IN keeping with a tradition that spans eight decades, the Turang Dance Troupe performed at the Casa Gorordo yesterday, a day after the celebration of the feast of the Sto. Niño de Cebu.

The dance group is led by 87-year-old Estelita “Nang Titang” Diola who learned the authentic Sinulog, or prayer dance from her father, Buenaventura, also known as Turang.

She studied the sinug beat from Macario “Iklot” Bontilao.

This time, Nang Titang was unable to dance or play her drum. She was in a wheelchair during the group’s entire performance and was heard murmuring prayers.

She had been in the hospital for more than two weeks due to a hip fracture and recurring chest and foot injuries.

Carolina Aliño-Diola, her niece, said her aunt was doing well, eating as much as she could but is having some difficulty because of her hip fracture.

The Sinug sa Casa Gorordo has been held for the past 80 years, or since the time Nang Titang was only seven years old, said Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, culture and heritage unit director of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi).

Gorordo visits

Gerra said the traditions started when Nang Titang, as a child, accompanied her father during his visits to the Gorordo family to celebrate Sinulog.

The sinug is a traditional dance-prayer offered before an image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu placed on an altar. The dance has steps different from the ones popularized in street dances seen during the feast day celebration.

The sinug has two basic steps. The first, and more popular, is the two steps forward-one step backward routine. The second was the kinampilan style, which is one step right foot forward-one step backward, while the left foot stays in place.

There were three groups represented by the dance troupe during their performance, the Christians who are dressed in Spanish-era costumes, the Muslims who wear vests and the Batang Hari or Holy Child.

The Casa Gorordo was recognized as a national historical landmark in 1991 by the National Historical Institute, in recognition of its historical and social significance.

The original owner of the house, which was built in the 1850s, was Alejandro Reynes y Rosales. It was later bought by Spanish merchant Juan Isidro Gorordo in 1863.

The most popular resident of the house, which had been occupied by four generations of the Gorordo family, was the first Cebuano bishop, Juan Gorordo.