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Bukidnon's Kaamulan Fest showcases rich traditions, culture

MALAYBALAY CITY (PIA)--After three years of hiatus due to the pandemic, the Kaamulan Festival of Bukidnon is back, showcasing its rich and colorful culture and tradition.

Bukidnon, also known as the "food basket" of Northern Mindanao, celebrates the Kaamulan Festival in abundance. It features the most colorful festival in the Philippines and how the seven tribes preserve their traditions and culture found only in Bukidnon province.

With the theme "One Bukidnon: A Celebration of Unity in Cultural Diversity," the celebration focuses on the culture of seven tribes, which are the Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Bukidnon, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon, and Umayamnon.

According to Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative Arbie Llesis, the Kaamulan Festival is a gathering of the seven tribes to thank "Magbabaya" or God Almighty for bountiful harvests and blessings.

He said that Kaamulan is one of the remaining indigenous festivals in the Philippines that has maintained its true meaning, despite the influence of modernization, that has also helped the indigenous peoples in their way of living.

The gathering is also part of the tradition and culture during wedding ceremonies, rituals, peace pacts, and other occasions customary for the seven tribes that inhabited the province in the early days.

The street dancing competition, which highlights Kaamulan Festival, unveils close to the eyes of tourists and visitors. (PIA-10/Bukidnon)

Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque said Kaamulan is one of the few remaining festivals in the Philippines that has retained its true essence.

"Let us be thankful for the gathering of our tribes and fellow citizens. Finally, we are together again after the pandemic. Through Kaamulan, we participated and celebrated with the seven tribes of the province," the governor said.

From March 23 to April 23 of this year, the month-long Kaamulan Festival highlights the famous indigenous cooking showdown, tribal wedding, Madagaya trade fair, garden and bonsai show, agri fair, horse show, rodeo, and other ethnic shows, especially the famous street dancing,

The dance moves, colorful outfits, and indigenous accessories awed local and foreign tourists during the April 22 street dance showdown. 

In the competition, Kalilangan bagged the top prize for ground presentation; Valencia City emerged as the winner in the float parade, and Malaybalay City was declared champion in street dancing due to its outstanding performance. (RLRBalistoy/PIA-10/Bukidnon)

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Ruby Leonora Balistoy


Region 10

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