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Singkaban the bamboo art, and the mother of all festivals in Bulacan

INTRODUCTION

The Philippines is known to have voluminous festivities due to the cultural ancestral heritage and historical-influence back in the European colonial period. Aside of the numerous religious holidays are the civil festivals both national and locals. One of the famous civil holidays is the ‘Singkaban’ Festival in the Province of Bulacan which is both civil and religious festivity.

WHAT IS SINGKABAN?

“Singkaban”, A Filipino word for decorated bamboo arch, used as a welcome signage of a town, city or village in the Philippines. It is widely used as an expressive decoration during town fiestas in Bulacan.

During the early establishment of town in the Province, Singkaban is seemingly used as a totem pole-like signage to divide the boundaries of towns and villages in Bulacan. Over the years, Singkaban is used as designed bamboo arches for fiestas, weddings and other celebrations in the village and the community.

Singkaban is commonly known in the Province of Bulacan particularly in the town of Malolos and Hagonoy where the said art was originated.

What is Singkaban or bamboo art?

A fairly new type of Philippine folk art, Singkaban is the art of shaving bamboo into artful creations that can be used as decor for arches or for special occasions and even at home. Skilled craftsmen patiently shave off the bamboo, layer by layer, to create curls and delicate twirls of a thin bamboo.

HISTORY OF SINGKABAN

Bamboo arts have been recorded in the history of Asia. Around 6000 BC, bamboo motifs were used to decorate the neolithic pottery of the Yangshao culture and bamboo baskets dating back to 2000 BC have been discovered in addition to bamboo slips that were used as a writing surface dating from the Warring States period (475 – 221 BC). (From Wikipedia)

What is the origin of Singkaban?

Singkaban or bamboo art has been known originated in the coastal town of Hagonoy, Bulacan, Philippines. Though most of the bamboo trees are native and grown in the highland towns of Bulacan. It was said that the Hagoeños craftsmen started the art of shaving and curving bamboo during their grand celebrations of village’s fiestas, that is where the Singkaban located in Philippines.

Singkaban as a form of art

The creation of Singkaban varies on the theme that represents tradition and cultural aspect of a town or village. Deep creativity and marksmanship is needed to intertwine bamboo elements to achieved contemporary works of art and decor. A fairly new type of Philippine folk art, Singkaban is.

What local material is used in Singkaban?

The main materials for Singkaban is Bamboo. The entire tree is sometimes used, from root to culm, branch and leaves. The node is where the most of the artform is concentrated. Some Craftsmen of Singkaban, use different added materials such as what is found in the farm, forest or in the nature.

What kind of technique is used by the Singkaban?

The Singkaban crafting involves shaving & curving bamboo through the use of sharp metal tools especially a common kitchen knife. It is called “kayas” in tagalog term. Skilled craftsmen of Singkaban patiently shave off the bamboo layer by layer, to create curls and subtle twirls of bamboo to form an expressive bamboo art.

It is somehow involving sculptures; where some advance Singkaban artists incorporate shaping the node or the culm of the bamboo into three dimensional art form.

What inspired Singkaban ensuring that art is appreciated and is?

Singkaban is use in festivity and special occasions, these bamboo art has been part of the celebration as ornament and decoration. The skilled craftsmen of Singkaban base it design on the motif and theme of these especial events, which ensures that the artform is appreciated by the community and guests.

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SINGKABAN FESTIVAL OF BULACAN

The Province of Bulacan has many significant role in the Philippines history. Malolos in particular is known as the cradle of the first constitution of the Philippines and in Asia, where the Philippine Republic was adapted. The place where the famous Barasoain Church is located.

Bulacan, aside of rich in history and hometown of many revolutionary heroes. No wonder that numerous religious and civil festivities are celebrated annually. Singkaban is the mother of all festivals in Bulacan.

What is Singkaban Festival?

“Singkaban Festival” Is the mother of all festivities in Bulacan, the feast of arts and culture in honor of Our Lady of Victory in Malolos, Bulacan. A week-long celebration of unified Bulakeño to perform activities showcasing Bulacan’s cultures and traditional and contemporary arts.

The festival is celebrated every second week of September in which also associated in celebration of “Linggo ng Bulakan” a seven-days-long festivity. Singkaban also refers to “Sining at Kalinangan ng Bulacan” in tagalog.

Singkaban festival is participated by the 3 Cities and 21 Municipalities of Bulacan. The highlight of the event is the opening parade of colorful float in which each town is showing its spectacular ‘Bamboo Art’ which is the symbol of this fiesta.

What activities are involved in Singkaban Festival?

Aside of the spectacular grand float parade, The Singkaban Festival exhibits Bulacan’s neighborhood culture, legacy, imaginativeness and everything in Bulacan, various competition like Balagtasan a poetry citation contest, Singing contest of Kundiman a traditional Filipino love song, ‘Indak Kalye’ street dancing contest, Lakan and lakambini beauty pageant, various expositions and trade fairs of Bulacan’s best. On the last day of the festival, is the reenactment of the Malolos Congress, where the first Philippine constitution was born. Most of the events are held in the Capitol compound in City of Malolos.

Bazaar and galleries are open for tourist during the festival. Each municipalities has its own both that features their town’s fabulous crafts and delicacies, among this products are ‘chicharon baboy’ of Sta Maria,ensaymada and ‘pastillas’ of Malolos, agricultural crops of San Miguel, San Jose Del Monte and San Ildefonso, stunning plantito-plantita of Guiguinto, handy crafts of Baliuag like ‘buntal hat’, Sukang Sasa of Paombong and the mouth-watering ‘goto’ of Plaridel.

Why do we celebrate Singkaban festival?

Every year, the 24 towns of Bulacan gather at the Singkaban Festival in seven-days-long festivity to exhibits their rich culture and arts heritage. Various activities and events are held such as ‘Balagtasan’ a poetry debate, ‘Indak Kalye’ a street dancing and traditional folk dancing, ‘Kundiman’ a love song singing, ‘Lakan and lakambini’ beauty contest, and Theatre plays. Booth galleries are open for public and tourist in the Capitol compound to showcase arts and crafts of Bulacan. The main attraction of the fiesta is the stunning grand float parade which showcases the bamboo art as the symbol of this festival.

Where was Singkaban first became famous?

Hagoeños was apparently to performed Singkaban or the bamboo art. Though these trees are not native and grown in the coastal town of Hagonoy, Bulacan the place is known as the home town of National artists like Filimon “Fil” Dela Cruz and some famous members of Bahaghari and Lakan Sining artist guilds of Bulacan like Al Perez and Cesar Cruz. Also, Hagonoy is rich in religious holidays that known to exhibits decorated arch during the village’s fiestas.

What shocked the world about Singkaban?

In September 2008, during the celebration of Singkaban Festival, Bulakenyos attempted to make it in the Guinness Book of World Records by producing the longest pastillas. The sweet delicacy was longer by 2.6 meters than the 200-meter carabao milk candy that the organizers earlier had planned as an entry to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Around 200 Bulakenyos from different sectors joined hands to prepare the pastillas that weighed 4,000 kilos made from 12,800 liters of carabao milk and 1,600 kilos of white sugar.

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We would like to provide you a complete and comprehensive information about Singkaban. Check out these related sources we gathered. Please refer to table of contents.

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