Sajaw ug Basaw sa Sinu’og

Sajaw ug Basaw sa Sinu'og
Sajaw ug Basaw sa Sinu’og | @natmuseumbohol

Sajaw ug Basaw sa Sinu’og

After years of ordeals caused by the global pandemic and the ravages of Super Typhoon Odette in 2021, this year’s Sinulog in Bohol promises a much anticipated Fiesta Senyor celebration in honor of the Santo Niño, and as things begin to feel as they did before, a halted dance tradition arises and beats to grace the heart once more.

For today’s Scenic Saturday, we feature the traditional dance “SAJAW ug BASAW sa SINU’OG,” unique to the town of Cortes in Bohol!

Characterized by a repeating sound and beat of “boom-bo-lo-om bo-om-bom,” the Sajaw Ug Basaw Sa Sinuog is a marathon dance traditionally performed outside the church at the portico right after the Pontifical Mass every 16th of January and spans for up to two or three days (until devotees cease to dance at their own will).

The “basaw” (drumbeat produced by the “gimbaw”) features a never-ending loop of 4/8 beat and rhythm. The “Sajaw Sinu’og,” on the other hand, highlights a swirling hand motion with the dancer’s feet movements mimicking the “giok” (a manual task of threshing the rice grains from its stalk using the feet).

The origins of this traditional dance is believed to be attributed to pagan rituals of thanksgiving which turned into a religious devotion to honor the Holy Child when Christianity came to the island.

Reference: NCCA Cultural Mapping Output on Cortes (Rey Anthony H. Chiu)

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