TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL: Philippine’s Most Celebrated Festival of Hats

For the second year in a row, I witnessed another spectacular staging of the country’s most celebrated festival of hats, the Talakudong Festival of Tacurong City in the Province of Sultan Kudarat. And like last year, I was left stunned and charmed after seeing performances of the six contingents competing for the most coveted prize proving that this festival of hats is among the best festivals in South Central Mindanao.

TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 4Among the many festivities held every year in the City of Goodwill, Talakudong Festival is the most celebrated event. Not only because it is celebrated alongside the commemoration of the founding anniversary of Tacurong but because it has the most historical significance to the city and its people.

TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 24 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 31 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 39 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 56A neo-ethnic festival, Talakudong Festival is the city’s tribute to the most prized symbol of the Tacurong’s history – the kudong, a head covering worn by early settlers of this city. Talakudong which comes from the word kudong refers to something that covers the head against the sun and rain. It is said that the early people of Tacurong gave the Sultan of Buluan, now Buluan town in Maguindanao, a golden kudong as a special gift for his enduring efforts in instituting peace and progress in the area. Hence kudong becomes symbolic to the city and its people. In fact, the name Tacurong is derived from this emblematic Talakudong.

TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 62 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 90 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 92 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 96 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 119 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 135Coined as the festival of hats, Talakudong Festival has become a historical and cultural spectacle in South Central Mindanao that draws attention from nearby provinces and region. It is highlighted by street-dancing and field demonstrations with well-decorated talakudong accompanied by the lively sound of bamboos and drums. The dances and performances showcase the history of Tacurong from being a barrio of Buluan into a multi-cultural town of Sultan Kudarat and eventually into a bustling city.

TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 162 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 255 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 267 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 270 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 276Like the previous staging of Talakudong Festival, competing contingents from the different schools and districts of the city spent months rehearsing for the most coveted prize and honor as the grand champion of the Street Dancing Competition.  Every year, these contingents who are grouped into different tribes never fail to surprise and charm spectators with their well-choreographed performances and exhibitions highlighting talakudong as the festival icon. Thus, Tacurongnons and even local tourists coming the different parts of SoCCSKSSarGen Region always look forward to this event.

TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 284 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 288 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 292 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 303 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 308There were six groups competed in this year’s Talakudong Street Dancing Competition. There are two sets of the competition, “Lumbayag sa Dalanon” (street dance) and “Kiay-Kiay sa Talakudong” (field demonstration). Out of the six competing groups, it was Tribung Kudong that emerged as the Grand Champion beating other Tribes namely Tribung Manubiaw, Tribung Kadsayap, Tribung Salakot and Tribung Naragsak.

TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 340 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 368 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 373 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 400 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 408 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 432Witnessing Talakudong Festival for the second year makes me see how Tacurongnons value the importance of their history and culture to their present day lives. Even kudongs these days are used by its people and it is so remarkable to see how they work to preserve this innate culture making it one of their principal goals. Truly, Talakudong Festival blends the city’s colorful past and vibrant present promising its people a brighter future.

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TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 162 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 456 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 466 TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 495A big shout-out of thanks and gratitude to Tacurong City Mayor Lina O. Montilla and City Tourism Officer Emelie Jamorabon for inviting me this year to experience once more the vibe of Talakudong Festival. The same goes out to all the staffs of the City Government for making our stay very remarkable. To all Tacurongnons, congratulations and Mabuhay!

YOU CAN ALSO VIEW MY VIDEO BLOG ABOUT TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2015 HERE.

INDAK INDAK SA KADALANAN 2015 | The Colors, Sounds and Vibe of Kadayawan Festival

This year’s Indak-indak Sa Kadalanan of the 30th Kadayawan sa Dabaw paid tribute to the wealth and diversity of culture, abundance harvest, protection of the environment, and peaceful and harmonious coexistence between the indigenous and migrant people of Davao.

Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 5“Kadayawan sa Dabaw”, being the city’s grandest and biggest festival celebrating all that is good in the city continues to honor the rich, diverse, artistic, cultural and historical heritage in a grand celebration of thanksgiving for all of Davao City’s blessings. Indak-indak sa Kadalanan depicts the core of this celebration – the bountiful harvest as well as the wealth of the city’s cultures.

Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 3815 contingents from all over Mindanao competed in this year’s street dancing mardi gras. Performances of these contingents features group choreography that centered on this theme embraced by the festival.

Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 20The overall winning performance of the Cabantian National High School from Davao City bested 14 other contingents bringing home Php 500,000.00 cash prize. The winning performance depicted the story of the B’laan’s ritual called Agungan as a peace offering to spirits of a giant tree the tribe has offended.

Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 124The entry from South Cotabato, the Sto. Niño National High School Kalingawan Dance Troupe was adjudged first runner up with Php 400,000.00 cash prize. The Dawan National High School from Mati City, Davao Oriental ended up as second runner-up with Php 300,000.00 cash prize. The third runner up  was Polomolok Performing Arts Guild rom Polomolok, South Cotabato winning Php 100,000.00 cash prize and Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental as fourth runner up with Php 50,000.00 cash prize.

Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 131The Dawan National High School of Mati City, Davao Oriental will represent the city in the annual Aliwan Festival in Manila.

ONE HUNDED PHOTOS | ONE KADAYAWAN VIBE

Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 2 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 3 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 4 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 7 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 8 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 9 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 12 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 13 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 15 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 16 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 19 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 21 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 23 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 25 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 27 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 28 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 30 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 32 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 33 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 34 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 36 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 37 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 39 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 40 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 42 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 43 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 44 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 45 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 47 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 48 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 50 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 51 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 52 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 53 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 57 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 58 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 60 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 62 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 64 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 66 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 68 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 69 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 70 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 72 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 73 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 74 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 75 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 76 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 77 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 78 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 79 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 82 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 83 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 84 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 86 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 87 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 88 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 89 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 92 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 93 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 95 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 96 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 97 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 98 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 100 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 102 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 104 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 105 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 107 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 110 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 112 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 113 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 114 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 115 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 116 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 117 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 119 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 122 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 123 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 124 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 125 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 126 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 128 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 129 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 131 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 133 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 135 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 136 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 137 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 139 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 141 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 142 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 143 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 144 Kadayawan Festivak Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan 2015 146

TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL: Wear a Hat and Be in the Groove

“Wear a native hat and be in the groove!” I was told. “Wear it not only to shield you from the burning heat of the sun or the unexpected drizzles, wear it to blend in with our people as we celebrate and honor the symbol of our City’s culture.” Without hesitation, I obeyed. And when I looked around, I saw a great multitude wearing the same native hat each with different designs. I was on the street now readying my gears as the sea of performers dressed in multicolored costumes dancing their way towards us – all armed with native hats called kudong. “So this how to Tacurongons celebrate Talakudong Festival!” I concluded. With the kudong on my head, I started nodding and wobbling like a guy with a cool bobblehead, I blended in.

Tacurong Talakudong Festival 2014 (52) copyTalakudong Festival is the most celebrated event in this City of Goodwill. It is a neo-ethnic festival honoring the most prized symbol of the City’s history – the kudong, a head covering worn by early settlers of this city. Talakudong which comes from the word kudong refers to something that covers the head against the sun and rain. It is said that the early people of Tacurong gave the Sultan of Buluan, now Buluan town in Maguindanao, a golden kudong as a special gift for his enduring efforts in instituting peace and progress in the area. Thus kudong becomes symbolic to the city and its people. In fact, the name Tacurong is derived from this emblematic Talakudong.

Glan Centennial Celebration 1Gaining a good reputation as the festival of hats, Talakudong Festival has become a historical and cultural spectacle in South Central Mindanao. It is highlighted by street-dancing and field demonstrations with lavishly decorated talakudong as the main feature accompanied by the sprightly sound of bamboos and drums. The dances and performances showcase the history of Tacurong from being a barrio of Buluan into a multi-cultural town of Sultan Kudarat and eventually into a bustling city.

