Sarung Banggi sa Higdaan

sarung banggi
Sarung Banggi sa Higdaan | @bicolmuseum (NM Bicol Regional Museum)

Sarung Banggi sa Higdaan | Nakadangog ako hinuni nin sarung gamgam…

Anyone here who sang it out loud or sang it in their heads? All the while hearing the full, expressive voice of Nora Aunor?

Sarung Banggi or “one evening,” tells the story of a besotted man driven to poetics for the love of his girl. He ponders his feelings and constant longing while waiting to rendezvous with her, “sarung banggi.”

The romantic composer and lovestruck gentleman was none other than Potenciano Gregorio. And the lady in question was his then-girlfriend, Dominga Duran, who later became his wife. Their grandson Resurrection said his grandfather wrote the song in 1897, after Mayon’s eruption. It was composed on May 10, 1910, and premiered three months later in the town fiesta of Guinobatan, Albay. After seven years, the song was finally played in his birthplace of Sto. Domingo.

Sarung Banggi soon achieved national prominence. It became a soundtrack to many advertisements in the 1940s and 1950s. It also inspired a movie of the same name that starred Rogelio de la Rosa and Mila del Sol. Then in June 1951, this timeless Bikolano kundiman came to the global spotlight when it was sung for the opening of the UN General Assembly.

No other song brought so much pride to the region. So in 2001, Gregorio’s hometown honored him by instituting the Sarung Banggi Festival on his birthday, May 19.

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