Kaamulan Festival, Bukidnon

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The Kaamulan Festival is a Bukidnon ethnic-cultural festival that takes place from the last week of February to the first week of March. Kaamulan, from the Binukid word amul, “to gather” ,is an indigenous Bukidnon term for a gathering for any purpose. It can mean a datukship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or any number of these together. The Festival is held in Malaybalay City from the second half of February to March 10, the anniversary date of the foundation of Bukidnon as a province in 1917,d to celebrate the culture and tradition of the seven ethnic tribal groups—Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon—that originally inhabited the province. It is the only ethnic festival in the Philippines. Kaamulan started as a festival on May 15, 1974, during the fiesta celebration of the then municipality of Malaybalay. A town official thought of inviting some indigenous people to town and made them perform a few dance steps at Plaza Rizal to enliven the fiesta celebration. The celebration however proved very popular and together with national coverage the Kaamulan festival has become the regional festival of Northern Mindanao, as declared by the Regional Development Council of Region 10 on September 16, 1977. Kaamulan was formerly held on the first week of September but in 1996, it was transferred to the present date to synchronize it with the foundation celebration of the province.
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