TACURONG CITY TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2014 (51)The annual celebration of Talakudong FesItval is done alongside the commemoration of the founding anniversary of Tacurong City which falls every 18th of September. This year marks the 14th year of Tacurong as a city and this year’s celebration was anchored with the theme “Talakudong:  Ipasundayag ang Imo Katahum” (Talakudong: Show Your Beauty).

TACURONG CITY TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2014 (84)Like the previous staging of this Festival of Hats, participating contingents from the different districts of the city spent months rehearsing for the most coveted prize and honor as the grand champion of the Talakudong Festival Street Dancing Competition. Hence, Tacurongnons and even local tourists coming the different parts of SoCCSKSSarGen Region always look forward to this event. Every year, these contingents who are grouped into different tribes never fail to surprise and amuse spectators with their well-choreographed performances and exhibitions highlighting talakudong as the festival icon.

TACURONG CITY TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL 2014 (78)Five groups competed in this year’s Talakudong Street Dancing Competition. Contingents competed at both street dance called “Lumbayag sa Dalanon” and the field demonstration called “Kiay-Kiay sa Talakudong”. Out of the five competing groups, Tribung Manubiaw was proclaimed the Grand Champion with Tribung Kudong and Tribung Kadsayap as second and third. Consolation prizes went to Tribung Salakot and Tribung Naragsak. Tribung Manubiaw, the grand campion, was my personal choice and I was as euphoric as them when they were proclaimed winners! 

ONE HUNDRED CAPTURED MOMENTS.
ONE TALAKUDONG VIBE.

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Indeed, Tacurong City has gone far from being a barrio to a multi-cultural town and eventually into a bustling city. But it is so remarkable to know how the Tacurongnons place a great value of this innate culture and the preservation of it as one of their principal goals. Undeniably, this colorful Talakudong Festival is a great reminder of the city’s rich past and a promise of a brighter future.

Ida Damo of ChoosePhils, Bernie Arellano of habagatCentral and yours truly, The Travel Teller

Ida Damo of Choose Phils, Bernie Arellano of Habagat Central and yours truly, The Travel Teller

Talakudong Groupie

Talakudong Groupie

My deepest appreciation to Tacurong City Mayor Lina O. Montilla and City Tourism Officer Emelie Jamorabon for giving me this opportunity to experience the vibe of Talakudong festival for the first time. The same goes out to all the staffs of the City Government for making our stay very remarkable. My special thank you shout-out to my Choose Philippines family most especially to my Lalabs Ida Nanette Damo as my travel partner documenting this festival now I considered as one of the best in South Central Mindanao.

TUNA FESTIVAL 2014: Pyestang Karagatan, Pyestang Lawihan sa Magandang Gensan

General Santos City was in a festive mood again as the city’s main thoroughfares were flooded by the vibrant festival colors of Tuna Festival, one of the city’s biggest events celebrated along with the City’s Charter Day which falls every 5th of September.

TunaFestivalThe annual celebration of Tuna Festival is the city’s tribute to the significance of the Tuna Industry to the City’s strong economy. It is also the city’s expression of celebrating the bounty of being the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”.

Tuna Festival 2014The whole celebration is anchored with this year’s festival theme “Pyestang Karagatan, Pyestang Lawihan sa Magandang Gensan”. Thus in this week-long celebration of Tuna Festival 2014, different spectacular events were set to give colors and radiance to this festive occasion and to highlight the importance of the sea bounties which the city is known for.

Tuna Festival 2014 17Like most festivals celebrated in the country, the highlight of Tuna Festival is the street Mardi-Gras they called Lawihan Street Dancing Competition. Lawihan is the local term for Tuna or Tuna Fish Tail and the street dancing competition centered on the great significance of the Tuna Industry that helps shape General Santos City to become what it is now – one of the most progressive cities in the whole Mindanao.

SamalanCampsea 154There were 6 contingents vying for the most coveted prize and prestigious honor of the competition. Some of them come from its neighboring towns of South Cotabato and Sarangani. The magnificent colors of the Tuna Festival flooded the streets. All contingents came prepared elegantly wearing their fabulous costumes making everyone felt the festive spirit of Tuna Festival 2014.

