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Tribal chieftains name Bukidnon governor as 'Datu Salakawan'

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)—Chieftains of Bukidnon province’s seven tribes named Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque as "Datu Salakawan" during the Indigenous Peoples Summit here, November 15.

Adelina "Bae Inatlawan" Tarino, the Baylan (spiritual chieftain) of the Bukidnon tribe, led the conferment ritual at the Folk Arts Theater, Kaamulan Park, Malaybalay City.

The name "Salakawan" comes from the Higaonon language, which means "dynamic and master of everything," according to the 'Elders and Bae.'

In his message, Gov. Roque asked the Indigenous Peoples (IP) community to help him in maintaining tribal unity and achieving abundance and peace.

“The blood of my past, now made present, will guide me into the future. Now that my recognition has been official, I ask the help of my IP brothers and sisters to help guide ourselves into a future of prosperity and peace,” Datu Salakawan said.

The governor thanked the seven Bukidnon tribes for their warm welcome.

"Indeed, the honor that the seven distinct yet united tribes have bestowed upon me is beyond measure. Ang inyong pagdawat kanako dili mabaylo-an ug bisan unsang butang kanus-a paman. (Your acceptance of me can never be exchanged for anything),” the governor said.

According to Maria Shirlene Sario, provincial officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Bukidnon, the recognition of Gov. Roque as Datu Salakawan will help the seven tribes of Bukidnon in the economic progress of natives and other IP communities.

"Our primary goal is to give our governor strength and recognition, that he is our Datu who will help and serve us Indigenous Peoples here in Bukidnon,” Sario explained. (BGE/PIA 10-Bukidnon)

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