Friday, February 18, 2011

Kaamulan Festival 2011: The Pamuhat Ritual

The Pamuhat Ritual kicks off the soft opening of the 2011 Kaamulan Festival in Bukidnon today, February 18, 2011. I was able to witness some parts of the ceremony which was held at the Tulugan (a traditional tribal hall) in Capitol Ground, Malaybalay City.  

 The Tulugan is a new fixture in this year's Kaamulan celebration and is constructed in front of the former Bukidnon Provincial Hospital Building. 

According to, Pamuhat  is the generic term for ceremonies propitiating the spirits through prayers and sacrifices of food and/or drink.

On the other hand, the Official Website of the Province of Bukidnon defines Pamuhat as an offering of the Deities upon entering an unknown place, especially forested areas. This is done when somebody asks for permission to enter a forest or cave to gather fruits, cut trees known to be inhabited by spirits. The ritual involves offering of food, wine and tobacco.

Traditionally, the Pamuhat opens the Kaamulan Festival celebration every year:

Photos of Bukidnon lumads who participated in the Pamuhat:

Chicken and pig are usually used as food offerings. These are the traditional preparations done before cooking:

There are also other offerings placed at the long table covered with a white cloth:

A lumad woman preparing the "mama" or betel nut for chewing:

Her finished product:

About the Kaamulan Festival (info from

“Kaamulan” is from the Binukid word “amul” which means “to gather”. It is a gathering of Bukidnon tribespeople for a purpose. It can mean a datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these put together.

Showcasing the unique indigenous culture of Bukidnon, the Kaamulan is held annually in the province, particularly in Malaybalay City, the provincial capital, from the second half of February to March 10, which latter date marks the anniversary of the creation of Bukidnon as a province in 1917.

As an ethnic festival, the Kaamulan celebrates the customs and traditions of the seven tribal groups that originally inhabited the Bukidnon region, namely, the Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon. Several tribal folks representing these seven hill tribes of Bukidnon gather in unity with the local dwellers in town, wearing their intricately woven costumes studded with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets. They dance together, chant, perform ancient rituals, and compete in indigenous sports.

For the 2011 Kaamulan Festival complete schedule, you may visit the Official Website of the Province of Bukidnon. 


  1. I like the picture of Bae Manginlaw. See looks like praying while looking above.

  2. @bon:bitaw no?na-timing ra kay sige man ni sya lingi-lingi. : )

  3. Great photos Earl,

    I like the pix with one of the head-capped datus texting.

    This is a more realistic depiction of our traditional leaders.

    Even the head 'ritualist', Bae Inatlawan, naa nay celfon kay na textmate na nako sa ilang CADT application.

    It helps educating the public that tribal leaders (esp. with costume on) are not outdated and have caught up with the times.

    Congrats Earl.

  4. @gali:murag iya ma na abay ang nag-text.pero naa to isa sa ila nag-mention na mag-post sya pic sa facebook.hahaha!

  5. Hi Earl! Hi Sir Bon! I'm back from my trips overseas. Can we guys converge and do a BBG gathering during Kaamulan? I may have very special guests during the Kaamulan which I only want to introduce sa BBG =) Let's also meet with Sen. Migs para makita niya na active nga ang BBG. What do you guys say?


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