South Upi stops holding horse fights during fiesta

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SOUTH UPI, Maguindanao (MindaNews/17 August) – Horses still took center stage when the town’s parish celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Salvation on Sunday.

But unlike in the past celebrations where the Teduray-Lambangian tribe featured stallions in fights with the presence of a mare as “heater”, the contest involving horses has embraced a benign style.

Called Kuda Festival, the contest highlighted the importance of horses as partners of the Teduray-Lambangian tribe in their farming chores.

Kuda is the Teduray word for horse.

BEAUTY OF THE BEAST. A horse is all "dressed up" for the Kuda Festival in South Upi, Maguindanao on Aug. 16, 2015, the town fiesta. In lieu of horse fighting, the town's Teduray-Lambangian tribe adorn their horses for a contest depicting the areas they come from. MindaNews photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera
BEAUTY OF THE BEAST. A horse is all “dressed up” for the Kuda Festival in South Upi, Maguindanao on Aug. 16, 2015, the town fiesta. In lieu of horse fighting, the town’s Teduray-Lambangian tribe adorn their horses for a contest depicting the areas they come from. MindaNews photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera

Only female horses however were allowed to take part in the contest where horses representing the chapels of the parish were adorned.

“Stallions could not join because they will cause fights. Kuda is a major draft animal because of the terrain of the place,” Laura Salinas, Kuda Festival committee chair said, adding the horses were adorned according to who the patron saint is of a chapel.

About 40 entries joined the festival that also highlighted the chemistry between the horses and their owners.

Fr. Dennis Gui, OMI, parish priest, said the event aims to help preserve the rich culture of the Teduray-Lambangian tribe of South Upi. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)

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