CARAGA, DAVAO ORIENTAL, November 2, 2015-The Mandaya community in Sitio Sangab inCaraga town had once more showcased its glorious culture and traditions during its 17thyear of celebration of the Kalindugan Festival on October 27-28, 2015.
Replete with songs and dances showcasing the Madaya culture and traditions, the celebration has brought the Mandayas here a sense of pride and identity over their deep-rooted cultural heritage, making it one of the most venerable and well-known festivals in the province.
This annual festival aims to preserve the tribe’s customs, traditions and beliefs by instilling these to the community especially to the young generation.
During the festival, various activities were showcased to further the cause. Among them is the “Panawagtawag sang Bakal’lag” or Prayer to the Spirits led by the community “balyan” or priestess. 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. Adding more glee to the crowd were the traditional Mandaya games such as katut-katutan, bagudan, agut-agutan, gutgutan, busog-busugan, sumpitan, ligidan and padamaan which were played by the young and old.
Present during the event were the officials from LGU Caraga headed by Mayor Alicia Mori, NCIP Provincial Head Julius Mabini, DepEd Division Superintendent Feliciano A. Tamondong Jr, and Department of Tourism Regional Director Roberto P. Alabado III.
Director Alabado stressed the great potential of 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.
Meanwhile, Marietta D. Palmera, Chief of Staff of the Provincial Governor’s Office, who represented Governor Corazon T. Nunez-Malanyaon, said that about 400 housing units are now ready for distribution to families, who were adversely affected by typhoon Pablo here in Sangaband other nearby sitios in Brgy. Pichon, Caraga, as part of the Typhoon Pablo rehabilitation program of the province.