The National Museum of Marinduque Romblon Area hosted a webinar on “Panata at Kababaihan: Women’s Role in the Preservation of Moryonan and Lenten rites in Marinduque” on April 12 via Zoom.

The webinar is a related event to the exhibition “Moryonan Art and Devotion” at the Marinduque-Romblon Area Museum in Boac, Marinduque.

The show highlights Marinduque’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage (ICH), particularly the moryonan or moriones lenten rites, which include the art of head mask-making as well as other holy week traditions such as antipo and pupuwa.

Prof. Bryan Viray of the University of the Philippines, Diliman’s College of Arts and Letters discussed the “Panata ng Babaeng Moryon,” while Emmanuel Jayson P. Balata of the University of the Philippines, Diliman’s Department of History discussed the research “Pagsusunong ng Pupuwa ng Kababaihang Gaseña.”

Dr. Randy Nobleza, director of the Marinduque State College’s Sentro ng Wika at kultura, on the other hand, presented “Mga kwento ng Pagbabago at Pagpapanitili ng Panata sa Panahon ng Pandemya.”

The webinar, according to NMRMA, aims to raise knowledge and appreciation of Marinduque’s cultural and heritage treasures, as well as advocate the preservation and transmission of ICH. It also recognizes the importance of women in the maintenance and preservation of these.

In observance of the holy week and with the theme of women, Prof. Viray focused on the convention for the 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, and 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 on the top of the head there is a design for girls and it symbolizes 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 cultural space associated therewith additional, for oral traditions and expressions including languages as a vehicle of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: performing arts (music, dance, theater) rituals and many more. This means ICH, or Intangible Cultural Heritage, should be enriched, cared for, and preserved because it is our history.

On the other hand, Pagsusunong ng Pupuwa is a tradition at Gasan, Marinduque and it is also held in the month of April, the 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 be mourning the death of Jesus Christ. Pupuwa tree has a miracle doing as it can be used for medicine and for spiritual being. There is also superstition about pupuwa tree like they should be the ones who plants the pupuwa tree or that they should not steal 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. (With a report from Kathleen Mondilla)

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