DAVAO CITY – The Mandaya community in Sitio Sangab in Caraga town Davao Oriental province showcased its culture and traditions during its 17th year of celebration of the Kalindugan Festival last October 27-28, 2015.
The annual festival featured songs and dances showcasing the Mandaya culture and traditions as it aimed to preserve the tribe’s customs, traditions and beliefs by instilling these to the community especially to the young generation.
During the event, the community “balyan” (priestess) led a “Panawagtawag sang Bakal’lag” or Prayer to the Spirits. According to the elders, this prayer is the highest form of worship of the Mandaya people with the intent of asking for blessing and guidance.
Different local schools also gave presentations depicting their daily lives in the community, history and traditions in the form of dances and songs. The community also showcased traditional Mandaya games such as “katut-katutan”, “bagudan”, “agut-agutan”, “gutgutan”, “busog-busugan”, “sumpitan”, “ligidan” and “padamaan”.
In a Philippine Information Agency dispatch, Department of Tourism Regional Director Roberto P. Alabado III said there is great potential for the Mandaya community in Sangab as a hub for cultural tourism just like the Igorots of Sagada, Mountain Province and the T’bolis of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.
“Let’s teach them (the tourists and foreigners) what authentic Filipino culture is. Let’s teach them the Mandaya culture,” Alabado said.
The event was also attended by officials from LGU Caraga headed by Mayor Alicia Mori, NCIP Provincial Head Julius Mabini, and DepEd Division Superintendent Feliciano A. Tamondong Jr. (davaotoday.com)