MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Tribes from two cities and six municipalities out of Bukidnon’s 20 towns joined the 2012 Tribal Olympics here last Thursday as part of the annual Kaamulan Festival to showcase the rich culture and diversity of the seven tribes of Bukidnon.
Indigenous people from different tribes representing Malaybalay City, Valencia City, Maramag, Pangantukan, Monolo Fortich, Baungon, Kalilangan and Quezon arrived at the Kaamulan grounds as early as 4 a.m. to participate in the unique games.
Russell T. Aquino, also known as Datu Makabadbad, expressed his optimism with this year’s ethnic sporting events as a way of reaching out and preserving Bukidnon’s cultural heritage.
“The tribes themselves called on the provincial government to orchestrate the event which started way back in 2001. The participants in our unique sporting activity are all purely IPs. This is part of the essence of Kaamulan which is gathering, celebrating according to the cultural essence of our people,” Aquino said.
“The games is a good way to share to to rest of the people and visitors our unique culture,” said Adelina Tarino, a.k.a. Bae Inadlawan, who represents the
Manobo tribe of Malaybalay City. “It is also a way to teach our children [who are here with us] our traditions in a fun way and to be proud of it.”
Bae Inadlawan, who cheered on her tribe’s ethnic dance performance, pointed out that their dance movements shows to the younger generation the importance of preserving mother nature.
“If you can see our hands moving up and down, this represents the wings of the eagle that calls Mt. Kitanglad its home. The dance also shows through its steps the cutting of trees and its destruction as well as regeneration of it by planting,” she said.
Alexander Dayon, a.k.a. Datu Mantambunay of the Manobo Pulangihon, said: “I see our fellowship here through a sporting event as a way of preserving our way of life by means of ethnic sports. Our children who will see and experience the sports will learn from it and pass it on to the next [generation].”
He added that it is also a good way for different tribes from different towns to meet and create an avenue to sharing ideas with one another.