Monday, March 05, 2012

Kaamulan Festival 2012 : Street Dancing Competition, the Bukidnon's Pride

Valencia City Contingent
Festivals  are also my fascination ever since I witnessed one in 1995. But unfortunately some of them were not documented like the Masskara Festival of Bacolod, because I still do not have a digital camera that time.

I  may sound subjective in this post but Kaamulan Festival 2012, especially the Street Dancing Competition was vividly dazzling and astonishing. 

Everyone has its own opinion. 
Maybe some would disagree because others might say that the just culminated street ethnic dancing competition was so boring because the same steps were being used. I cannot figured out why they opined like that. Are these people former dancers? 

Dance steps might be the same as in the previous years, this is because these dancers followed IP's original and officially accepted in their tribe. Their ethnic ritual dance is also their way of asking for a good weather, good health, good harvest in crop production, war dance and serenade to marry.
Quezon Contingent

I don't think that the steps being followed by these dancers, replicates Michael Jackson's "beat it", dancing in a Kaamulan Festive tune? I don't think so. However, I still respect one's opinion.
I woke up  dawn at 4 am to witness first the "Pamuhat" (ritual) which was scheduled to start by 5:30 a.m.. Held near the Pine Hills Hotel of Malaybalay City, the ritual is regularly done before the start of the event, sought permission from the "spirit" for a successful competition.

I fetched Master Estan Cabigas of from his Apartelle where he stayed for 2 days to cover this year's Kaamulan Festival Ethnic Street Dancing Competition. Earl Bolivar of Suroy Pilipinas and Olan Emboscado of The Travel Teller (Philippine Blog Awards Best Travel Blog for Mindanao 2011) were also with us. What a lucky day in doing back to back shooting with the pro. I was blessed and fortunate in joining our idols who inspired us to pursue our passion in photography, traveling and blogging and indeed a rare opportunity. 

Sequence of the street dancing was usually led by IP dancers, then 60 more or less performers with choreographed dance and followed by a float loaded with drummers performed their heart pounding kaamulan dance beat before the spectators and visitors coming from various locations, local and abroad.

Malitbog - Higaonon Tribe

Kaamulan is derived from a native word "Amul", that means, to gather. Gathering in a form of festival is to celebrate the customs and tradition of the 7 tribes of early settlers in Bukidnon, namely; Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon. This year's ethnic street dancing competition were participated with only 7 contingents from Kalilangan, Malitbog, Valencia, Quezon, Maramag, San Fernando and Cabanglasan.  
Seven hill tribes of Bukidnon gather in unity with the local dwellers in town, wearing their intricately woven costumes studded with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets. They dance together, chant, perform ancient rituals, and compete in indigenous sports. - Bukidnon Province

This year's adjudged as champion is the Municipality of Malitbog for the ground competition and for the float. Maramag contingent won the street dancing competition and placed 2nd in ground competition.

More photos of Kaamulan Street Dancing Competition below, (Images and Photo Credits : Alex Dimagiba, RN)

 Left : Governor Alex Calingasan. Right : Former Senator Migz Zubiri

Acknowledgment :

I am also grateful with the Provincial Tourism Office, through their Officer-in-Charge, Mayflor Beltran Intong, in providing us Media Pass to cover the street dancing competition and allowing me to have additional 2 for my visitors, Estan Cabigas of and Olan Emboscado of The Travel Teller, even though  that they were not present during the press orientation and briefing. A personal thanks to Walter Balane (Bukidnon News) and Ruby Balistoy, both of Philippine Information Agency for giving us also this wonderful opportunity by counting us in joining the circle of media. More power to you!

A personal thanks to the photo contributor, Alex Dimagiba, newly passed registered nurse and a photography enthusiast, in providing me the additional photos. Congratulations Alex in passing the nursing board exam and the wonderful captured photos. Continue your passion.  

18 Con Tour Passers by:

  1. paspasa uy. thanx for the opportunity and assistance as well as the warm accommodation given me bai. kaamulan is really a unique festival that people should check out. nindot jud :)

  2. Kaamulan festival is one of the most colorful and interesting contingent during the Aliwan Fiesta. I hope to witness this right there in Bukidnon in the coming years...

  3. I didn't know that the most authentic tribal festival in the Philippines is just 4 hours bus ride from my home in Davao City... Thanks Bonz for pushing me to come and witness this spectacle! I was even dancing with the performers during the street dancing competition! Namangha ako ng sobra! Truly, a unique festival to watch out for in the years to come!

    SALAMAT jud kaayo Bon for your warm welcome and accommodation!

  4. Master Estan,

    Thank you also bai for visiting Malaybalay City during the Kaamulan Festival and endorsing it, that was indeed an unforgettable experience, shooting with a Makati Based Multi-awarded freelance photographer like you. :-).

  5. @Olan,

    Bai, I was also grateful that you came by to witness the spectacular street dancing, our Kaamulan Festival. Though you arrived at Dawn of that day, you still have high energy to spend visiting the monastery, climbing and have reached the summit of Musuan Peak. I will look forward for the return of The Travel Teller. BTW, thank jud sa t-shirt. nice color. nag puti ko tan-awon, hahaha.:-).

  6. @Ding.

    I know you have the enthusiasm to visit but the schedule would not allow you to come. I am very glad to join the 2 award winner among the circle of Pinoy Travel Bloggers. Hope to see you next time the Pinoy Explorer. See you then bro with Christian, the Lakad Pilipinas.:-).

  7. Wow I love the photos! So colorful! Hope to try to shoot street dancing too soon... ;)

  8. hello mam violy, festivals are that so colorful because of their costumes. I'd like to try exploring other festivals soon like in Davao or other neighboring places here in the philippines.:-).

  9. I am a fan of festivals like this too. I hope I can witness this one.

  10. wow ang ganda rin pala ng festival jan sa lugar nyo pre!

  11. @Enzo.

    Try it also bro. Try the Bukidnon's beat.

    @Christian | Lakad Pilipinas

    Bro, ikaw na lang ang inantay dito. Hope to see you with Gail next year.:-).

  12. Awesome! Would love to witness and join the festivities next year (hopefully... ) thanks for sharing po! :)

  13. Mervz. Bukidnon is just 2 hours from Cagayan de Oro. I'll wait for your visit next year with Gail.:-).

  14. I like festivals and the Dancing i wish you could have uploaded the dance which tried to capture in your snaps i attended a fastival in Dubai where you i saw the delly dance which is the best till dated

  15. I had a great time during your festival. Wrote about it in the newspapers. Hope to come back soon.

  16. Hi mam jojie. You should come back to witness again the Bukidnon's pride. Thanks mam for visiting my blog. You are also my idol and my inspiration in photography.....:-).

  17. Colorful festival of your tradition. It’s really cool to see those pictures here and its making me to visit for your festival. Is this happening every year? If it is happening every year how would we participate for it?

  18. Wow so much colors
    love to see this festival live


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