THE Hacienda Adela tour that was a part of the itinerary of the musicians who participated in the Fifth International Rondalla Festival spawned favorable impression from foreign delegates and participants coming from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
For the hacienda workers, November 7 was like international conviviality when six buses in three batches unloaded Filipinos, French, Hindus, Iranians, Israelites, South Koreans, Thais, African, Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Portuguese. Sugarcane workers and their children flocked to the chapel of the Asosasyon sang mga Mangunguma sa Adela (AMA) to showcase their hacienda culture.
The “Ora Pronobis” chant was followed by “San Roque Hymn” and “Martsa sang Silaynon.” The musicians were amazed to hear musical articulation from the singers who have not studied music. Out of astonishment, the African musicians rendered a tribal song and the Portuguese vocalist cooed out a canticle of love.
The guests were interested to know the work in the sugarcane fields. In front of them were the workers responsible for planting this grass variety that produces sugar -- for coffee, cakes, and other ambrosial delights. A dramatization in the sugarcane field was some kind of a special show.
The real sugarcane cutters demonstrated how canes are cut, how cane points are produced, and how a dressed stick is munched to produce the juice of the gods. Many of the visitors took interest in the skills of the workers. Volunteers took a turn in cutting canes with “spading” and producing “patdan” with “sanggot.”
They were beguiled to see lady workers planting “patdan” and applying fertilizer in bent-stand-position traversing more than a kilometer of rugged furrows. They were thunderstruck when the lady worker revealed that she could plant more than 20,000 cane points in less than a day.
The bloodless cockfight surprised the Israelites. For them, this “game of the fowls” is something unique. They wondered how the coaches of the fighting cocks implant the art of war to these creatures with so little brain. “We could not believe that some Filipinos would just lose big money for their pet birds.”
The best seller was the “caro-carabao” ride. Five big carabaos pulling carts took center stage like gladiators ready for a show. Filipino and foreign musicians enjoyed the ride around the community with workers going out of their houses to cheer for the visitors who are jerking on top of the "caro" as the carabaos walked with pelvic gyrations.
Thank you very much Hacienda Adela workers for being a part of the 5th International Rondalla Festival.