Where is Bukidnon in The Philippines?
Bukindon has real ethnic tribes
Every year the Kaamulan festival (the harvest gathering) brings the 7 ethnic tribes from the region together. The Talaandig, Matigsalug, Manobo, Tigwahanon, Higaonon, Umayamnonand Bukidnon tribes are all still very active in indigenous ways within this region today. In Malaybalay City they have the Kaamulan 3 week festival every year from mid February until the second week of March.
Last of the hill tribes in The Philippines
Nowadays the Manobo and the Bukidnon are the largest of these tribes, and the Kaamulan festival has been recognized since the mid 1970’s.
I’ve been to this festival, and certainly recommend it to anyone wishing to see a diverse sense of culture, and native tradition. I’d also recommend visiting it before modern western style celebrations take over. During my time here I’ve seen the influence of modern festivals taking over the old.
Modern day influences
While this can have a place, I’d hate to see over-sized loudspeakers, modern music, flashing lights and the usual troop copycat style dancing take over. For as soon as this happens you’ll have karaoke screens, beer stands and cross dressing boys overwhelming the place as it’s done in other parts of the country.
“The idea is an ethnic festival: keep it traditional, historically interesting, culturally fascinating and I really believe the Kaamulan festival can be a world-class event listed as a highlight of The Philippines.”
Will anyone from the tourism board listen though …
Waterfalls, bamboo, rain-forest and cool air
For once in my travels here in the Philippines I’ve found a place with a cool climate. Not so cool as to need a thick jacket, though the locals will be wearing them. But cool enough not to creating patches of sweaty puddles everywhere.
Even the rice terraces and mountains of Banaue in the North of The Philippines are no match for the climate in Bukidnon. Taking a trip into a forest reserve I found it almost like being in another country.
I came across waterfalls with cool mists surrounding them. The heavy humidity seemed to have vanished. The air is cleaner here than anywhere else. It’s a relief to my system.
Tall trees grow high into the sky and giant tufts of bamboo sprout out in random patches. If a Manobo tribesman was to be seen racing through the forest, spear in hand, it would not look out-of-place in the slightest.
Bukidnon is also where many expats come to live in the surrounding cool hills
Another little known fact about Bukindnon is that there are a staggering amount of foreigners living in the region. And no, these aren’t your typical South East Asian expats. Nor even typical expat in The Philippines. There’s no overweight North European or American male perched in a bar with a younger girl squashed up against him.
These expats live in the surrounding hills with small families. They’re retired. Many have physical disabilities. Many are looking for a simple life. In the cool mountain highlands of Bukidnon, they have found their place to live off the grid.
The kind of place that makes me wonder:
As I make my way south a deep regret with valued knowledge creeps into my mind’s eye.
“What if I were to stay in Bukidnon?”
A cool climate, friendly people, and a wealth of potential. Is it not the ideal place?
20 years ago I would have said … well yes. 10 years ago I would have said … yes, anything will do. 5.5 years ago I would have said … yes, but I can do better. Today I say … sure, but there’s more to life.
We change as we go through life. Different needs bring different goals. But a memory will always make you think back to the original goal. A simple life in a new land. Do your best.
With that in mind, I move on. The end goal is important, but with it as you pass thorough the memory of a previous goal comes a haunting feeling. The memory of what could have been.
Time to move on …
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