A public exhibit entitled “Understanding Araquio: Tracing the Steps, Music, and Visual Exhibit” was held at the CLSU Agricultural Museum last March 25.
Dr. Reyes tackled the relevance of culture to Araquio, a century-old theatre ritual in honor of the Holy Cross perform every month of May in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija.
Practitioners believe that this theatrical genre existed when the first brass band of the town was established. Written in archaic Tagalog verse form, the play includes conventions like stylized delivery of the verses, marching formations, choreographed fights, songs and artificial effects.
“Kung walang ugat, walang puno. Kung walang ugat, hindi magiging mayabong”, Dr. Reyes depicted the essence of culture through the use of allegory. He also pointed that the research will serve as the bridge that will strengthen the connection of the Filipinos and their culture.
This captured the interest of Dr. Gaboy to conduct a research about Araquio, along with his co-researchers: Dr. Florante P. Ibarra, Dr. Jay B. Villafria Jr., and Mr. Adonis Voltaire M. Villanueva; and his research assistants: Keiven A. Encarnacion, Gio A. Ferrer, Angeline E. Micua, and Paolo Carl E. Soliven.
Particularly, the project aims to trace the historical background of Araquio; to transcribe notation, record the music and dance of Araquio; to document the performance of Araquio with highlights on visuals, history, music and dance; publish the book and distribute among schools, museums, tourism offices, and libraries; and launch exhibits and lectures in schools and different fora to popularize Araquio among the youth of the present generation.
The project exhibit is a joint project of the Center for Central Luzon Studies and of Commission on Higher Education and National Commission for Culture and the Arts through the Salikha Creative Research Grant. It is ongoing for 18 months from July 2018 to December 2019.
Meanwhile, the project exhibit was graced by the CLSU officials headed by Dr. Tereso A. Abella, University President; and Dr. Renato G. Reyes, Vice President for Academic Affairs; other members of the CLSU Administrative Council; faculty and staff; and special guests Araquio mentors from Brgy. Sto. Tomas and Sinasajan, Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija.