By Mark Andrew B. Oppus
Bol-anong Kabilin Atong Bahandi or BOKAG is a two-year program administered by Process Bohol, with the artistic guidance of Kasing Sining Teatro Bol-anon Ensemble, with support from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Provincial Government of Bohol. The program is a sustainable integrated area cultural development program implementing the NCCA 2016-2017 island cluster program.
This year, the BOKAG was culminated last August 12-13, 2017 wherein the participants toured around the different towns of the province as they visited the landmarks of each municipality.
On August 12, 2017, the tour started at 10:00 a.m. at the Balilihan History and Plaza in the town of Balilihan in which they were able to experience the barter of goods at the pre-Hispanic spring, felt the pain and healing at the ‘Balay sa Iring’ and have a taste of the local delicacies at the Hardin sa Balilihan. At 1:30 p.m., they were brought to the Balili Ancestral Home in Tagbilaran City to reminisce the past and experience the tertulia of kundiman, balitaw and other favorite harana songs. In the afternoon, they went to Loon wherein they got to take a tour around its unique plaza, see the ruins of the Church of Our Lady of Light which was destroyed during the earthquake and journey through the 212 steps stairway as they were entertained by a coastal performance heritage.
On August 13, 2017, the participants were taken to Cortes at 7:30 a.m. to experience the floating market, ride a sampan and meet the fisherfolks and nipa gatherers of Abatan River. Later that morning, they proceeded to Antequera to witness the natural healing and wellness processes bequeathed by Tamblot, immerse in the cool waters of Inambacan cave and wonder at the weaving hands that produce exquisite baskets and other crafts. The next stop was the farm life culture and treasures of Maribojoc wherein the visitors paid tribute to the farmers who produce our daily food by knowing the steps in rice production. In the afternoon, the participants got to enjoy the ancestral houses and baluarte in Baclayon.
In each site, the participants enjoyed a one and a half hour experience which included a brief tour of the heritage site leading to an exhibition of novel creative artisanal products enhanced with performative traditions from the local community. Other than that, a donation of P150.00 per site was requested from the visitors except in Tagbilaran.