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November 24, 2011


On the occasion of the 50th Foundation Day of the Mindanao State University of Marawi City on September 1,2011, 14 men and women were recognized as “Darangen Onor” awardees by the state university, along with UNESCO, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Museum, and the provincial government of Lanao del Sur, Mindanao.

On November 25, 2005, the Maranao epic chant, the Darangen, was proclaimed as another Philippine masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

UNESCO defines oral and intangible heritage as: “The totality of tradition-based creations of a cultural community, expressed by a group of individuals and recognized as reflecting the expectations of a community in so far as they reflect its cultural and social identity; its standards and values are transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means.

Meaning literally “to narrate in song” in the Maranao language, the Darangen existed before the arrival of Islam in the Philippines in the fourteenth century, and tells of the people who live in the Lake Lanao region of Mindanao. This southernmost island of the Philippine archipelago is the traditional homeland of the Maranao, one of the country’s three main Muslim groups.

Comprising 17 cycles and a total of 72,000 lines, the Darangen celebrates episodes from Maranao history and the tribulations of mythical heroes. Darangen also encodes customary law, standards of social and ethical behaviour, notions of aesthetic beauty, and social values specific to the Maranao.

Nowadays, the Darangen is infrequently performed owing in part to its rich vocabulary and archaic linguistic forms that can only be understood by practitioners, elders and scholars.

In the book “Context and Style in the Vocal Music of the Maranao in Mindanao, Philippines,” Usopay Cadar defines the term “onor” as borrowed from the English “honor” to refer to the “singers of the genre Kambuyok/Kambuyoka who become famous through public acclamation” or to “fame,” which is frequently used by the singers as part of their praise language.”

The awardees are as follows: Somalangkap P. Mangoda-Miphaga Saguiaran Lanao del Sur; Sailyn Pakabimban (Dariday sa Kalawi)-Sugod, Kalawi, Lanao del Sur; Sittie Nor Marohom (Potri Inolawan)-Pantaon Proper Ganassi, Lanao del Sur; Zainodin Dirogongun (Mangoda Pakaranon)-Pantaon Proper Ganassi, Lanao del Sur; Potre Monalangcap (Panganogonan o Langon a Bangsa Niyan)-Tatayawan Tamparan, Lanao del Sur;Edris Macapa-ar (Kaka I Sangkad sa Ranao)-Linuk Tamparan, Lanao del Sur; Bayano Pangansayan (Potrebae Isnang)-Madanding, Bubong Lanao del Sur; Rasmia Gindulongan (Potre Monalindao)-Ramain, Lanao del Sur;Mahar Bato M. Dimaayon (Potre Maharabansa sa Koliling a Ranao)-Salaman Lumba-Bayabao, Lanao del Sur;Aminola Canandao Barabato (Datu Lawan sa Ranao)-Gadongan, D-Ramain, Lanao del Sur; Potre Pangadapun Perma-Bubong Ramain, Lanao del Sur; Sunang Macarapo (Potre S’nang Gaus)-Siyawka Apo, Kawayan Marantao, Lanao del Sur; H. Sittie Rocaya Nuska (Bae Timbang Dilawan sa Domagandang Ranao Linamon)-Ramain, Lanao del Sur; Monasalan Aroba Macapundag (Bae Timbang Dilawan Monasalam)-Bubong Ramain, Lanao del Sur; Kaka I Bantog Gunda Matanog-Kialdan Proper, Marantao, Lanao del Sur.