Devotee to dance the Sinulog in thanksgiving for her recovery-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
A DANCE of thanksgiving for a successful operation will be performed by a group of devotees on the eve of the feast day of the Sto. Niño this Saturday.
Lorna Alvarez, 42, said she was diagnosed with an enlargement of the heart and underwent a myoma operation on the day of canonization of Pedro Calungsod last Oct. 21, 2012.
A member of the Cofradia del Sto. Niño, she is offering a prayer of thanksgiving when she dances with the group on Saturday morning at the pier to welcome the arrival of the Sto. Niño image from Mandaue City and after the reenactment of the first baptism and first mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño.
Alvarez, a mother of three boys, said her thanksgiving dance is offered for the graces she received last year.
“I always believe in God’s grace. We receive blessings every day,” Alvarez told Sun.Star Cebu.
The Cofradia del Sto. Niño has been practicing their Sinulog routine for the past five months, meeting every Wednesday evening at the Pilgrim Center of the Basilica del Sto. Niño.
The Cofradia, Spanish for confraternity, was founded in 1565 with a mission to promote the devotion to the Holy Child. The members are mass collectors while some are teachers from the Our Lady of Joy School in Jugan, Consolacion.
The members are not professional dancers but only perform as a form of prayer to raise a petition or a thanksgiving, like Nenita Arreglo, 64, and 60-year-old Milagro dela Serna-Bragat.
The Sinulog is a dance ritual performed in honor of the Sto. Niño. The dancer moves two steps forward and one step backward to the beat of the drum.
The movement resembles the water current, or sulog in Cebuano.
The modern Sinulog dance is a variation of the steps of Estelita “Na Titang” Diola, said archeologist Jojo Bersales.
He said the dance steps of Diola comes from a tradition of the Spanish military, wherein boys carrying swords and shields dance in front of an altar similar to a liturgical dance.
The dance depicts the battle between Christians and moors in Southern Spain, Seville, he said.
Bersales said Diola learned the dance from her father and possibly also her grandfather. The dance movement spread during her visits to households in Cebu City and neighboring towns.
“The Sinulog came out in the open during the 400th anniversary of Christianization celebration in 1965, when they won in a contest,” he said.
Carolina Aliño-Diola, a niece of Na Titang, has assisted her aunt for many years and was taught the traditional dance.
“Ang Senyor dili isayaw kay murag gidula-dula daw. Ibutang lang siya sa pedestal or altar, dili siya isayaw-sayaw (The Sto. Niño is not carried around during the dance because it would be like playing. The image is just placed on a pedestal or altar),” said Diola.
Diola dances the two steps forward and one step backward movement but with a slight skip in between, which makes it more difficult than its modern counterpart.
She calls this movement pinakinto or kinampilan.
Diola would accompany her aunt, Na Titang, in visiting homes of relatives, friends or companies who invited them during Sinulog.
Na Titang was confined at the Cebu City Medical Center for two weeks for a recurring hip fracture and a shoulder and foot sprain.
“We attend private functions of families in Barangay Pari-an, Mabolo and we even reached Naga City,” she said.
Bersales said the original version of Sinulog is not known. But Na Titang’s version is considered as “authentic Sinulog.”
He also calls the elder Diola as a “culture bearer, because she is both a performer and a bearer of the tradition.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 15, 2013.