Scholars, women advocates to tackle precolonial Visayan women power in bed and politics

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Published on February 7, 2021

Dominance of women in religion, culture, politics, and sex in precolonial Visayas is the focus of a panel discussion among scholars and women advocates during a blended Valentine cultural event.

To celebrate #Cebu500 years of being part of the first circumnavigation of the world, a Visayas historian, an anthropology professor, and a New York-based journalist will tackle “IOT! Visayan women’s power in bed and politics 500 years ago” on February 14, 2021, 3 pm at Palm Grass The Cebu Heritage Hotel.

The word “iot,” a formal Binisaya term for coitus, is found in Fr. Mateo Sanchez’s 1616/1711 Visayan dictionary.

Dr. Rolando Borrinaga, a Visayas historian and professor of the University of the Philippines (UP), will talk about ancient Visayan women’s love, sex, and marriage practices.

Ms. Marivir Montebon, author of a book on precolonial Cebu and New York-based publisher of OSM! Online Magazine, will share her knowledge on women as spiritual leaders in precolonial Visayas and the suppression of women by Spanish colonialists.

Dr. Zona Saniel-Amper, an anthropology professor of the University of San Carlos (USC) and Director of USC Center for Social Research and Education (CSRE), will tackle the anthropological perspective of gender, marriage and politics as part of culture.

The Valentine cultural event will also be the launching of a video poem “Love and Heroes” performed by lawyer-journalist Kara Mae Noveda and written by heritage advocate/Katipunero descendant A. Guivelondo. It was shot and created by Hong Kong-based Social Communications Asia’s Prospero Laput before the pandemic.

Other highlights are: a live performance of “balitaw” – a traditional Visayan courtship; a physical reaction from the USC Department of Political Science; trivia quiz with prizes on Visayan history; and limited physical participants.

The event is sponsored by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Quincentennial Committee, Museo Sugbo, Central Visayas Association of Museums, USC Department of Anthropology, Sociology and History (DASH), USC CSRE, USC Political Science Department, Hambin Inc., Diyandi Heritage Center, Bisdak Pride Inc. and Palm Grass The Cebu Heritage Hotel.

It will be live streamed through the official Facebook page of Palm Grass The Cebu Heritage Hotel and its event sponsors.

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