Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Indigenous Sunday

I know last week I posted about finding a home parish. Nonetheless while I was having coffee with Fr. D’Abugao after helping with preschool, he invited me to attend their Indigenous Sunday service that coming Sunday at St. Stephen’s. There was a promise of gongs and native dance. How could I refuse?

I woke up early, 6:30am, to go. The Bishop drove us on his way to another parish, hence the early leave time of 7am. Emelda, her 6 year-old daughter, Amitess, Sandra, her 4 year-old son, Graynaan, Penny, and her 19 month-old daughter, Skye joined me in attending the service. We were about 2 hours early for the service, in the mean time we enjoyed coffee with Padi (the priest) and his wife, Myra.

At 9am there’s a Bible study which we sat in on. With it all being in Ilokano, all was lost on me. After a while, I got up to walk to around with Skye. Then a little past 10am the service began.

Unfortunately due to the Typhoon over the weekend, they couldn’t practice with the gongs. It took away from the authenticity of Indigenous Sunday but people still wore their native dress and songs were sung in Ilokano. However, the importance of Indigenous Sunday was not lost. The message focuses on embracing who you are, the culture which sculpted you, and being proud of its entirety. I think it's a message we can all relate to.

The welcoming committee. 

Surprisingly after the service, gongs were brought out and played by the men. Some of the women joined in with a dance. It’s a slow-paced, circle dance with hand and footwork. It only lasted for a couple of minutes but it was a beautiful scene to watch unfold.

Singing and dancing never ceases to lift up my spirits. I find joy and peace within both. Seeing other people express their culture, who they are and where they come from through music and dance opens up a richer understanding. Even if it was only a momentary glimpse, I cherished being there to witness it.

I’m still fine tuning my movie-making skills, so no judgment. Here’s a little video montage to give you a feel what it was like to be at the service on Sunday. And yes, the background music is the congregation singing an Ilokano song.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. You might enjoy Margaret's post about going to a similar fiesta last week. That community got her to join in the dancing, and there's a picture to prove it.

    Mike, Margaret's Dad