Tambaluslos effigy: art or porn?, Albayanos debate

ALBAY—Controversy clouded over the Mythos Kan Albay Parade of Higantes during the Daragang Magayon Festival when an effigy of a mythical creature called tambaluslos was brought out.

Tambaluslos effigy: art or pornography? Albayanos ask
RATED SPG? This effigy of the tambaluslos stirred controversy during the Daragang Magayon Festival in Albay.
Photo grabbed from Nelson Bulalacao's Facebook Account
The towering effigy of a skinny dark-skinned creature with an enlarged phallus sparked the age-old debate over the boundary between art and pornography.

Some spectators declared that they were shocked over the effigy, particularly because numerous children were watching the parade.

Others questioned the basis of the pervading characteristic of the mythical creature.

Several, meanwhile, asserted that the freedom of expression of the artists behind the effigy must be upheld.

The debates continued on social media, where Albayanos voiced out their conflicting sentiments about the effigy.

One of the commenters said: "Kadustaan na dakula. An turismo sa ibang lugar igwa nin mensahe asin kulturang pigrerepresentar sa mga taong nag-eerok. Sa mytiko, si Daragang Magayon, Ibalong, Handiong. Ano ta isinabay ni Salceda an tarogo ni Tambaloslos. Yaon sa parada asin nag-iihi pa. Sayang kan kuwarta kan Albay, gamit sa pagsamba sa tarogotom."

Vince Casilihan of Karapatan Bikol remarked that even if one asks the local elders, they would say that the effigy of the tambaluslos as presented during the parade is false and misleading.

Casilihan said: “’Tambaloslos’ is the name of a mythological creature commonly heard in stories from the Visayas and Mindanao regions of the Philippines. It is described as an apparition that emerges from behind the woods in forested areas, and some would speak of it looking like an ordinary person with a bizarrely large head and mouth (In the Visayan language the name is usually used to described a person that has a big smile, or someone who has a weird snigger). The fascinating thing that happens to someone comes across it loses their way, and as it comes nearer and nearer its large smiling mouth gets bigger and bigger and resulting in the victim getting more lost by the moment. The only solution of finding their way back is to take off all their clothes, and putting them back on inside out, and go through the creature’s mouth which by this time would have covered up its whole face, and they materialize back to where they where safely with the tambaloslos gone. So if you are alone in the woods, and see someone darting between trees, just be careful, and don’t look at it, you’ll never know if it’s a tambaloslos.”

Meanwhile, other commenters posted: “Honestly speaking, madaming ayaw kay Tambaluslos. I support Magayon Festival but not this one. Please paki alis na lang nyan next time. Hindi nakakatuwa, rated SPG esp sa mga bata. This is my honest opinion.”

"Okey lang po sakin kasi may right an artist kayan. Kumbaga interpretasyon nya lang po yan kan tambaloslos."

“Base po sa storya kan mga gurang ang tambaloslos, sarong nilalalang na dakula an ngimot na mala daw pag mina ngarakngak naga echo an kapalibutan, bako dakula ang kinabuhay.”

“This is being taken out of context. The "creature" is Tambaluslus, mythological being prominent in Bicol lore. It being the star of the higantes parade is understandable due to the artist's rendition of it's oversized phallus, which is where the misunderstanding begins. Tambaluslus has an oversized scrotum, rather than this gigantic penis we see in the parades. This is also the root of the Bicol word "luslus" referring to the medical condition suffered by many men. I personally see nothing wrong with parading this "creature" u all so erroneously misjudge. The higantes parade is a good attempt at re-education, re-introduction & elevating folkloric awareness of our own heritage & culture. Have any of u any idea how many of our young have already forgotten the stories of old because they prefer the Avengers & the Xmen over stories of the aswang, the manananggal, the santelmo or the tawong lipod? Most think that because these creatures aren't real, they are not worth discussing! But these stories are the stories of our people, our heritage! They are no less real than Captain America or Batman but we pay top money to go to the movies & watch these Hollywood films BECAUSE THEY ARE FROM HOLLYWOOD! But what do we do to our own heritage? We call it a scary creature, & blame it for a social affliction.”

“Sayang kan opening mass ninda kun si tambalolos man sana ang piga isip, hain so kristianismo kan albay.”

“Istorya man po kan ama.. ko then..sa libro and subject sa Bicol University....college of Arts and Sciences...tamabaloslos is a BIG MOUTH.”

"marasapa..ano na an..gstos lamang msagwa pa pghilingon,dpat sna ipamugtak ang pundo ta dkol ang dpat tang tabngan."

On the other hand, the Albay Public Information Office, in its report about the parade, stood by the portrayal of the the effigy. It described the the tambaluslos as “an awkward, lanky, wrinkled black creature, that has long, thin, wobbly legs, hooves and big joints and punished by Gugurang by enlarging its phallus to gargantuan proportions for its promiscuity.”

Apart from the tambaluslos, effigies of Gugurang, Onglo, Magayon, Kikik, Ibingan, Angongolood were featured in the parade.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM



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