers were located at the periphery of the river basin of Sibugay River near the sea coast and they were called Sibugaynons.
The concept of having this festival is to trace the roots of our municipality from its simple and noble past. The street dancing activity is a cultural expression of how our brave ancestors have defended their settlement against invaders.
Once the Sibug-Sibug Festival shall be fully organized into a municipal-wide-socio-cultural activity, the different sectors in the locality shall be mobilized to participate in a yearly consolidated gathering which shall culminate during the foundation day celebration of the town of Albuera every December 19.
During this celebration, local products, accomplishments, economic and cultural items of tourist attraction shall also be presented and displayed. The major component of the celebration which is expected to generate dynamic participation and viewers is the street dancing. It is envisioned to infuse more tourists from other localities, or even foreigners, and consequently benefitting our local constituents.
The festival is also geared to instill to the minds of the people the value of preserving the environment, the importance of forest restoration, clean and green surroundings and man’s dependency from our natural resources.
Although Sibugay river has been focused in this festival, however, it is only symbolic because the concept includes the whole municipality together with all the rivers and the environment within its jurisdiction and its adjacent localities.
The street dancing is composed of at least 50 performers mostly male who are in native warrior attire. The number of female participants shall depend on the mechanics or criteria as formulated by the organizing committee. The dance steps to be performed shall be in “sibug-sibug” motion (forward and backward movement with alternating sideward steps). Hand-to-hand combat paraphernalia such as bolo, spear and crude protective gear shall be carried by the warrior (dancer) during the whole duration of the activity. Dancing attire, wardrobes and other support equipment shall also be determined by the committee.
Karatong is a piece of bamboo (of “patong” specie) which is devised and formed, with a longitudinal hole to produce a unique sound. Traditionally, it was used to warn residents of an impending danger affecting the area.
The Sibugaynons used the “Karatong” when an observer at the watchtower sees Moro vintas at the horizon moving towards coastal settlements.
Hence, during street dancing karatong shall be used to produce a beating sound upon which the dance steps are performed. (However, for other option as a modern approach, drums or other musical instruments may be used).
The music to be used in the street dancing shall be determined by the organizers. It shall complement the timing of the beating of karatong. The basic factors to be considered are its appropriateness to the dance steps and its melodic resonance being harmoniously pleasing and not annoying to the ears of viewers and listeners.
WHY SIBUG-SIBUG FESTIVAL/STREET DANCING?
This cultural presentation is being conceived to relive the resilience of Sibugaynons inspite the adversities that they experienced. It is also an avenue to promote awareness of the people in order to restore and preserve our environment thereby assuring its sustainability to the future generation.
This festival is a major catalyzing factor to develop our local tourism--- wherein our Sibugay Mountain Resort being a local point of convergence--- to ultimately improve the socio-economic development of the municipality being part and parcel of our vision.