Lumads, Moros, settlers reaffirm friendship in tribal rites in Bukidnon

LANTAPAN, Bukidnon (MindaNews / 9 March) – Representatives of eight Lumad tribes, their Moro kin and settlers gathered here in the village of the Talaandig last Friday to renew their vow of friendship.

Lumads, Moros and settlers, even foreigners, celebrate friendship in a tribal dance at the Talaandig community center in Songco, Lantapan, Bukidnon on Friday (8 March 2019). MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA | See photo essay

They slaughtered chickens and smeared the blood in their palms and foreheads in a tribal rite in Barangay Songco here to celebrate their friendship.

Drops of chicken blood were then sprinkled at the monument marking the kinship reaffirmation, which features a clay “tibod” or jar that symbolizes the unity of the tripeoples of Mindanao. The jar also symbolizes the customs and traditions left behind by Apu Agbibilin to Apu Saulana, the ancestors of the Talaandigs.

Datu Migketay Victorino Saway, head of the Talaandig tribe, said every year since 2012, Lumads from the eight tribes in Mindanao, their Moro kin and settlers celebrate their friendship in the Talaandig community center in barangay Songco at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad.

“The more it is important now, especially that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim is being implemented,” Saway said.

He said the Lumads and Moros have a long history of friendship, marred only by occasional warfare among their tribes.

He said their differences were settled in one major peace pact called “tampuda” held somewhere in Bukidnon years ago.

Unlike the previous celebrations, this year’s had been marked with the absence of previous key players of the reaffirmation rites.

Noticeably absent last Friday were representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA). (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)