Located in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Kanak ha Banuwa! This means “Bukidnon my home!” in the native dialect used by the Indigenous Peoples of Bukidnon, or Binukid.
The Kaamulan Festival is the annual coming together of the Seven Tribes of Bukidnon, namely, Bukidnon, Higaonon, Manobo, Matigsalug, Talaandig, Tigwahonon and Umayamnon, to celebrate and showcase their traditions and cultural practices. The elders of each tribe also take the opportunity to meet and discuss topics that are essential to the development and progress of their individuality.
Binukid terms = English meanings:
- “kaamulan” = an event for “amul” = to come together
- “banog” = Philippine eagle
- “kanak” = home
- “Banuwa” = Bukidnon
- “maayad” = good
- “pag-uma” = travel
- “pamalukoanan” = a cool resting area where one can see the mountains. Incidentally, this is the origin of the name of Barangay Maluko, one of the oldest barangays in the municipality of Manolo Fortich.
The Festival runs for a whole month, from March 23 to April 23, with numerous activities that feature Bukidnon’s cultural and natural identity: a plant bazaar and garden show, rodeos, sports leagues, motocross, a beauty pageant, a native wedding and/or a coming-of-age ceremony, concert nights filled with native beats, and the highlight of the festivities, a street dance parade competition, held usually on the last Saturday before the culmination. It is during the street dance parade where the different municipalities and cities, using a float and hundreds of dancers, showcase their native dances, their local agricultural products and their artistic prowess in interpreting their chosen legends and themes.
How to Take a Tour There:
By Private Means – Contact: La Montaña Tours and Vans (a local tour operations agency) via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Name of Tour: Kaamulan Festival Immersion
By Public Means (DIY) – From the Agora Bus Terminal in Cagayan de Oro City, take a bus headed for Bukidnon or Davao and get off at Malaybalay City Public Terminal. A motorela can take you to your desired destination within the city. If you want to catch the Street Dance Competition, it is best to start your travel as early as 3:00am to avoid getting caught in traffic, as the main road in Malaybalay City will be used for the parade and will be closed until the last competitor has passed.
Tour Guide’s Note: It’s more fun in the Philippines, even in the New Normal! All my photos were taken before the pandemic, so if you want updated ones, come and travel with me next time!