Visual Depictions and Ponderings: Sinday-Muro and Other Beings of Panay Cosmology
An 8x4 foot pen-and-ink framed mural based on ethnographical data was exhibited during the second International Conference on Intangible Cultural Heritage at the University of the Philippines Visayas (Iloilo City) in 2018. The mural foregrounds a character who is hardly known in the sugidanon (Panay epic chant) except when mentioned in a buhis (sacred ritual call for rain) or pana-id (sacred ritual call for heat or the sun). All the rest of the cosmic beings have been written about online and in print literature. Sinday-Muro’s visual representation through the mural is based on descriptions of the Panay Bukidnon elders, who serve as research participants of this study; there is also the artist’s imaging of their features in the context of their environs. Having fluid roles, these characters function as intermediaries of mankind. We examine the local context of how they address problems with Sinday-Muro as parangkutan (consultant) who ensures smooth relationships among cosmic layers. This study moves from physical descriptions of characters in the mural—from the point of view of the artist—to the interesting discourse about husay, the Panay Bukidnon’s dialogic manner of settling conflicts to ease relational differences—from the perspective of an ethnographer—with the guidance and advisement of a parangkutan.