Surigao; Holds Twin Festivals: 'BONOK-BONOK' AND 'PASAYAN'

Article excerpt

TOURISM does not only deal with destinations. Tourists go to certain place to see their festivals and sample the food they have. Last Sept. 9-11, more than 50,000 locals and foreign tourists attended the Bonok-Bonok Maradjaw Karadyaw and the Pasayan (Shrimps) Festivals in Surigao del Norte.

The affair was witnessed by Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, Mayor Alfonso S. Casurra; Merlinda Lagroma, provincial board member; Melva Garcia, city councilor; DOTNCR representatives BongBong Angeles, Ryvet Parino, May Ramos, Raffy Celis, Francis Franco and Benjie Lopez; and barangay officials of the 27 municipalities.

Gov. Robert Lyndon S. Barbers said Bonok-Bonok Festival is marked by street and stationary dancing in a Mardi Gras atmosphere. The celebration highlights the annual fiesta celebration of the city of Surigao.

"The city dancers interpret the Bonok-Bonok, a Mamanwas dance performed during thanksgiving worship to the Patron Saint San Nicolas Tolentino," Barbers said.

The rhythm usually starts with a slow beat and gradually gets faster, causing the dancers to work at pace with the music. Adding to the attraction of the dance is the colorful raiment, which include beaded headdresses or tuibaw, bracelets and anklets of the women. The ceremonial dress of the men and women are likewise in design, and of various colors.

The street dancing starts from Borromeo street, Bilang-Bilang Church, San Nicolas Street, Sr. San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral, Rizal street an ends at the Provincial Sports Complex.

Barbers, who was the chairman of the Bonok-Bonok Foundation, Inc., said "The festival is a cultural pageantry. Its ethnicity and religiosity appeal to the adoring throng. It is an experience which makes us appreciate the richness of our cultural heritage, the source of our pride as a people."

On the other hand, Surigao City Mayor Alfonso S. Casurra said, "The festival has through the years enthroned itself as one of the premier come-ons of our city. It has provided the opportunity for our people to remain in touch with our cultural heritage. …