Although only three contingents have joined the Kaamulan Festival’s street dancing competition this year due to the financial constraints brought by the pandemic, the Department of Tourism-10 assured that more municipalities from Bukidnon will take part in the contest next year. (Photo courtesy of DOT-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – With fewer local government units joining Bukidnon Province’s Kaamulan Festival this year, the regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT-10) has assured more groups will be participating in 2024.

“I think everybody is now preparing for next year, and we’re hoping to see more of our authentic Bukidnon songs and dances and the show of culture because this is one of the best authentic tribal festivals in the Philippines,” said Marie Elaine Unchuan, DOT-10 regional director.

Touted as one of the biggest cultural festivities in the country, the Kaamulan this year suffered from the financial crunch brought by the coronavirus pandemic. 

One of its major events, the street dancing competition held every April, only managed to get contingents from the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia and the town of Kalilangan. The rest of the province’s municipalities begged off owing to the shortage of funds although they participated as non-competing contingents.

While the street dancing competition may not have been grandiose compared to the previous festivals, Unchuan said the spirit of Kaamulan can still be felt, “(W)e can still see their authenticity with colorful display of authentic costumes, dance steps, stories depicted in floats.”

DOT-10 said the Kaamulan Festival is really a show of culture as it sends a strong message that the culture of the seven tribes of Bukidnon is very much alive. It is also happy that there was “a considerable number of crowd” at the Kaamulan grounds as tourists are returning to Bukidnon.

“We are hoping that next year will be bigger, with the participation of more municipalities and cities,” Unchuan said, noting that the province’s towns, which did not take part in the street dancing competition, are already getting ready for 2024. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/

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