Sinug dance sendoff to Titang | Inquirer News

Sinug dance sendoff to Titang

/ 06:52 AM March 19, 2013

Having led a life as a Sinug dancer, it was but expected that Estelita “Titang” Diola’s journey to the grave would be marked with more Sinug dancing.

Passersby and motorists alike stopped for a while as 50 Sinug dancers accompanied Titang’s remains from her house in sitio Sinulog to the Mabolo church at 12 noon.


From the church, Titang’s family and Sinulog choreographer Val San Diego performed the Sinug dance led by Titang’s niece Carolina Diola and her children Rosamarie and Rowena alongside the procession towards the Mabolo public cemetery.

Carol’s son Romel played the drums. A 1 p.m Mass at the Mabolo Church was officiated by Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson who recalled fond memories of Titang.


“May we who are left behind pray that what she did and who she is won’t fade from our collective memories,”  Leyson said in Cebuano.

In her eulogy Carol recalled that they would never carry the image of  the Sto. Niño while dancing since it is an act of blasphemy.

Remembering everything

Among those who attended the Mass were Titang’s relatives and friends like San Diego, Sinulog Foundation executive director Ricky Balesteros and Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.’s culture and heritage unit.

Balesteros was among those who helped carry Titang’s coffin towards the hearse while San Diego and Titang’s family performed the Sinug dance from the church towards the cemetery.

Carol and her two children were emotional as they performed the Sinug dance.

“Every step, every move, every drumbeat we remember everything she taught us. True, she was strict but it was for our good,” she said.


Carol said she treated Titang as a second mother and it was thus painful for her to see her go.

San Diego was grateful for Titang’s generosity and willingness to help sustain the Sinug dance despite her poverty.

San Diego’s family is close to Titang since 1960 since he credits his father’s recovery from a rare disease to his participation in the Sinug.


From 1960 onwards, San Diego family donated costumes to the children in Mabolo.

“Kana ilang gipanul-ob, yearly maghatagan mi ana nila as a form of offering to Sto. Niño (What they wear yearly, that was our offering to the Sto. Niño),” San Diego said.

San Diego recalled how Titang was among the first to voice her concern when his family’s house was hit by fire.

He also said Titang would always bring native chicken or duck as a gift to him and his family and offer the Sinug dance.

“Being identified with the Sinulog, it’s our great responsibility and commitment  to hand whatever we learned of the original Sinug beat to the next generation as a form of thanksgiving to the Sto. Niño,” he said.

Ballesteros said Titang helped create the Sinug dance routine. He said there are plans to give tribute to Titang in next year’s Sinulog.

“We based the Sinug dance on her steps before the Sinulog festival became what it is today. Without her we may not have the dance,” he told reporters. /Christine Emily L. Pantaleon, Correspondent

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