Monday, May 29, 2023

Kaamulan, the Philippines' Only Authentic Ethnic Festival is Celebrated in Bukidnon | Beautiful Life

By Arabelle Jimenez

The 2023 Kaamulan street dancing champions are performers from Malaybalay City.

Magbibo tang tanan! The annual gathering of the seven Bukidnon hill tribes is a month-long celebration of ethnic heritage. In April this year, thousands of locals and tourists returned to Bukidnon with a vengeance, after a 3-year covid hiatus.

Enthusiastically flocking to Malaybalay City, the capital of Bukidnon, the annual Kaamulan Festival is known to be the only authentic ethnic festival in the Philippines. The seven hill tribes are namely Talaandig, Tigwahanun, Higaonon, Bukidnon, Manobo, Matigsalug and Umayamnun.

One of the ethnic tribes performs in the streets of Malaybalay.

Kaamulan is from the binukid word "amul" which means "to gather". At its core, Kaamulan is an indigenous peoples gathering for a purpose. These gatherings or events vary, but mainly is a celebration of a Datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving during harvest time, or a peace pact.

Ethnic music with a distinct drum beat, colorful costumes, and most of all, authentic indigenous peoples with their symbolic tools literally came down from the hills to the streets of Malaybalay. This in itself is a gesture of peace and unity among them.

Piniliyapan Hu is a final showdown of dance, music and the arts on the eve of the final day of celebrations.

The Piniliyapan Hu, which happens on the eve of the final day of celebration is a showdown of dance, music, songs, and creativity that makes it one of the highlights that visitors must experience during the last Kaamulan Festival weekend. After the showdown, performers invited audiences to dance with them to the beat of their catchy drumbeats and chants. Needless to say, the Piniliyapan Hu is one big ethnic party for visitors to enjoy.

One of the magnificent floats at the Kaamulan Festival 2023.

The Local Government Units of Bukidnon held contests to motivate the locals, and at the same time, accentuate the colorful ethnic heritage of Bukidnon. Here is the list of winners at the Kaamulan Festival 2023.


Champion-Valencia City

First Runner-up- Malaybalay City 

Second Runner-up-Kalilangan


Champion-Malaybalay City 

First Runner-up-Valencia City

Second Runner-up-Kalilangan



First Runner-up-Malaybalay City 

Second Runner-up-Valencia City