Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday, December 8, 2011


A version of the island’s fast disappearing folk Christmas musical tradition featuring dancing “pastores” and the Holy Couple being refused a space in several houses before finding a stable will be presented by the Baryo Amigo Cultural Troupe (BACT) on December 17 at 9:00 am at Rizal Plaza in Tagbilaran as part of the Bohol Arts Festival.

Dubbed “Mga Eksena sa Igue-Igue Daygon sa Pagkatawo,” the folk version of the various incidents before and after the birth of Jesus Christ is based on a selection of the oral tradition as practiced every December in Toril, Maribojoc town, and other parts of the island, BACT executive director Cooper Resabal said.

BACT has been cited by Diakonia Philippines October 26, 2011, for its "educational production showcase on Boholanos culture and heritage" which the ecumenical women church workers' organization said "inspired its members to be more patriotic and appreciative of Philippine culture."

“Igue-igue sa Pagkatawo” is also popularly known as “pastores” due most likely to the dancing pastores that is featured in many scenes. It is set in the ancient Roman Empire. Some scenes  have been added in this version for the Bohol Arts Festival, Center for Culture and Art Development (CCAD) Administrator Silveria Marsamolo noted.

Apparently, in the course of the research for the presentation, it was found out that the popular carol, “Ania Kami, ning Gabii sa Among Pagdaygon…” came from the original “Igue-igue.” The rondalla traditionally accompanies the “igue-igue” carolers.

Melyn Borcelas, who is part of the Baryo Amigo Project’s Research Committee on the folk musical tradition in Maribojoc and Antequera, will sing the part of Virgin Mary, while Calixto Reloba will be St. Joseph. Some extras of the international film “Amigo” that was filmed in Maribojoc and other parts of Bohol in 2010 will play the three kings, house owners, Roman soldiers and “pastores.”

Nong Calixto, whose clan has the privilege of being handed down the “Igue-Igue” oral tradition in barangay Toril, Maribojoc, said there were three parts of the music tradition. Carolers sang “Daygon sa Igue-Igue” before December 25, then the “Daygon sa Pagkatawo” on December 25, and the third part “Daygon sa Tulo ka Hari” at the end of December, up to the feast of the Three Kings, which closes the Christmas season.

The hour long Christmas musical was an instructional tool for people to know the story of the nativity, including some of the doctrines of the Church hierarchy regarding the nature of the birth of Christ. The lyrics say, “Gipanamkon nga ulay nga Vergin, gianak didto sa Belen. Putling kahimtang salamin, ang pagkaulay dili mabalhin.”

It describes how Christ was born, which all those commercialized Christmas  celebrations contradict, “Nag-antus sa mga kapobre, gipahigda sa presepre. Ang banig habol gisilbi ang uhot, ug ang dagami.”

The “pastores” carol brings the key message of salvation: “Ang pulong sa anghel sabton ta, kay ang dakong kalipay midangat na, kay natawo tungod kanimo ang manluluwas nga Ginoo.”

Compiled by Procopio Resabal Jr. and Melyn Borcelas, Baryo Amigo Project’s Research Committee, from various sources, mostly hand written in notebooks, but without music notes, the presentation at the Bohol Arts Festival will show the highlights of the “pastores” cultural tradition.

“The Bohol Arts Festival is aimed at unifying vibrant culture and arts expressions of the many talented Boholanos into one festive arena to celebrate Bohol’s rich arts and cultural heritage…” CCAD head Enriqueta Butalid said.

For inquiries regarding the Baryo Amigo Cultural Troupe’s “Daygon sa Pastores” presentation,  call or text 09176426112. Or visit this website:

Cooper Resabal

Monday, March 7, 2011


With an SRO crowd, the Bohol-made film "Amigo" premiered on February 9, 2011 at the Island City Mall's Screenville Cinema I that was festooned by red, white and blue balloons. It was attended by film director John Sayles, producer Maggie Renzi, Philippine distributor Tammy Dinopol, actors Joel Torre, John Arcilla, James Obenza, JP Jagunos, Lady Jane Rellita, and the local cast.

Also present were Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto and his wife, Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Evasco and Loon Mayor Lloyd Lopez and his wife.

On behalf of the Baryo Amigo Premiere Project, we wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following for their unswerving support of the film's premiere:

  • Pamela Saycon of BPI Tagbilaran, the BPI Foundation
  • Mr. and Mr. Olive Hontanosas and Olman's View Resort
  • Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Udtohan
  • Mr. Archie Ladaga of the Ladaga Inn and Restaurant
  • Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Evasco
  • Toril Barangay Chairman Aniceto Resabal
  • Punta Cruz Barangay Chairperson Lourdes Tan-Endo
  • Toril Kagawad Nino Talinda
  • Buzz Cafe
  • Origin 8 Media
  • Center for Culture and Arts Development
  • Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto's Office
  • Ms. Amor Vistal
  • Prof. Bernadette Resabal-Gillera
  • Prof. Milagros Resabal-Narido
  • Ms. Pauline Cleovic Resabal-Gillera
  • Roger and Jacinta Manangan
  • Salome and Lot Zapanta
  • Eddie and Baby Fe Redulla
  • Dieter Balke
  • Melany Clarin
  • The Local Cast of Amigo

Baryo Amigo Cultural Troupe Opens Art Month at Bohol Cultural Center

The Baryo Amigo Cultural Troupe, which had originally been formed to provide the cast for the living museum in the village set of the John Sayles movie "Amigo," opened the Art Month February 7, 2011 at the Bohol Cultural Center in Tagbilaran City with a Fashion Show Tableau of 1900s costumes right after a soiree on the making of the film "Amigo" with John Sayles and producer Maggie Renzi. 

