MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/02 March) – Thousands of residents and visitors are expected to witness on Saturday to witness the street dancing competition that will portray snapshots of Bukidnon culture and history and the Lumad’s love for peace.
Six towns and one city will compete in both street dancing and ground presentation. These are the towns of Cabanglasan, San Fernando, Quezon, Kalilangan, Malitbog, and Maramag, and Valencia City.
The provincial government has invited Vice President Jejomar Binay as its guest of honor, the Capitol’s Public Affairs, Information and Assistance Office confirmed Friday.
The street dancing competition is one of the highlights and the biggest crowd drawer of the annual ethnic-inspired festival here. (See Photos)
Cabanglasan, which is in Bukidnon’s boundary with Agusan del Sur, will present Pamuhat Te Haklaran, a healing ritual dance, that shows the Manobo Umayamnen’s reliance on the power of Magbabaya (God). According to the contingent’s official storyline, the presentation is divided into four scenes. The first scene features the typical life in the villages with Urok, a planting dance; Pangaso, a hunting dance; and Inomong, a harvest dance.
The Haklaran ritual will be featured in the third scene where they will drive away the evil spirit that possesses a girl’s body. In the fourth scene they will present a thanksgiving dance in grateful response to Magbabaya’s kindness.
San Fernando’s Tigwahanons
San Fernando will show the Tigwahanons (people of the Tigwa River), a derivative of the Manobos who are depicted as a hardworking people dependent on the abundance of nature. They will present Logtoy or the good harvest, which will feature Pamalas, a traditional seeking of guidance and permission from God.
Among the dances that were slated to be shown are the Kamot to clean the farm and the Talupak Pamugas to place the seeds in the holes. The presentation is also expected to showcase Bangkakawan, with use of spears to catch fish as they dance to entertain themselves while waiting for the harvest of their crops.
The contingent is also expected to perform harvest-time dances and other traditional dances of the Tigwahanons.
Quezon’s Sunggod ta Kamanga and Pandahe Alamara
Quezon will feature the Sunggod ta Kamanga, a ritual to ask for blessing and protection for their farming activities. They will also act out the Panalabugta for the spirit of the land and the Panampulot or partaking of the food offered in the ritual, as well as perform the Pandahe Alamara, a dance ritual to go into battle to protect the tribe.
Kalilangan’s festival of peace
Kalilang or festival for peace is the main feature of the contingent from Kalilangan, which is in the province’s border with Lanao del Sur. The presentation showcases the history of conflict, reconciliation, and peace between the Manobos and the Maranaos.
According to the contingent’s storyline submitted to the Provincial Tourism Office, after years of battle between the two groups they finally reconciled and enacted a Tampuda hu Balagon or a peace pact using intertwining rattan, which they held on both ends to symbolize mutual trust and good will.
Valencia City’s Kaglagun
Valencia City, dubbed the City of Golden Harvest, will feature the Kaglagun, a post-harvest thanksgiving feast of the east and west Valencia communities.
The east and west portions of Valencia have distinct cultures but share beliefs in the same spirits and rituals, including the Pansilig and Pamalas to drive away bad spirits. The two rituals are done to prepare for rice and corn planting. The performers will also showcase the Dugso dance and offer Limbay (songs) to please the spirits and ensure bountiful harvest.
As the natives plant, they perform the Talupak using a bamboo pole with trimmings.
The Municipality of Malitbog, in the province’s boundary with Misamis Oriental, will feature the Higaonon tribe’s Piglumunan hu mga Bagani (Legion of Warriors). The group is known as defenders of the land who are ready to offer their lives for the protection of the Nabunayan (environment), Kabukalagan (Race), Kalandang (Peace), and their Tagbanhawan (territory).
The presentation is expected to feature the legion’s tribal war with the dumagats (lowlanders) because of logging, hunting, land grabbing, and mining. The parties eventually held a peace pact or Tambuda hu Balagon.
Maramag, which is at the crossroads of the province, will feature the Lalabutan or the traditional barter of goods and food among the Lumads.
Maramag, according to the storyline, is the original venue for barter among the Lumads in the province. After exchanging goods the Lumads perform dances, play their music, pray through chanting, and hold games.
Maramag is now a progressive town where vehicles coming from Davao, Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro City and Lanao converge.
Bukidnon towns take turns in competing in the annual ethnic street dancing and ground presentations.
Malaybalay and Valencia cities normally compete every year. However, Malaybalay City has been barred from competing this year, as it has won thrice in a row, from 2009-2011.
Organizers had invited Malaybalay to perform as a non-competing contingent but Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri told MindaNews via SMS he opted not to participate. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)