The spirit of Kaamulan-A A +A
By Nef Luczon
Sunday, March 3, 2013
EVERYONE was literally excited to witness again that annual festivity in Bukidnon Province and this is exactly the Department of Tourism wanted it to become. Behold to the new generation of “Kaamulan,” a once sacred tribal gathering of elders from distant lands now become a melting pot of tourists and commercialism.
It’s not that I am against it, inasmuch as I am optimistic to any festivities in other places of the country. It’s just that, there are always the pros and cons in every aspect of our complex universes we are living in. And in this case, it seems there are more sad realities beyond what’s entertaining to the eyes.
Because it’s driven with commercialism, it’s like going into a foreign land where one prefers eating in a fast food chain. Like I said, based on the collective definition of the tribal elders I used to talk to before, it’s supposed to be a holy ritual and there are supposed to be strict rules to follow, like it’s forbidden for outsiders to witness such gathering unless permitted.
But forget that. This isn’t the non-profitable ritual making of sorts. This is about money making and merry making and we just “franchised” the term “Kaamulan” with the consent of tribal elders who are only agreeable to it.
And speaking of Datus or tribal chieftains, there are so many of them, way above the number of seats in Congress. And of course, there are those gullible, wise, critical and depends-on-the-price. Again, who worries about tribal consents especially those who wish to put up something that potentially generates money?
Oh, there was also media mileage out there like some alien army is about to arrive in the planet. I’m sure those people who weren’t able to physically watch the festivity can at least watch it in still and moving images, and probably read more information about it via newspapers, and with the addition of today’s technology, the internet.
And if there are media exposures and curious people, mostly tourists, flocking the streets and taking pictures, let’s grab this opportunity to remind them of the 2013 polls this May. That was why quite a number of politicians were fishing on people’s potential votes by wearing smiles and emanating an aura of salvation and “only solution candidate” way of mingling with mere mortals.
Then we forgot the irony, the festival that originated from the traditions of people where our ancestors came from, where the vast lands were once theirs and yet some still struggle to get back their homes through Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles. But never mind. That’s less important than those fair-skinned “celebrities” who came down from the heavens to serenade and entertain the mortals with sometimes lip-synch, if not mediocre karaoke-level voices. But who cares?
(Nef Luczon is a freelance journalist and a part-time communications faculty and trainer. He is also a film and art enthusiast. Read his blog at Nefoi.blogspot.com and send comments to email@example.com)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 04, 2013.