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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Epic tale opens window to Ifugao life and culture


In a continuing effort to preserve and transmit the Ifugao heritage, a cultural presentation chanting the epic “Hudhud” will be held on May 21 and 22, 2010 (8pm) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, featuring the Tungngod Elementary School Hudhud chanters and the Haggiyo Traditional Ensemble Group. 

Chanted Journeys: Rediscovering the Ifugao Hudhud and the Kalinga Ulalim,” forms part of the Filipino Heritage Festival celebrated annually in May. “Hudhud” was declared by UNESCO to be a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity because of its literary significance. The epic reflects the creativity and the wealth of Ifugao traditions which make them a worthy contribution to the nation’s rich culture.
 
Consisting of over 200 episodes, Hudhud narrates the heroic feats and deeds of their mythological ancestors Bugan and Aliguyon.  It is chanted during the rice harvest season to ease the monotony and back-breaking task of harvesting.  Also, during the wake of a family member,  or during the vigil of exhumed bones of a family member by villagers who gather nightly for the ceremony, help them to pass the time.  

Based in Lagawe, Ifugao province, the award-winning Tungngod Elementary School Hudhud Chanters were organized in 2004, when they were chosen to represent the district in the provincial “Hudhud” competition. They have received numerous citations and are often invited to perform in cultural presentations. 
 
Established in 2007, the Haggiyo Traditional Ensemble Group was formed to stem the diminishing practice of the Ifugao culture. Composed of 12 members who are mostly former and current Department of Education officials, they act as resource speakers, trainers and consultants on the Ifugao heritage. The group has also been invited to showcase Ifugao songs, dances, and sports in local and international events, such as the Taiwan Festival held recently. 

The Filipino Heritage Festival is supported by National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Tourism, Security Bank  and Cultural Center of the Philippines. For more information, call (632) 8925865 or log on to www.heritagemonth.ph.

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