Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bukidnon: 7 Reasons Why Kaamulan Festival Is The Only Authentic Ethnic Festival in the Philippines


Bukidnon's Kaamulan Festival recently concluded its 2017 edition highlighted by its most popular activity-the Ethnic Street Dancing Competition and Ground Presentation held last March 25 in the capital city of Malaybalay. As early as 5:30 AM, thousands of people flocked to witness the spectacle of traditional dances, lively tribal beats, colorful costumes and accessories and the grand floats which passed through the major thorougfare of Malaybalay City proper and ended at the Provincial Capitol Grounds. Kaamulan Festival, annualy held from the second week of February up to the third week of March, has always been Bukidnon's top tourist draw as it celebrates and showcases the unique culture and traditions of the province's indigenous people.

Here are seven reasons why Kaamulan Festival is considered as the only authentic ethnic festival in the Philippines....

1. It gathers the seven tribal groups considered as the original inhabitants of Bukidnon


Kaamulan is from the Binukid word "amul" which means "to gather". The festival is a gathering of Bukidnon tribespeople and celebrates the customs and traditions of the seven hill tribes namely, the Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon.

2. It is actively participated by "lumads" from the Seven Hill Tribes



Unlike other festival where participants are mostly students and LGU employees, "lumads" or indigenous people from the Seven Hill Tribes actively participate in the street dancing and other activities of Kaamulan Festival. This does not only make the ethnic celebration authentic but also unites the tribal folks with the lowlanders in showcasing their rich customs and traditions through dances, rituals, indigenous games and tribal beats.


3. The festival showcases authentic rituals of Bukidnon's indigenous people


To showcase the preserved traditions of the lumads, various activities involve authentic ethnic rituals. These traditional rituals include the Pamuhat (seeking the blessings of the spirits for the success of an activity), 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.

4. Colorful ethnic costumes and accessories worn by the participants



Intricately woven costumes studded with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets are worn by the participants during the street dancing competition.


5. Tribal beats provided only by ethnic musical instruments



Only traditional instruments such as agong, kulintang, tambol and bantola are allowed to provide background to the dancers during the street dancing competition.


6. Extensively decorated floats  


The floats used during the street dancing are so grand as these are intricately and  extensively decorated and adorned with indigenous materials to fit the theme of each contingent.  Separate prizes are awarded for the top 3 best floats of the competition.


7. The festival is highly regarded by travel writers, bloggers and photographers

No less than former Tourism Secretary Ace Durano declared Kaamulan Festival as the only authentic ethnic festival in the Philippines.

Kyle "Kulas" Jennerman taking a selfie with a Bukidnon lumad during the Kaamulan Festival Street Dancing Competition

The festival is also highly regarded by well-known travel photographers, writers and bloggers:

"GO BUKIDNON!!!THIS WAS THE BEST FESTIVAL DANCING I HAVE EVER WITNESSED IN MY LIFE."--Kyle "Kulas" Jennermann, #BecomingFilipino blogger

"Kaamulan Festival - their street dancing and float competition is the biggest, most colorful and grandest i've experienced!"--Nanardz Navarro, http://www.soxph.com

"It's a beautiful sight to watch and a great way to learn and understand the rich cultural heritage of these ethnic tribes in Bukidnon."--Anton DiazOur Awesome Planet)

“This is for me one of the best festival street celebrations. I hope they would be able to keep it close to the authentic ethnic celebration and not be swayed by commercialization.”--George Tapan, award-winning photographer

"Its really a stunning assemblage of people in authentic finery with woven traditional handbags, interesting beadworks and brass bells."-Estan Cabigas of langyaw.com

If you missed this year's Kaamulan Festival celebration, there's always the next year's edition to look forward to. Go visit Malaybalay, witness the grand spectacle and find out for yourself why it is hailed as the only authentic ethnic festival in the Philippines.

How To Get There:

By bus, Malaybalay City is about 2-3 hours away from Cagayan de Oro City, 6 hours from Davao City and 8 hours from General Santos City


6 comments :

  1. Awesome.
    Proud Bukidnon here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Astonish and flabbergasted of this year's KAAMULAN FESTIVAL! Proud of the Culture where I belong! #LikoLikoKawRa #Higaonon

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now, I'm missing my hometown! Oh, the grandeur of the land rich in culture.

    ReplyDelete

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