An offshoot of the filming in 2010 of “Amigo” in Toril, Maribojoc, Bohol, the Baryo Amigo Cultural Troupe (BACT) is a performing group comprising some 35 actors, extras and production workers from Bohol in the John Sayles movie.

It is part of an educational and cultural program of the Baryo Amigo Continuity Project (formerly Baryo Living Museum Project) under a project management team detailed in the Barangay Toril Resolution 07, Series of 2010.

The latest performance of the BACT at the opening of the National Art Month was under the auspices of the Bohol governor office’s Center for Culture and Art Development (CCAD). (Photos from johnsaylesbaryo blog).


Utilizing the local cast and costumes of the international film “Amigo” and part of the props left by the production, the BACT’s objectives are as follows:

·         To depict the way of life and historical experiences of Bohol’s forefathers in the 1900s, so that younger generations can learn from and appreciate their origin;
·         To hone the skills of villagers—their talents, arts and crafts—to augment their income; and
·         To serve as a pool of talents or performers for cultural events, special occasions or for movie productions on the island.


The BACT offers a variety of cultural packages, depending on the type of audiences who would like to avail of their services. They include the following:

·         A Fashion Show Tableau of 1900s Costumes – with historical scenes depicted in the film “Amigo.”  There is a narration on 1900s costumes, with choreographed action and two local traditional dances accompanied by a specially edited music mix.  (25 minutes).

·         Memories of Bohol Republic – a depiction of life lived in the 1900s, there will be more dances, with martial arts exhibitions, including dance lessons at the end of one of the dances (kuradang or curacha). It will also include a small rondalla (optional), and photo-ops with the costumed performers.
(40 minutes)

·         A Boholano Cultural Revue.  It includes a fashion show tableau, depiction of life lived by Boholanos in the 1900s, exhibitions of Filipino martial arts, dances, craft and cuisine demos (puso-making, puko and banig-making), a Boholano harana, and photo-ops with costumed performers, plus a rondalla. (55 minutes)

For more inquiries or for reservation, we can be reached through these numbers:  09391747775 and 09176426112. Our website: Our email address:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Filming of Amigo in Bohol: The Second Invasion

This is the story that came out when filming of Amigo in Bohol had been almost completed. It had been reedited for period accuracy.


Filming for the John Sayles movie "Amigo" coincided with the 111th anniversary of the outbreak of Philippine-American War. It came with a blast of color and action in Maribojoc, Loay, Corella, Loon, Antequera and Panglao towns.

The American flag unfurled on a tower with a Spanish-era stone church as backdrop in the village of Toril, Maribojoc, on the first weeks of shooting. Villagers were garrisoned by uniformed American soldiers in an apparent "invasion." Meanwhile, Katipunan guerilla snipers ambushed a regiment in a ricefield there. A firefight took place.

 There was a war. But it was only a John Sayles movie in the making on the Philippine-American War, often called the "first Vietnam War," which very few people in the world know about.

Colonel Hardacre, played by academy award winner Chris Cooper, made strategic plans and held "office" at the Clarin Ancestral House in Loay town with Melanie Clarin, a descendant of the prominent Clarin clan, serving as set medic for the production.

The cabeza del barrio, played by veteran actor Joel Torre, was dragged by a horse along an oxcart road in Toril, Maribojoc, and American soldiers marched in formation on a scenic field in Canangcaan, Corella town. These are some scenes that dramatized the initial relations between occupying U.S. forces and Filipinos in a village in the 1900s.

Conditions in the set, however, changed on break time as production people and villagers, some playing themselves, exchanged banter and photo-ops with both local and hollywood stars. With veteran actor Spanky Manikan and real cockfighting afficionado Jonas Almonical acting, the international cast witnessed a cockfight on site. 

In the main set in Toril, villagers of the film's barrio San Isidro experienced an "election," a kind of re-enactment of what might have been the first election of an official under the American flag. A fiesta, complete with a procession and a marching band, took place in the set one night under the guidance of the character Nenong, played by actor John Arcilla.

Katipunan guerilla leaders played by veteran actors Bembol Rocco, Ronnie Lazaro and Pen Medina discussed their next move in a cave in Basdacu, Loon while bats flew around, and a simulated rain poured outside.

Veteran actresses Rio Locsin and Irma Adlawan attended Mass and received communion in Panglao town's San Agustin Church sacristy turned into the interior of a Spanish-era church located on the main village set in Toril.

In a stream in Matan-ag, a herd of carabaos were cinematically "massacred" as part of a tactical move by the occupying American forces to prevent villagers from supplying Katipuneros with food and other supplies.

Ricefields had been planted in the main set in time for a harvest scene in the film, and at some point, some were "burned," again to show one of the tactical moves made by the Americans against Filipino insurgents.

Filming was completed in a "jungle camp" scene called Boho-boho, a snake pit, by locals, and along a river near Sto-Rosario, Antequera, where local actor James Obenza came running on a bamboo bridge to escape the American "invaders" only to be stopped by a band of Katipuneros. 

After post-production editing was done in a rest house fronting Talisay beach in Tagbilaran,  the John Sayles movie "Amigo" had been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain, the London International Film Festival, and at Los Angeles for AFI.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Amigo Premiere in Bohol

The premiere screening of "Amigo" (formerly Baryo) in Bohol will be on February 9, 2011. Final agreements will have to be made for the place and time in Tagbilaran City. Final details will be posted next week.

May you have a Merry and Meaningful Christmas. Second photo above shows a Bohol village family transporting rice in sacks from a nearby ricefield after a harvest.