Sinug dancer, 16 others honored

Posted on August 30, 2011

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Estelita "Inday Titan" Diola (center), Cebu's "keeper of the Sinug dance" accepts a special award in the 1st Hamiling Binilin or Hambin heritage awards from Delilah Labajo, Hambin president and Fr. Dionisio Miranda, SVD University of San Carlos president. (CDN PHOTO/ SAMMY YNCIERTO)

It was a toast to the true, good and beautiful in Cebuano cultural heritage.

The fourth anniversary of Hamiling Binilin, the organization of pioneering Cebuano Heritage Studies graduates of the University of San Carlos (USC), was celebrated with a tribute to persons and institutions that promoted Cebuano heritage.

Estelita “Inday Titang” Diola, 82, known as the keeper of the traditional Sinug dance steps, was among the 17 cited at the Virgilio Yap Chapel of the Cathedral Museum in Cebu City.

Inday Titang, who beats the drums and performs the Sinug every year after Cebu’s Fiesta Señor, was given a special award for keeping the dance steps alive.

Hambin president Delilah Labajo and USC president Fr. Dionisio Miranda of the Society of the Divine Word presented the awards.

Honorees included Dr. Resil Mojares for history, Dr. Erlinda Alburo for literature, Dolores Suzara for cultural education, Pascual Emelio Pascual for performing arts, Luz Mancao Sandiego for dance, Msgr. Rudy Villanueva of the Archdiocese of Cebu and University of the Visayas vice president Jose Gullas for music, Rosa Tenazas for archeology, architect Melva Java for heritage architecture and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for government heritage conservation.

Artist Mel Tamayo, singer Pilita Corrales and actress Gloria Sevilla were given lifetime achievement awards.

Cebu Daily News represented by publisher Eileen Mangubat was cited for heritage journalism. The paper’s lifestyle section comes out with a weekly heritage page.

Institutional awardees included the Archdiocese of Cebu and Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. for institutional heritage.

Inday Titang, as her grandnieces and nephews call her, beamed with delight as she received the recognition. Every year since she was 7, she has been beating a drum made of goat skin during the Fiesta Señor.

Inday Titang formed a Sinulog dance group in 1979 in barangay Mabolo, where a sitio is named Sinug. She said her parents taught her to dance.

The Sinug sa Mabolo dance troupe of 20 members that she led lasted five years.

Inday Titang is the youngest in a brood of five. The sole surviving sibling, she has difficulty hearing but can still read without eyeglasses.

Inday Titang lives with a niece, among others, in Mabolo. Her source of income is a parcel of land that she is renting out.

She loves to sew her own clothes and prepare her meals. Her specialty is budbud pilit (sticky rice rolled in banana leaves), but Inday Titang’s favorite viand is sauteed squid.

Every day at 5 a.m., Inday Titang walks to church to hear Mass. Her neighbors sometimes accompany her.

Inday Titang said she plans to go on dancing the Sinug and beating her classic drums in the coming years. Rhea Ruth V. Rosell, Correspondent


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