Kaamulan dances authentic, organizers say

The annual festival opened February 18 with Garden Shows, Foodfest, bazaars, agricultural and livestock fairs, and will end on March 10.

Ocaya told MindaNews the decision on who to tap as performers in the street dancing depends on the seven municipalities and two cities which have confirmed to compete in the crowd-drawing Kaamulan Festival event.

But Ocaya said they have required the participating groups to ensure the participation of  Lumad (indigenous peoples) performers for at least 10 percent of the maximum performers of 200.

She recognized the street dancing competition become a crowd drawer because of its showcase of indigenous dances from the seven tribes in the province.

She said a major concern about bringing in more performers from indigenous communities is budget constraint.

"Taking them away from their communities entails a bigger budget which is not yet available," Ocaya told MindaNews.

Earlier, Bae Inatlawan Adelina Docenos-Tarino, Bukidnon tribal chieftain and baylan (spiritual leader) told MindaNews the set up leaves them "pushed to the sidelines."

"Oftentimes, the genuine Lumads are pushed to the sidelines when the organizers give more attention to the local governments, instead of directly involving them," she said last month.

The street dancing competition will be held on March 8, on the same day an ethnic dance clinic is scheduled to be held.

Mayflor P. Intong, the Kaamulan overall in-charge, named the participating towns as Maramag, Don Carlos, Libona, Manolo Fortich, Baungon, Lantapan and Sumilao and the cities of Valencia and Malaybalay.

Winners will receive P150,000 (champion), P100,000 (first runner up) and P50,000 (second runner up).  

Side by side with street dancing is a float parade and contest.

Ocaya said, however, the more "ethnic" feature in the annual festival is the indigenous sports showdown when genuine Lumads show off their skills in different games. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)