ONE HUNDRED CAPTURED MOMENTS.
ONE TUNA FESTIVAL VIBE.

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The Travel Teller is now a certified Festival Hopper!

The Travel Teller is now a certified Festival Hopper!

With the famous GEORGE TAPAN at Tuna Festival 2014

With the famous GEORGE TAPAN at Tuna Festival 2014

My heartfelt gratitude to LVA Travel Care and Antonio’s Apartelle for sponsoring our two nights accommodation in General Santos City. You may call Antonio’s Apartelle at 0998-155-1634. Special thank-you shout-out to Smart Communication for sponsoring our dinner and mobile internet connection.

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KAAMULAN FESTIVAL 2014: One Hundred Years of Cultural Legacy

In celebration of Bukidnon’s centenary as a province, the Philippines’s most authentic ethnic festival was made even bigger and grander – the Kaamulan Festival. Originally, this spectacular event is celebrated during second half of February to the first week of March but this year, in line with the province’s centennial celebration, Kaamulan Festival was moved to August to make the celebration more meaningful and historic! With its theme “100 Years of Legacy”, truly the celebration of this year’s Kaamulan Festival was a tremendous success.

Kaamulan Festival 2014  (1107) copy

Kaamulan Festival is a cultural festival that showcases the rich customs and traditions of the 7 ethnic hill tribes of Province of Bukidnon. They are the Talaandig, Higaonon, Umayamnon, Manobo, Tiwahanon, Matigsalug, and Bukidnon, the early settlers of the Province. “Kaamulan” is from the Binukid word “amul” which means “to gather” and “Kaamulan” means a gathering for a purpose. Hence, the festival is an annual gathering of the 7 tribes of Bukidnon in celebration of their rich culture and tradition along with local dwellers of this landlocked province.

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Held annually in Malaybalay City, the capital town of the province, Kaamulan Festival is considered as the biggest annual event in Northern Mindanao. It has drawn tourists all over the island and has slowly captivated the hearts of festival fanatics from different parts of the country. It displays the colorful artistry, innate talents, and diverse culture and heritage in the whole province. It adds more colors to the Province’s verdant hills, cool climate, lush forest, magnificent waterfalls, cold springs and vast lakes.

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Participated by cultural groups whose ways of life have remained untouched through the tests of times, Kaamulan is characterized by the authentic rituals and cultural dances based on the customs and traditions of indigenous peoples. Pangampo (general worship), the Tagulambong hu Datu (ritual for the installation of a Chieftain), the Panumanod (a spiriting ceremony), the Panlisig (rite to drive away evil spirits), and the Pamalas (sin atonement ritual) were among those being showcased during this celebration which can be mostly witnessed during the street dancing festivity. And each tribe represented by different contingent coming from 22 municipalities of the province reflects the richness and diversity of the Bukidnon culture.

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Unlike other festivals, 75% of the participants of the street dancing competition are real members of the ethnic group of the Province. The main dancers, chanters, drumbeaters, ritual performers – most of them come from the seven hill tribes of Bukidnon. Rituals are performed by elders of each tribe and indigenous music are played using indigenous musical instruments. Their colorful woven costumes, headdresses, amulets, anklets, earrings and necklaces beautifully depict their rich colorful tradition. All these make this event the most authentic Ethnic Festival in the Philippines.

ONE HUNDRED CAPTURED MOMENTS. ONE KAAMULAN VIBE.

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As festival fanatic having witnessed Kaamulan Festival for another time, I have to agree that indeed “Kaamulan Festival is undoubtedly the only authentic ethnic festival in the Philippines”. It is actually diversely authentic giving me one good reason to come every year and commune with the 7 Hill Tribes of the Province for another colorful celebration of Kaamulan Festival.

 

The Travel Teller ♥ KAAMULAN FESTIVAL.

The Travel Teller ♥ KAAMULAN FESTIVAL.