HAMBARO: THE ANATOMY OF A FESTIVAL
By: Mr. Ben O. Loquias, Principal, Barangbang National High School
|a-nat-o-my (e-nat ‘ a.me) n. – any kind of analysis or close examination.|
“A rose, by any other name, would still smell as sweet.” (William Shakespeare)
*Hambaro is endemic to San Remigio.
|en-demic (en.dem ‘ik) adj.-means peculiar to or prevailing in or among some (Specified) country or people.|
Sibalom has “Buruyloganay”. In San Jose it’s “Tiringbanay”.
Bugasongnons call theirs “Patubas”. Hamtic sells itself through “Hamtikan”. Caluya’s Pride is “Tatusan”. Antique has “Binirayan”. In Iloilo its “Dinagyang”. Kalibo started it all with Ati-atihan”.
For quite a long time, San Remigio has none-atleast NONE, which could qualify as Festival.
There used to be the so-called Municipal Ago-Industrial and Cultural Fair. Celebrated sporadically, and despite money and effort (“wasted”), they could hardly live up to the criteria or level of some Festivals mentioned here.
|Spo-rad-ic (spo.rad. ‘ik) adj. – means occurring here and there; occasional.|
Sometime in September 2004, Mayor Elizabeth “Cacay” C. Coloso called for a brainstorming session to prepare for the forthcoming Municipal Agro-Industrial and Cultural Fair, a biennial townsfolk celebration of sort. The core objectives: to gather and assess….to showcase….to plan out…..to renew acquaintances in a friendly competition…. A gesture of goodwill…. To ask and still leave unanswered the perennial question: what now? (“Amo man angud eh!”)
*Hambaro is an old, almost forgotten Hiligaynon_Kinaray-a term. In its verb form, it means” to gather informally and talk about anything endlessly”. In 2005 during the term of Hon. Elizabeth”Cacay” C. Coloso, then Vice Mayor, the late Atty. Oseo T. Alcobilla, proposed the term to be used as distinct name for San Remigio’s triennial festival. In 2014, during the incumbency of Hon. Glenn “Totong” V. Cabigunda, the first ever Hambaro Mar-di gras contest was held.
Coinage of the verb” Hambaro” to refer to “a gathering birds” which San Remigionhons are likened to when they gather was conceptualized by Mr. Ben 0. Loquias, Principal of Barangbang National High School.
-the usual non- committal shrug;
-the “Pilate” hand-wave;
-the conniving raised eyebrows;
-the uneven pout.
“Bisan maguba man lagi ang langit kon indi lang takon maligpit”.
The core group, minus the committees, met for the grand occasion. Their brainstorming sessions did come out with a novel concept: to turn the biennial festivities into a triennial festival-complete and replete with street dancing. “Mar-di gras”, and the like.
And then …
In August 2014, during the incumbency of the Municipal Mayor Hon. Glenn “Totong” V. Cabigunda, Hambaro 2014 finally attained the status of a true FESTIVALS!
An innovation: A triennial Festival-complete with street dancing, masked revellers and mar-di gras-like feature of themed pageants and choreographies.
| Mar-di gras(mar ’d gra ’)- last day before Lent; celebrated as |
carnival in certain cities. Carnival- A period of festival and gaiety immediately preceding Lent, observed in Roman Catholic countries and in some
cities in the United States, especially by the Latin peoples. It commonly
lasts from three days to a week and is marked by street revelry, masking,
pageants and the like.
San Remigio: with nature-endowed environs rich and abundant with God-showered blessings: “rugged” topography and Baguio-City like climate, Array of Caves and Rock Boulders (Igbaclag, Igtulahong, Bato Cueva, Bato Ingka, Igmatindug, Bato Sumpit, Bato Bintana, Bato Sumakwel, Bato Tarawis, to name a few; Falls, Rivers, Brooks, Rivulets, Streams, Panoramic Vistas and idyllic sceneries. Gemstones. Wild Flora and Fauna.
Heroic folktales and Quasi-medical healing prowess “busalians” herbolarios”,”babaylans”, “mariit, “ma-arams”.
Strong-willed, sturdy-built men. Demure and typically rural lasses. Intellectually-endowed professionals. All adventurous in spirit. Never yielding to adversities.
Many have sojourned to distant places. All wishes to be back and be enlivened, once more, by the glory that is home. All bask at the grandeur that were told in tall tales to listeners who become enthralled and mesmerized by these “stories”. With mouths wide agape and with hearts and mind bewildered, they too, think, nay dream, of someday also going out and surely coming back!
Home! To San Remigio! Where, like a flock of birds, no several flocks of birds of varying species (of course with a flotilla of colors, shapes and sizes), they gather atop season-bearing trees: bita, kamonsil, luboy, inyam…
So colourful! So noisy. All with stories to tell.
No one is listening.
Yet all are contented. To be home. And to be away again. Soonest!
That’s HAMBARO SA SAN REMIGIO. Originally spelled with an O, it came to pass that the word was handed over with a “tight” pronunciation. Recent generations came to mistake the O for U. Just the same, albeit the Staccato Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrsss of San Remigionhons, they “flocked “to their “trees” last December 11-12, 2014.
And there were revelries – plenty! And they talked about anything endlessly, noisily. And above all, they talked about their dreams. For this is that grandiose dream, the legacy for which people San Remigio shall be known for: A land full of pride. Rich in nature. Abundant with blessings. A people worthy enough to emulate: Aspiration-driven. Ambitious. Rural in orientation. Urbane in mold. Above all, Godly!
And so everyone came and witnessed the long-awaited “Street Dancing” a la “Mar di-gras”, in a unique festival called “Hambaro”. Teenage boys and girls donning bird-like costumes (A-la Mulawin or Encantadia or Enteng Kabesote),dancing to the beat of gongs and drums, or to the rhythm of bamboo percussion instruments, or “buhos” wrapped-whatever that is which produce some rhythmic sounds. They gathered, with foods and drinks (San Remigionhons are mild drinkers) with tall tales, with old scores to settle.
For two days. And they were off once more for further sojourns. To places distant and unknown.
Two nights and days.
And then, once more,
Silence. And slumber. And dreams. And wait.
For another three years. And again, another HAMBARO!
Sort of an EPILOGUE…
People are most beautiful when they sing. It is by their song with which they shall be known.