I was in Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon recently – my first! With the DAVAO PHOTOGRAPHERS CLUB (DPC), we shoot the the Streetdancing and Float Parade Competition, the culminating festivities of Kaamulan. Being my first, did some research beforehand and Kaamulan is said to be the only authentic ethnic festival in the country, though read some that it was once referred to only as that by a former Tourism Secretary.
Kaamulan has its distinctions. Yes, it was more ethnic than other festivals I have seen/ been to and have noted of the following: (1) the number of participants per contingent was huge; (2) the floats are intricate and amazing; (3) the “kadang-kadang” were interesting and entertaining; (4) participants compose of children to elders clad in their respective tribal/ethnic costumes. I was particularly stunned at the elder-participants in the streetdance, some barefoot, under the heat of the sun and for the duration of the whole parade and competition. Such an admiration!
Originally, the festival only features the 7-tribes of Bukidnon but this year, every municipality and city was represented and brought the contingents to 12. Likewise, the original schedule of the streetdancing/float was moved from April 2 to April 1, with barely a week notice. In any case DU30 was there because it was national election campaign season.