Heirs of Datus Mampaalong, Mansikiabo hold annual Sakub ritual

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/20 January 2024) The heirs of Datu Mampaalong and Datu Mansikiabo ancestors of the Bukidnon Tribe held a ritual on January 20, 2024 in Sakub, a riverine sacred historical site. 

Datu Maayun-ayun Arthur "Tiboy" Melendez led the annual ritual also known as Panungdan Panalawaig Pamuhat ta Sakub Salubseb, which pays respect to the spirits that guard the river and the water that flows through it

Malaybalay City Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran led dignitaries who attended the ritual. Also present were City Council Chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Councilor Allan Ryann Legaspi and City SK Federation President Christopher Lambert Tortola, Brgy 7 Punong Barangay Digs Ramos, Barangay 2 Punong Barangay Vinci Melendez, Brgy 7 Kagawad Emilio Cahilig, Brgy. 4 Kagawad Jet Tulang, and media personality Eric Cacay, based on reports by Erlow D. Talatala.  

Datu Maayun-ayun Arthur O. Melendez, tribal leader, told BukidnonNews.Net in 2020 the ritual should be held every year at the strike of new moon. He added that it is important for the tribe as well as the rest of the city to hold the annual ritual as it promotes mutual respect, understanding. and unity.

The datu 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.  

Back in 2020, he added that the heirs does the ritual to mark a cultural reawakening in the city. They plan to hold cultural reorientation and education.

The ritual is usually 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 Maayun-ayun related to BukidnonNews.Net 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 a 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 then Vice Mayor Jay Warren Pabillaran was sponsored by then City IP Mandatory Representative Bede Blaise Omao Maghilom.  It 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 in 2020 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)    

The site of the ritual in 2024/Erlow D. Talatala

The site of the ritual in 2024/Erlow D. Talatala

Datu Maayon-ayon Arthur "Tiboy" Melendez speaks during a portion of the ritual/Erlow D. Talatala

Datu Maayon-ayon Arthur "Tiboy" Melendez speaks during a portion of the ritual/Erlow D. Talatala

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