Kaamulan Festival: A colorful celebration-A A +A
Monday, February 25, 2013
MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon -- This year’s “Kaamulan Festival” reeled off here last Friday through a splendor of cultural rituals, songs, dances and colorful presentations seen only in this part of the country.
Bukidnon Governor Alex Calingasan said this ethnic festival enables tourists to learn about the rich culture and heritage of the Bukidnon tribes.
“Kaamulan Festival showcases what makes us matchless like the display of authentic art of woodwork, beadwork, patchwork, basket weaving, paintings by tribal artists, including indigenous musical instruments,” Calingasan said.
Since its soft opening a few days ago, tourists here get to visit the gift shops for genuine, handmade native art, craft and jewelry.
Visitors will also be able to taste authentic local cuisine and delicacies.
Among the grand events in the month-long festival include Kaamulan Rodeo, livestock and poultry show, agri-fair, flower garden show, foodfest and Kaamulan bazaar which displays indigenous products made only in Bukidnon.
Moto trail challenge and off-road challenge, wall climbing competition, mountain bike race, drum and lyre competition, football festival, ethnic music and dance clinic, school band competition, "Laga ta Bukidnon (Bb. Bukidnon)" search, "Piniliyapan hu Bukidnon (a glimpse of Bukidnon)" and the night of music with Bukidnon artists from the seven ethnic groups will also highlight the month-long event.
During the Kaamulan street dancing competition on March 2, lumads from the seven hill tribes of Bukidnon will gather to dance, chant, perform ancient rituals and compete in indigenous sports. They will wear their intricately woven costumes studded with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets.
Russel Aquino, chief of Bukidnon Indigenous Cultural Affairs Office, said, a solemn prayer would open the event, giving thanks to the "Magbabaya (deity)" for the year’s bounty harvest and blessings.
The provincial government of Bukidnon annually celebrates Kaamulan Festival from February 18 to March 10 where local and foreign tourists flock to witness the popular street dancing and tribal wedding.
Kaamulan comes from the Binukid word “amul” which means to gather. It is a gathering of Bukidnon tribes for a purpose such as “Datuship,” a ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these put together.
The festival celebrates the customs and traditions of the seven ethnic groups that originally inhabited Bukidnon namely the Talaandig, Higa-onon, Umayamnon, Manobo, Tigwahanon, Matigsalug and Bukidnon.
This year’s celebration carries the theme “Sustaining culture and unity towards progress and development.” (PIA Bukidnon)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 26, 2013.