By FROILAN GALLARDO
Special Correspondent .
LANTAPAN, Bukidnon–Members of eight Lumad tribes, their Moro kin and settlers gathered here in the village of the Talaandig on Friday to renew their vow of friendship.
They slaughtered chickens and smeared the blood in their palms and foreheads in a tribal rite in Barangay Songco here to celebrate their friendship.
Drops of chicken blood were then sprinkled at the monument marking the kinship reaffirmation, which features a clay “tibod” or jar that symbolizes the unity of the tripeoples of Mindanao. The jar also symbolizes the customs and traditions left behind by Apu Agbibilin to Apu Saulana, the ancestors of the Talaandigs.
Datu Migketay Victorino Saway, head of the Talaandig tribe, said every year since 2012, indigenes from the eight tribes in Mindanao, their Moro kin and settlers celebrate their friendship in the Talaandig community center in Barangay Songco at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad.
“The more it is important now, especially that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim is being implemented,” Saway said.
He said the indigenes and Moros have a long history of friendship, marred only by occasional warfare among their tribes.
He said their differences were settled in one major peace pact called “tampuda” held in Bukidnon years ago.
Unlike the previous celebrations, this year’s had been marked with the absence of previous key players of the reaffirmation rites.
Noticeably absent were officials of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) and the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA).