Malaybalay City, Bukidnon - March
Bukidnon Malaybalay city celebrates Kaamulan festival around March with tribal ethnic songs, dances, games, crafts and rituals. Banners, banderitas, and beer will be norm, as well as the sweet, haunting sound of native music.
An early morning pamuhat ritual kicks off the kaamulan festival, quickly followed by a food festival, trade fairs, and a lot of native dancing.
Kaamulan festival began in 1974 during the fiesta of Malaybalay, May 15, in honor of San Isidro Labrador. Edilberto Mamawag invited some indigenous tribe people of Bukidnon to join the fiesta. A few native dance steps by the natives at Plaza Rizal help enliven the fiesta-goers.
The celebration however proved very popular and together with national coverage the Kaamulan festival has become the regional festival of northern Mindanao. The name Kaamulan is Binukid for "social gathering."
Mamawag married a Higaunon girl, Eden Suclatan Tan-Nery, who was a descendant of Datu Mansiagnao. Another pure-blooded Higaunon was Pepita Caterial Ongkiatco help made Kaamulan festival a true and real indigenous celebration.
Kaamulan festival is not all street theater pageantry, although that is only one of its many facets. In Kaamulan festival it is the real indigenous peoples who attract the crowds. And which is probably why the authentic rituals are what spice up the Kaamulan festival pageantry.
The participation of real natives in the concept and celebration help Kaamulan festival stand out from other festivals. Kaamulan festival is a true Filipino culture which attracts students and researchers to the event.
Kaamulan festival charm lies in its authenticity. Kaamulan festival follows only its indigenous cadence.
Moreover, Bukidnon has always been a refreshing mountain vacation destination. Malaybalay City has its own attractions in the pine covered hills and mountains, plus the Pulangi River that attracts whitewater adventurers.
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