Sunday, January 30, 2011

When Religious Festivals Deteriorate

Another interesting article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

What is wrong with Dinagyang? Ask Edwin Duero -, Philippine News for Filipinos

"'The religiosity of the festival has long been in decrescendo,' he says. 'Just look at how they handle the image of the Santo Niño in their performances. May ginanunu sa siya, sa taming, sa bola, sa mais, sa bangkaw; bisan halu nagalu-ad sang Santo Niño [Some thrust it to the chair, to the shield, to the football, to the ear of corn, to the spear; even the monitor lizard is spitting a Santo Niño icon]—just because it’s a requirement of the choreography.'

His suggestion to give the Holy Child its pride of place—such as holding a procession bearing the image from church to church, or mounting an exhibit of antique Santo Niño icons—has been ignored by organizers.

To see how commercialization and tourism have secularized the Queen Festival of the Philippines and pushed its original religious devotion down the drain, one only has to listen to what the merrymakers are shouting the loudest in the streets. While they are shouting 'Viva Señor Santo Niño!' in the Ati-atihan and 'Pit Señor!' in the Sinulog, in the Dinagyang it is 'Hala bira!'

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