Kaamulan Festival 2013: A glimpse of the rich culture of Bukidnon-A A +A
Saturday, March 2, 2013
MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Thousands of tourists and locals gathered here Saturday morning and witnessed the spectacular presentation of rituals, songs, dances and colorful costumes in the street dancing competition, one of the highlights of the annual Kaamulan Festival.
Clad in their native costumes, contingents from the seven ethnic hill tribes of Bukidnon -- Talaandig, Higaonon, Umayamnon, Manobo Tiguahanon, Matigsalug and Bukidnon – gracefully swayed to the beating of the drums and painted the city with their exemplary performance in dancing, chant and rituals. They rode in colorful floats during the parade.
Representatives from schools, local government units of the different towns and cities of the province and other agencies also joined in the annual street dancing competition and ground demonstration held at the Kaamulan grounds here.
Kaamulan Festival is a cultural showcase of the rich customs and traditions of the seven hill tribes of Bukidnon.
Senatorial candidate and San Juan Representative JV Ejercito, who witnessed the activity as special guest, lauded both the organizers and the participants for making the festival a success despite security threats brought about by the recent attack of the New People’s Army at Del Monte and Dole plantations in nearby Manolo Fortich and Impasug-ong towns last February 19.
Ejercito said he had been very supportive of the tourism activities in the country, particularly the world-renown Kaamulan Festival which had already become part of the superhighway activities of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Photos by Joey P. Nacalaban
He stressed that among his priority is to strengthen the country’s tourism industry if given the chance to have a seat in the senate.
“Kaamulan Festival is one important aspect of tourism come-ons that remained unchanged throughout the years,” said Ejercito, who is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Kaamulan Festival is characterized by the authentic rituals of real indigenous peoples. There is the Pangampo (general worship), the Tagulambong hu Datu (ritual for the installation of a chieftain), the Panumanod (a spiriting ceremony), the Panlisig (rite to drive away evil spirits), and the Pamalas (sin atonement ritual), among others. Each activity is a meaningful ceremony that reflects the richness and diversity of the Bukidnon culture.
Integrated into the festival are activities designed to fuse the different sectors of the province into one.
Other activities lined up in the month-long festival include rodeo, livestock and poultry show, agri-fair, flower garden show, 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)," a night of music with Bukidnon artists from the seven ethnic groups, foodfest and Kaamulan bazaar, which displays indigenous products made only in Bukidnon.
Tourists also loved walking around the Kaamulan grounds as different cottages were set up, selling local products.
Since its soft opening a few days ago, hundreds of tourists already visited some gift shops here for genuine, handmade native art, craft and jewelry.
The festival has become an avenue where Bukidnon’s unraveled cultural legacy that has been carefully preserved through all these years are recognized and appreciated.
“The Kaamulan Festival is an interesting ground for the lumads that we should cherish,” Ejercito said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 03, 2013.