by Erika May Salum, Erika Jane Senoc and Kathleen Mondilla, MSC BAC Interns  

On April 12, a webinar organized by the National Museum Marinduque Romblon Area  conducted “Panata at Kababaihan: Women’s Role in the Preservation of Moryonan and Lenten rites in Marinduque via zoom. The webinar is a corollary activity of “Moryonan Art and Devotion” exhibition at the Marinduque- Romblon Area museum in Boac, Marinduque. The exhibition  features the tangible and intangable cultural heritage (ICH) or Marinduque, particularly the moryonan or moriones lenten rites- the art of headmask-making and other practices during holy week such an antipo and pupuwa.

Professor Bryan Viray of the College of Arts and letters of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, talked about the “Panata ng Babaeng Moryon” while Mr. Emmanuel Jayson P. Balata of the Department of History, also from UP Diliman discussed about the research “Pagsusunong ng Pupuwa ng Kababaihang Gaseña”. Lastly, Dr. Randy Nobleza, Director of Sentro ng Wika at kultura of the Marinduque State Colege, shared his presentation  on “Mga kwento ng Pagbabago at pagpapanitili ng panata sa panahon ng Pandemya”.

According to NMRMA, the webinar aims to foster awareness and appreciation of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Marinduque and encourage the safeguarding and transmission of ICH.  likewise, it recognize the role of women in the continuation and preservation of the rich cultural heritage of Marinduque.

In observance of the holy week and with the theme of women, Prof. Viray focused on the convention for safeguarding of ICHC or the Intangible Cultural Heritage convention specifically outlined the women which are the oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage, performing arts, special practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship. The Socio- Cultural and religious practices during the holy week is an intangible cultural heritage. The tradition of buling, magdalena, and the act of applying perfume. Buling is the tradition in Mogpog before the season. Tubong as a Catholic prayer, ability of the women, Berso section of Junior putong, Continuing of Filipino Catholicism, because of Marian Devotion, novice, folklore without folks, revisiting Moriones history.

  “We all know that Morion is for men only but not at all, women also can do Morion” Ela Mazon said. She is among the few women who get to take on the role of Longhino in her costume her mask is for men but in the top of the head their is a design for girls and it symbolize for women design of Morion and my heart fell warmed and proud of her. Intangible Cultural Heritage means “the practices, representations, knowledge and skills as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and culture space associate there with additional, for oral traditions and expressions including languages as a vehicle of the Intangible Cultural Heritage:performing arts (music, dance, theather) rituals and many more. Which means ICH or Intangible Cultural Heritage should enrich, cared and preserve because it is our history.

On the other hand, Pagsusunong ng Pupuwa is a tradisyon at Gasan, Marinduque and it also held in the month of April, holy week. As Sir Bolata elaborated, this tradition started in pre-colonial period and the first leader in the community of the Philippines are Datu, babaylan/katalonan,binukot and panday. Pupuwa is only for women and not for men. The purpose of Pupuwa tradition is for lowliness and repentance for Lord Jesus christ. The design of their custome is in the top of their head, they have many leaves of pupuwa. The leaves of pupuwa is pointed. They must wear a black shirt and wearing a belo because they will hide their face for repentance. They should not wear any slippers because they should mourning for the death of Jesus christ. Pupuwa tree have a miracle doing like it can use for medicine and for spiritual being. There also superstition for pupuwa tree like they should the one who plant the pupuwa tree or they should not theft the pupuwa.

Towards the end, Dr Nobleza synthesized the possibility of outlining stories of change, conservation and further development of the lenten traditions. In response to the question during the open forum with the “shared heritage” of Moriones in parts of Quezon and Mindoro, creative or heritage tourism can help recover during the new normal. The SWK Director emphasized the changing roles of gender and dynamics of cultural change like the narrative of San Longinus as exemplified in the lines of Pasyon. Based on the documents and translation of Mgsr. Rolly Oliverio “Mga Morion ng Mogpog, Marinduque” and exposition of Fr. Bert Alejo about “Popular Religiosity as Cultural Resource: Longhino, ” Dr. Nobleza encouraged continuous investigations and research about lenten rites to keep the tradition alive.