Sunggod Ta Kamanga Festival celebrates the ethnic culture and tradition of indigenous Manobo people in the town of Quezon, Bukidnon, Philippines every third week of February. Its festive activities may stretch up to three days and feature, among other events, the rituals of the Manobos when preparing land for tilling and worshiping Magbabaya (God).
History of Sunggod Ta Kamanga Festival
Suggod Ta Kamanga Festival was an initiative of the municipal government of Quezon and began in March 30, 2009. (Some articles however indicate that 2019 was the tenth edition of the annual fest, possibly placing 2010 as the launching year.) A resolution was passed by the municipal legislative body that established the third week of February as the official schedule of the festival.
The fest’s name means “feeding the whetstone”. It was held as a thanksgiving celebration of the rich culture of the Manobos who are people belonging to ethnic groups who speak variants of Manobo language. Together with other indigenous groups in Mindanao, they are called lumad.
Believed to be descendants of the Austronesian settlers who migrated to the archipelago thousands of years ago, they have lived in Bukidnon and south central Mindanao way before before the coming of the Spaniards. As their lowland dwellings were occupied by other migrant settlers, they moved into mountainous hinterlands where they cleared lands for agriculture and put up their habitats.
They were the first settlers in the town of Quezon, which was formerly called Kiokong. They are referred to Pulangihon (inhabiting the floodplains of Pulangi river) and Matigsalog (those living in the uplands) Manobo tribes.
Sunggod Ta Kamanga Festival Activities
Suggod Ta Kamanga Festival was conducted to preserve, give recognition to, and gives space where Manobos can showcase their unique culture through performance, music, and rituals. It is an exhibition of their way of life. Activities are held in Doña Resing Park in Poblacion.
Among the many highlights are the beauty pageant called Laga Ta Kiokong, native sports, parade, street dance, and trade fair.
Padtungan ta Kasal Ritual
Padtungan ta Kasal Ritual is a traditional wedding ceremony. The courtship dance called Kudlong sa Saluray is performed. Spectators can also witness the tradition of pamamanhikan where the groom-to-be visits the home of the prospective bride to ask approval from family, the offering of dowry, and the wedding rite.
Panalabugta and Panpampulot
Panalabugta and Panpampulot are farming rituals where chicken is slaughtered and its blood is spilled. One is dedicated to preparing the lands before they are tilled and the other is the blessing of farm tools. These are conducted to ensure a good and bountiful harvest season.
Paratuan Ritual is the ceremony where a chieftain called Datu (male) or Bae (female) is chosen. The procedure of selecting the datu involves a consultative deliberation and the person considered to be in the running for the position is assessed on their contribution to the community. In 2013, the position of datu was conferred upon Department of Tourism-Northern Mindanao Director Catalino Chan III. The Katutuanan dance, a native dance of celebration, is performed.
The kick-off activity of the fest is the Patukaw. It is the traditional wake-up call at the crack of dawn. It is observed in order to seek permission and favors from Magbabaya to grant the festival peace, prosperity, and success. A breakfast called Ramag follows afterwards.
How to reach Quezon, Bukidnon
One can book a flight to Davao International Airport or Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro. These are about four hours away from Bukidnon via land travel.
- ‘Sunggod ta Kamanga’ Festival. Sunstar. March 10, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2023
- Sunggod Ta Kamanga Festival. Tourism Promotions Board – Philippines. Retrieved January 6, 2023
- Bryan Lee D. Celeste. Dancing Amidst Displacement: Binanog Dance as Cultural Adaptation and Resistance. Philippine Sociological Review , 2017, Vol. 65 (2017), pp. 97-120. Retrieved January 6, 2023
- DOT announces ethnic festival celebration in Bukidnon. GMA News Online. February 23, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2023
- Sunggod Ta Kamanga: a living museum. Bukidnon Dispatches. March 27, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2023
- Quezon town preparing for Sunggod Ta Kamanga. Bukidnon Dispatches. April 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2023
- Joe P. Palabao. B’non lumads mark Sunggod Ta Kamanga. Mindanao Star. February 28-March 6, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2023
- Manobo. Provincial Government of Bukidnon. Retrieved January 8, 2023