Tribu Bola Bola of Iloilo National High School (INHS) has made an earmark in the chronicle of Dinagyang Festival which discloses a discourse of the past life of the Panay Islands’ indigenous people. The award winning tribe from the aforementioned academe was founded in 1990. Tribu Bola Bola has won eight championships since 1994 which includes the remarkable six consecutive wins from 1996 to 2001 and regain the winning title back in 2004. The tribe did not win in 1995 and 2009 to 2011 but has gotten the runners’-up place. Iloilo National High School’s former principal and tribe manager Riza Amaguin describe the Bola Bola as a description to the scenario of what was the life before in the Island of Panay. The tribe has been divulging the story of Panay through executing the history by means of dance steps, choreography and entertainment. As discussed by the former principal, going back then, Bola Bola Tribe started from nothing. The parents of the students and the teachers were disinclined in contributing support to the tribe since there is no given fund and budget resources. But due to the persistence of the former principal to push through the advocacy which is to open the history of the Panay people’s life to give knowledge to the public, it has seemed that the stars have aligned for the efforts made by Ms. Riza Amaguin.
The topnotch when it comes to the tribe competition has already been marked as a tribe to make the audience thirst for more. It always does a performance that anyone could never be imagined. Bola bola has become a trademark that never fails the public to be entertained. The former principal of INHS reminisced the situation such as the things they went through in preparing for the props, making costumes and cooking meals for the participants. “Ang mga bata ga-obra costumes nila, ga-pang-pinta, ga-tuhog sang beads. The legacy of Bola-bola is it revolutionized the Dinagyang in Iloilo City; it educated in terms of commitment of the children, discipline and training; their dedication to put up a very good presentation, neatness and discipline which influenced other tribes.”
[CREATIVITY TO EXTRAVAGANCE. But Dinagyang slowly changed, particularly when it joined the Aliwan Festival. From an Ati-centered presentation, it slowly became an extravaganza of colors, Amaguin said. “Before, all Atis have brisk movements, the dance steps and choreography were amazing. Later on, siguro nag-evolve na kay ang Dinagyang nag-join sa Aliwan, which concept is extravaganza. To win Aliwan, there must be extravaganza, show all kinds of creativeness, innovativeness in choreography and on props, and that is what Bola-Bola avoided. That’s not our priority. We had a cultural responsibility. We did our part. If it’s too costly, the school cannot afford despite the sponsors,” she said. “Sang una, it was a revival, it was an awareness of the Ati culture, wherein they were Christianized and it was presented through the tribe performance. Minimal ang props, kag daw ka-reasonable sang una, it was based on your creativeness on how to do a certain storyline, choreography of the Ati and their Christianization. Now, lain na ang impact – padamo-damo ilis sang props, pa-bonggahanay na.” Maintaining a tribe required lots of resources, especially manpower and finances. Amaguin recalled pawning her ring to buy chicken heads cooked with rice (arroz con caldo) just to feed the warriors. There was also a time that she had camote (yams) harvested from their farm to be given to tribe members. “All these we experienced despite having sponsors,” she added. In previous years, props were minimal as it only highlighted the briskness and agility of the warriors instead of dominating the performance. Amaguin lamented that props-oriented trend excluded not only Bola-Bola but also barangay-based tribes, which enjoyed their glory in the early years of Dinagyang. “The community or barangay-based tribes can no longer afford the expenses. It is quite impossible unless there will be a philanthropist that will sponsor them,” Amaguin said.”]Source: The Daily Guardian| Maricyn A. De los Santos
[ADVOCACY. For someone who saw the panorama of the festival, Amaguin feels Dinagyang no longer excites her. “No, it doesn’t excite me anymore, because it’s all about the showmanship, not the aspects of the Ati. Nowadays, it’s all about myths and legends. We also used to have that but it is more on body movements, on the growth of the storyline through the choreography. That is gone now because of the extravaganza of colors and whatever change of scenarios and everything,” she said. Amaguin added: “If there will be no efforts to revert the festival to what it should be: Well, it would just be like that – what we see now. Kung bag-o ikaw, you will be amazed with the extravaganza. But if you have been there second time, third time, the luster is gone. There is nothing to expect.” For the festival to remain an advocacy, Amaguin opined that the criteria for judging of the tribes presentations should be restructured. “Limit the props, the storyline must be Ati-based, work out the Christianity of the Ati through your creativeness. Call for the judges and choreographers and inform them of what should happen, if you don’t meet the criteria, out ka. The management could even ask suggestions from the judges, and tribe leaders and choreographers must be informed para may kaisahanangtanan. I think if it happens, gradually mabalik ta sa kung anoangDinagyangdati.” As for Bola-Bola staging a comeback, Amaguin punctuated the issue, “We already did our social and cultural responsibility. We did our part and we had our time.”] Source: The Daily Guardian| Maricyn A. De los Santos
Awards Received.
  • CHAMPION IN DINAGYANG 1994,1996,1997,1998,1999,2000,2001,2004.
The PIONEERING Tribe Members.
Aguilar, Jerold | Alcain, Jacinto | Alfaro, Anthony | Alinot, Jester | Aposaga, Jr. Feliciano | Atilano, Diovanne | Bayo-ang Darrel | Beraye, Emerson Theodore | Bernaldez, Mark | Bonsilao, Bryan | Brillo, Jan Rouel | Buyco, Jhunel | Campos, Andrew | Canciller, Winmark | Capatayan, Daryl | Cauyonan, Emmanuel | Coniza, Garry | Cordero, Almar | Erfe, Mark Anthony | Fancubila, John Fritz | Villalobos, Errol Jave | Atilano, Jayson | Atilano, Romeo Jr. |
The Tribe’s
Multi-Awarded Choreographer
He led the Tribu Bola-Bola as its Choreographer for many years which through his passionate efforts have made historical performances in the international community. All his life is said to have been devoted to making all his pieces come alive most especially with his undying love and passion towards TRIBU BOLA-BOLA of Iloilo National High School. To most of his acquaintances, friends and tribe members/warriors whom he was treated more like a father, he is well-loved and respected.