SEVEN towns in Bohol have been chosen to be the pilot areas for a series of workshops conducted by the Bol-anong Kabilin, Atong Bahandi (BOKAG) Program, to design heritage-based creative hubs in their respective areas.
The workshops expect to draw cultural workers, tourism officers, educators and youth from seven towns included in the pilot program.
Derived from the open indigenous woven basket used for storing and exchanging of farm products in Bohol, BOKAG symbolizes the islanders’ sturdiness, resourcefulness, resilience and craftmanship, according to Emmie Roslinda, PROCESS executive director.
Through fun games that made participants identify unique sites, history, food, dances, beliefs, and crafts in their municipality, the participants came up with a cultural and natural heritage map that was made a basis in designing a creative hub that reflected the special character of the town.
From such workshops, they were introduced to “the significance and range of local culture heritage as basis for the development of a viable creative industry” in their towns, explained Lutgardo Labad, artistic director of BOKAG.
Each town has a unique history and way of doing things that could be mined “to make the site the bearer of cultural heritage of the area,” noted Leo Abaya, production designer, who spoke to the cultural workers and tourism officers July 5 at the concluding session of the workshop series. Cultural historian Marianito Luspo stressed that each town’s history was unique and reflective of Bohol’s glorious past and could be an important component in designing and planning heritage-based creative hubs.
Each BOKAG cultural team from Loon, Maribojoc, Antequera, Cortes, Balilihan, Baclayon and Tagbilaran will test-run a pilot creative hub unique to the cultural experience of the area that could become a center of creative activity. The end goal is to provide a venue for community solidarity, protection of heritage, and enhancing creativity and livelihoods amongst the different communities.
Antequera’s pilot hub “Tipas sa Lanaw sa Tupas” will highlight Lake Tupas as a natural heritage of a community towards enhancing livelihood activities and encouraging a creative industry. It will weave local hero Tamblot society’s healing, wellness features, and in the process, share the way of life of the historic leader, and in the process, encourage descendants and visitors to adopt a sustainable, healthy and calming lifestyle.
Tagbilaran’s pilot hub, “Lantaw sa Kagahapon” will make visitors experience a historical journey with the Tagbilaranons as they visit heritage sites from the Spanish colonial era, the American years, the Japanese occupation during World War II, and the early years of friendship through a guidedtour of historic houses and structures, combined with tableaus of certain events that took place in some heritage structures.
Cortes’ hub “Kabilin ni Wadji” will enhance the Cortes tradition of the Tabo by infusing it with milieu-based cultural practices related to local livelihoods and incorporating the symbol of WADJI as the local heroine of leadership.
Maribojoc’s hub “Saulog sa Mag-uuma” will make visitors experience life in a traditional (organic) rice farming village in Bohol and encourage the community to utilize cultural heritage skills and practices in a creative industry that weaves these into an interesting story of sustainable community living.
Loon’s hub “Tikang sa Pagmugna” will provide visitors with an experience of the lively performance traditions of Loon and the town’s high regard for creativity, artistry and resilience.
Balilihan’s hub “Asoy sa Pagbakod” will portray the historical development of Balilihan from its original barter trading by the river and Kawasan Falls, through the double crises of forced migration and colonial invasion resulting in the tragic burning of the entire town, climaxing to its rise from the ashes with the re-establishment of a vibrant town reflected in local industries.
Baclayon’s hub “Ebolusyon sa Kabilin” will provide visitors with a total immersive journey from Baclayon’s rich cultural heritage to its vibrant creative present.
BOKAG Ticket at P 200 per town creative hub, or season pass for seven hubs at P 1,300. For inquiries and reservation, contact the following mobile numbers: 09172034705, 09186881834, 09102450515 or 09088738304. Transportation to the site will be an additional expense.
BOKAG or BOL-ANONG KABILIN ATONG BAHANDI is a local project stemming from NCCA’s 2-year Visayas Island Cluster Program 2016-2018, and is being administered in Bohol by PROCESS BOHOL, with artistic direction and guidance from KASING SINING TEATRO BOL-ANON ENSEMBLE. Support has also been extended by the Provincial Government of Bohol through the Office of Governor Edgar M Chatto and by the Local Municipal Governments of Antequera, Baclayon, Balilihan, Cortes, Loon, Maribojoc, and Tagbilaran City.