Lumad artists come together for ‘alternative’ celebration of Bukidnon Centennial

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/15 August) – Lumad artists in Bukidnon will be featured in a compact disc recording and concert in a project launched by different groups in the run-up to the province’s centennial on September 1.

Ma. Easterluna Canoy, executive director of the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs, said the CD recording will include Bukidnon music, chants, narrations and other beats using traditional or improvised instruments.

The CD will be launched in a concert on Aug. 26 at the capitol grounds, dubbed as an alternative venue among local artists.

“The CD is the tribes’ and their support groups’ contribution to the upcoming 100 years celebration of Bukidnon,” she said.

The CD project, she added, is part of the campaign to educate the public on the importance of living cultures in Bukidnon’s Mounts Kitanglad and Kalatungan.

The two mountain ranges are protected areas and at the same time ancestral domains of the tribes.

“It will educate the public on the life and existence of indigenous peoples, who are considered natural safeguards of forests and watershed areas in Bukidnon,” Canoy said in a concept paper of the project.

Expected to perform for the CD and the concert are international performer Waway Saway and son RJ from the Talaandig tribe, Bukidnon Daraghuyan Council of Elders and Tribal Youth, Talahari Band of the Manobo Youth of Maramag, Maramag-based Manobo Datu Alimuwan Pio Labra, Portulin Kulahi Tribal Youth from Portulin (Pangantucan) Tribal Association, Suled Manobo Tribal Youth of Quezon, Bae Makailaw and company of Malaybalay, Kalayag of Bukidnon State University, BSU Chorale, and senior students from the Xavier University Development Communication department.

Jacky Chan Omarol, 23, one of the vocalists of the Bukidnon Daraghuyan Tribal Youth, said they welcomed the opportunity to showcase their culture through music.

The group will perform the “Pandulang”, a tribute to ancestors and to their heritage, pride for their forests and habitat and their culture. The piece also features a limbay (traditional song) and dasang (oration).

Omarol admits to having difficulties in the recording but said they are proud of their culture and will use the chance to let the public see their way of life.

Their group was formed in 2005 as a youth organization and drew inspiration from Waway Saway, who conducted a workshop with the group on creating their own musical instruments.

One of the musical instruments used by the group is the kagolkol, a bamboo instrument with three musical uses.

Most of the artists had completed their recording at the BSU-Ding Cabrera Studio since last week.

Johnny “Ding” Cabreira, a composer and award-winning videographer of marine life, said the project is worth the support of various organizations.

He noted they may have to rent audio equipment for the concert.

Organizers said this is necessary to avoid technical glitches usually experienced by artists using traditional instruments, although funds for the rental are a problem.

They said that through the CD project they aim for better public understanding and appreciation of the culture and traditions of the indigenous peoples safeguarding the protected areas.

They argued that protecting the culture of the IPs is helping protect the environment, in particular the forests which are not only ancestral homes but also sources of food and water.

Saway earlier said there has to be an inclusive means through arts and music that will put Bukidnon on the world map.

He added arts and music can be the flag carrier of the province that would attract tourists and development if given enough attention.

He admitted, however, that they have to defer their dream project to make Bukidnon the “soil painting capital of the world” for this year.

“As of now we cannot implement it. The dream to make Bukidnon as soil painting capital of the world is still there but we are not yet ready. We will wait for the right time,” he added.

Saway’s group earlier lamented the lack of attention to local performers compared to artists from Manila, who were allotted P3 million in the centennial celebration.

The provincial government allotted P10 million for the celebration.

The other groups behind the project are BSU, office of Datu Magdalino Pandian (the IP mandatory representative to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan), Samdhana Institute and Xavier University. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)