Listen/From Tapaz to Berlin: The 68th Anniversary of the Hinilawod Recordings,  Inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World

July 8, 2024 — A significant cultural milestone was celebrated as the 68th anniversary of the Hinilawod Epic Chant Recordings was commemorated with its official inscription in the UNESCO Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific Regional Register. The event was marked by a series of vibrant activities, reflecting the rich heritage of the Panay Bukidnon culture held last June 24, 2024 at the Henry Luce III Library, Central Philippine University. 

The ceremony’s highlight was the official turnover of the UNESCO Certificate of Inscription. Dr. Ivan Anthony Henares, Secretary General of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines, presented the certificate, emphasizing the recordings’ importance in preserving intangible cultural heritage. This was followed by listening sessions of the historic recordings and a live cultural performance by the Panay Bukidnon Culture Bearers from Garangan, Calinog, Iloilo, captivating the audience with their traditional chants and dances. 

The event was graced by the descendants of the original epic chanters, including those of Ulang Udig from Lambunao, Iloilo; Iyay Inar from Tapas, Capiz, and Calinog, Iloilo; Claro Decratales from Tapas, Capiz; and Preciosa Caballero from Calinog, Iloilo. Their presence underscored the continuity of the Hinilawod tradition across generations. 

Central Philippine University (CPU) was well-represented, with the administration led by Rev. Dr. Ernest Howard B. Dagohoy and his family, Dr. Irving Doming Rio, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Prof. Ma. Cynthia T. Pelena, Director of University Libraries. Their support highlights the university’s pivotal role in preserving and promoting this cultural heritage. 

Dr. Henares, the keynote speaker, spoke passionately about the significance of the inscription, describing it as a remarkable achievement in the preservation of the Philippines’ cultural legacy. Special messages were also delivered by notable figures such as Senator Loren Legarda, Prof. Felipe Landa Jocano Jr., and Mr. Liby Limoso, each highlighting the cultural and historical importance of the Hinilawod Epic Chant Recordings. 

The Hinilawod Epic Chant Recordings were inscribed on May 8, 2024, during the 10th MOWCAP General Meeting in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. These recordings, stored in CPU’s Henry Luce III Library, were meticulously captured by Dr. Felipe Landa Jocano, a distinguished CPU alumnus, between 1956 and 1957. Using a magnetic tape recorder, Dr. Jocano collaborated with Panay Bukidnon epic chanters to immortalize the essence of the Hinilawod Epics. 

This inscription not only honors the epic’s historical and cultural significance but also ensures that future generations will continue to access and appreciate this invaluable cultural heritage.