The Cordillera Administrative Region is very rich in cultures and traditions. These are in the forms of rituals, dances, songs and stories. The Gambang Theater Guild, would like to share one of the stories from barangay Suyoc of Mankayan, Benguet that could leave a lesson to the audience and at the same time showcase their rituals, dances and songs.
Through the performances, the audience will have a glimpse of the cultures and traditions of Cordillera particularly Benguet.
“KOK-ODONG” the Hunchback of Suyoc
Long time ago, in a village in Suyoc, Mankayan, Benguet, there was a poor, hunchback woman named Kok-kodong who lived alone in a dilapidated hut near the river where she gathers shells and edible insects and plant for food.
Because of her deformity, people avoided her. During festivities, they would shoo her away. One time, Kok-kodong came from a festivity where she was made the laughing stock. She felt so downhearted that she slept along the pathway. While she was asleep, tribesmen from another place who planned to ransack the village saw her sleeping. Thinking that she was dead, the “buso” retreated and did not continue to pillage the village since they believed that travelling along a pathway with a dead body is a bad omen.
When the village warriors saw what happened, they informed their fellow villagers how Kok-kodong enormously helped the whole village from being pillaged by the “buso”. The villagers were so thankful to Kok-kodong that from then on they treated Kok-kodong well.
Note: This story was researched by the advisers of the Gambang Theater Guild. It was performed last November 2013 in La Trindad, Benguet for the Adivay Festival of the province of Benguet and won 1st Runner-up. This story was told by Mrs. Pacita Awisan, an elder from Palasaan, Mankayan, Benguet.
produced by Toshihiko Uriu（瓜生敏彦）
Directed by: Roger Federico