After the “Founding” in 2015 and the “Rise of the Queen” in 2014, this year, the Gabii sa Kabilin focuses on “Forging Peoples”. Highlighted is the story of how Cebuano society and culture and heritage were developed, and how institutions participating in this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin have contributed to the “making”, or, in the analogy we’re using, “forging”, of the Cebuano.
To be consistent with our analogy, we call to mind the creation of the bolo that can be used as a weapon or utilitarian artifact, made in the forges of our local blacksmiths. Its creation requires not just the mere mixing of materials, such as carbon and iron, but also requires a process which demands a lot in terms of skill and sense of the aesthetic of the blacksmith. Process is important because forging a weapon of fine quality goes through several beatings of the hammer and the anvil, and several plunges into the fire at the forge.
So is the Cebuano character shaped; it has gone through exposures and immersion of different cultures and numerous personal and societal histories.
Our ancestors were already trading with peoples of Asia, like the Chinese, before the Spaniards came. These two cultural traditions have mixed much with the locals’, bringing about a new culture still very much evident today. With the opening of the Cebu port to world trade as well as further interactions with Western culture, we’ve incorporated much information, ideas and way of life that taught us to adapt to international conditions and prepared our OFWs to be successful wherever they are in the world.
Even our arts have learned to combine the traditional with liberated forms and styles in order to give way to more electrifying and novel manifestations. Cebuano society and culture, now a product of refinement, does not stop the status quo; it develops as it continues to exist and moves forward to the 22nd century.