Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Appreciating our Past and the Little Things: Reflections on the Gabii sa Kabilin

May 25, Gabii sa Kabilin 2012.

I was running all evening as a participant of the QR Code Hunt, an "Amazing Race-like" competition. With smartphone in hand,  I took pictures of every designated heritage site and uploaded each with my tweet using the #gabiisakabilin proudly showing to the world the Cebuano's rich heritage.

It was nice and interesting to note that most of the teams were composed of young people. The youth were rediscovering the old using the new, acquainting themselves with the past, using technology.

As sweat was falling down my face during the race, it dawned on me that educating the community about their heritage was like the race I was running. We were trying to catch up with time before it was too late.

In a period where the youth seem to care more of what is trending in twitter than their heritage, it is important to act right away to reintroduce the community to their heritage and culture. The Gabii sa Kabilin (GSK) did just that thanks to the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and its partners. The GSK is a good avenue for the Cebuanos to acquaint themselves with their rich past.

Aside from museum pieces and old newspaper clippings, the event showcased Cebuano food, song and dance, art pieces, and way of life all in a single night.

In one stop, I got the chance to try for myself how a poso (hanging rice) is being made. It was difficult for me to completely weave one poso wrapper.

In another stop at the Cebu City Museum, I got to see some beautiful paintings:

My QR Code Hunt teammate with one of the featured paintings
In the Halad Museum, I got to sing lines from the famous song "Matud Nila".

On the way to Fort San Pedro, I was able to re-experience riding the tartanilla. Not everyone gets to experience riding it nowadays.

I got to taste Cebuano food -- the bibingkas, the masareals, the lechon, etc.

GSK made me appreciate our heritage as well as the little things that we often ignore but are actually important. GSK made me recall my childhood.

So yes, now with GSK, I got to appreciate the poso which costs less than 5 pesos...Who would think making it requires considerable skill?

GSK made me appreciate our predecessors. Without them where would Cebuano society be?

GSK made me appreciate groups which try to preserve our Cebuano identity and heritage.

GSK will be a bigger event next year so that each participating institution should really coordinate with RAFI and come up way ahead of the GSK, their planned schedule outlining the activities in their respective venues so that visitors will be able to plan ahead their itinerary.

Maybe RAFI should consider also making GSK a whole day event maybe converting it into an "Adlaw sa Kabilin" (ASK) because the event has become so huge already and people would like to take time visiting each site.

This is an official entry to the 2012 Gabii sa Kabilin Blogging Contest.