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HomeAdvertisementsManobo ritual conferring Agusan mayor as Bae marks opening of Magdiwata Festival

Manobo ritual conferring Agusan mayor as Bae marks opening of Magdiwata Festival


SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur — The Magdiwata Festival of this town kicked off yesterday at the municipal grounds with Mayor Grace Carmel Paredes Bravo conferred early dawn with an honorary title as Manobo Bae or female tribal chieftain.

Manobo tribal leaders led by Bardo “ Datu Hag-um “ Bando, Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative to the municipal council performed the Manobo ritual naming Bravo “Bae Pinintu Maganhon” or described as leader filled with love and patience.

Another ritual praying to Magbabaya to offer the bountiful resources of Mt. Magdiwata followed the installation of Bravo as a Manobo leader that formally marked the opening of the four-day festival, the first of its kind since it was celebrated 21 years ago.

Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr. along with Vice Gov. Samuel Tortor and Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Edgar Ga graced the opening program.

Instilling environmental awareness among the townsfolk will be the focus of four-day Magdiwata Festival to protect and preserve the 1,658-hectare watershed from which the event’s name was taken.

The local government has scheduled the festival on June 1-4 based on Executive Order N0. 48 Series of 2023 issued by Mayor Bravo on May 2.

The day-long Magdiwata Environmental Summit will take place on June 3 at the municipal grounds where experts, environmentalists, and stakeholders will exchange views on the state of the watershed.

A Manobo Bae offers a prayer to Magbabaya (Manobo supreme being) with a pig ‘s head and other food and drinks offering , a ritual marking the opening of Magdiwata Festival in San Francisco town in Agusan del Sur.  CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

The Magdiwata watershed is the main source of potable water of the San Francisco Water District, which services at least 9,400 commercial and residential water concessionaires in this booming town.

“There is a big change in the schedule unlike in the previous year’s celebration,” Bravo told reporters, adding the activities will be held earlier.

These include the patronal fiesta of the Catholic church on June 2 to pave the way for the bigger Naliyagan Festival 2023 of the provincial government scheduled on June 12-17.’

Side activities will be held during the environmental summit. These include the Search for the Most Innovative Environment Project for high school students, Magdiwata “Trashion Show” where fashion designers will show off their entries of gowns made of recyclable materials, Cebuano poetry contest on the environment, and photography contest featuring the different interesting sites of Mt. Magdiwata, and the Hammock Adventure going towards Sitio Cantagan in the interior village of Lucac.

On the same day, high school students will have a Diwata Reforestation/Tree Planting activity inside the watershed.

A Manobo Bae (female tribal leader) holding a dressed native chicken tied on a bamboo pole gyrates around an altar to Magbabaya (Manobo supreme being) to offer the bountiful resources of the 1,658 hectares Mt. Magdiwata watershed, the source of potable water and storm cover of the residents in San Francisco town in Agusan del Sur. CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

Sporting and cultural activities are also in the program of activities.

Vice Mayor Arth Ryan Palabrica will manage the sports events like Enduro motocross competition, New Face Taekwondo championship, tattoo contest, and tournaments in paintball, dart, billiards, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and chess.

On the first day, Bravo will led the blessing and opening of the San Francisco Mini Cultural and Heritage Gallery.

The beauty pageant “Mutya ng San Francisco 2023,” which had drawn 14 contestants, is seen to draw crowds during the talent night on June 1 and coronation night on June 3.

The tribal street dancing is likewise expected to draw a huge crowd.


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