Bukidnon tribe honors Sakub, Malaybalay’s riverine historical, sacred site
MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/16 February 2020) The Bukidnon tribe spearheaded by the heirs of Datu Mampaalong and Datu Mansikiabo, held a ritual on January 25 that began early morning in Sakub, a riverine sacred historical site.
The ritual, dubbed as Panungdan Panalawaig Pamuhat ta Sakub Salubseb, pays respect to the spirits that guard the river and the water that flows through it.
Datu Maayon-ayon Arthur O. Melendez, tribal leader, said the ritual, to be held every year at the strike of new moon, is important for the tribe as well as the rest of the city as it promotes mutual respect, understanding and unity.
He cited free and prior informed consent and mutual sharing of information as among principles promoted in the ritual. In the past, visitors to the town used to pay courtesy to the site as a sign of respect to the story of the town and its people.
He added that the heirs did the ritual to mark a cultural reawakening in the city. They plan to hold cultural reorientation and education. The ritual was attended by tribal elders and leaders from other parts of Bukidnon and other members of the community.
For him, Panalawaig is important for the city as water is important to life. In Binukid, water is “wahig”. He said they can trace the importance of paying respect to creations in the foundations of the city, even before the Spaniards declared it as a pueblo or town.
Datu Maayonayon related the story of ancestor Amay Manlanot, who came even before Datu Mampaalong and Datu Mansikiabo. The tribal leader came to the spring site one day. Somehow he dropped his sakub (scabbard or sheath of a blade weapon) on one part of the river, swam for it but never resurfaced.
Since then, the tribe has called the place Sakub, which is near the San Isidro Bridge in Impalambong, along the Sawaga River. It is close to the original market site of Malaybalay, along Bahada, in the boundary of Brgy 4 and Brgy. 7.
In September 2019, the City Government of Malaybalay passed an ordinance declaring Sakub talengdanen (sacred site) and Salubseb spring as anthropological and historical site of the indigenous peoples.
The ordinance, authored by City Councilor Louel M. Tortola and Vice Mayor Jay Warren Pabillaran and sponsored by City IP Mandatory Representative Bede Blaise Omao Maghilom, recognized that the city government is duty bound to maintain unity, peace and understanding by promoting mutual respect among the city’s inhabitants.
Datu Maayon-ayon said the ordinance is important in the tribe’s efforts for cultural reawakening and the genuine development of the city.
Datu Mampaalong of the Melendez clan and Datu Mansikiabo, his counterpart in the Moreno clan are recognized forefathers of the Bukidnon tribe in Malaybalay City. (BukidnonNews.Net)