The Municipality of Malitbog clad in costume combined with their placid movements.
Festivals are more fun in the Philippines. True, that it is more fun in the Philippines when they celebrate their local festivals. Every year, different festivals are celebrated in the Philippines coming from every corners of the country and one of these highlighted festivals is honored to the Kaamulan Festival.
The Kaamulan Festival is the trademark festival of the Province of Bukidnon. Kaamulan is a term derived from the native tongue of Bukidnon “amul” means to gather. This gathering of tribe people is held with a purpose. The event is celebrated in honor to the lumad or indigenous people in the province of Bukidnon for their major contribution in culture and arts.
The gathering may consist of datuship ritual; this is practiced when a person attains the position of leadership; it can also be a wedding, thanksgiving for an abundant harvest, a peace treaty or the combination of the aforementioned.
It was believed that the Kaamulan Festival started around the late 1960’s or the early 1970’s wherein different individuals made effort to gather other tribes to manage a celebration for the indigenous people contribution to the culture of Bukidnon. Until 1999 the festival was officially settled to mid-February ending to March 10.
Every year, 7 different tribes naming Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon gather to celebrate one of the highlighted events of the Philippines. The Kaamulan festival portrays a modern classical type of culture.
For this year’s competition, 7 contingents from different municipalities gathered to compete for the highlight of the festival naming the float parade, street dancing competition and ground presentation. Different municipalities portrayed the lives of ancient civilization. The participants were from the municipalities of Maramag, Malitbog, San Fernando, Cabanglasan, Valencia City, Quezon and Kalilangan.
The float parade and street dancing competition started around 7:30 in the morning. Wherein, different municipalities showed off their artful costume and float designs. Old and young performed their tribal dances.
The parade started off in the streets of Fortich Street ending to Rizal Park otherwise known as Kaamulan Grounds. Participants were clad in colorful costumes. Most of their costumes were dominated by the color red and accented by black, white, yellow or blue. Their floats were filled with crops that are majorly produced in their municipality.
For this year’s street dancing competition, the Municipality of Maramag outshined other contingents. Followed by the Municipality of Malitbog dragged the 1st runner-up slot. San Fernando grabbed the 2nd runner up slot. Maramag replaced the position of last year’s winner the Municipality of Lantapan.
The Municipality of Malitbog, grabbed the championship for the float competition. The Municipality of Quezon grabbed the 1st runner-up slot and Valencia City garnered the 2nd runner-up slot. Malitbog replaced last year’s winner; the Municipality of Lantapan who did not join for this year’s competition.
The Municipality of Malitbog was honored as the winner for the ground competition. They entertained thousands of spectators surrounding the Kaamulan grounds. Malitbog took the spot of Malaybalay City who did not join this year’s competition. For this year’s competition, the top 3 winners of each category will receive cash amounting to Php. 40,000.00 and non-winners will receive cash amounting to Php. 20,000.00.
If you weren’t able to catch up this year’s Kaamulan Festival catch it next year. Bukidnon is located at the central plateau of Mindanao. There are no airports in Malaybalay City. You can only access it via land transportation.
If you are from the other side of the archipelago, book a ticket for Cagayan de Oro City. After arriving here in Cagayan de Oro City take a ride either on a metered taxi or van that will take you to the Eastbound Terminal. The fare may cost from PHP 300.00-PHP 500.00.
If you are in a tight budget, you can ride a jeepney that will take you to Xavier University. After dropping at Xavier University, ride another jeepney going to the Eastbound Terminal (LA Lapasan). The fare will only cost you around PHP 20.00/person. From there, you can take a bus from the Eastbound Terminal of Cagayan de Oro City that can land you to the capital of Bukidnon, Malaybalay City.
Witness it live and be amazed by the wonders of nature, culture and arts. Culture, Arts, Nature and Celebration is more fun to experience in the Philippines. See you on the next Kaamulan Festival.