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Sagingan Festival: Celebrating Tubod's rich banana heritage

Bananas stand as the heart and soul of this town's culture, boasting 30 varieties. Tubod's progress and heritage are intricately woven together with this beloved fruit.

The profound connection to bananas is the driving force behind the town's annual Sagingan (banana farm) Festival, a lively celebration that not only highlights bananas but also honors the unwavering dedication of its residents during the harvest season.

The Sagingan Festival presents captivating performances during the street dancing and dance showdown competition that narrates a Tubod folktale. This story revolves around a Sultan (Muslim ruler or leader) who possesses the giant "puso sa saging" (banana bud) and rules over a town blessed with abundant banana harvests until an evil engkanto threatens the land. The story showcases the rhythmic dances and collaborative efforts of Good Tunong (the fairy), townspeople, warriors, and even monkeys to help the Sultan reclaim the land from the malevolent engkanto.

Cluster 1 wins the Best in Costume award during the Sagingan Festival. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)
Cluster 3, composed of barangays Pigcarangan, Caniogan, Camp 5, and Barakanas win as the grand champion of the Sagingan Festival street dancing competition. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Banana-inspired performances

After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival has joyously returned, symbolizing resilience and unity among Tubod's residents.

“This is an 8-day celebration in which we will look back on our past and what we have been doing in Tubod. This is the 37th celebration for the Sagingan Festival, in which our town was called the banana capital of this province,” said Mayor Dionisio “Jimmy” Cabahug Jr.

The town commemorated its 77th founding anniversary and the 37th Sagingan Festival, featuring the creativity and talents of contingents from six clustered barangays through the Sagingan Festival dance showdown and street dancing competition.

In the Sagingan Festival dance showdown competition, Cluster 1, consisting of barangays Poblacion, Patudan, Pinpin, and Baris, emerged as the grand champion, winning P50,000. Cluster 2, comprising Malingao, Bulod, Licapao, and Sto. Niño, secured the first runner-up spot and received P40,000, while Cluster 5, which included Dalama, San Antonio, Taguranao, and Taden, was recognized as the second runner-up, earning P30,000. Other groups received P20,000 each as consolation prizes.

In the street dancing competition, Cluster 3, composed of barangays Pigcarangan, Caniogan, Camp 5, and Barakanas, claimed the championship and was awarded P20,000. Cluster 5 came next, winning P15,000, while Cluster 2 received the 2nd runner-up title and won P10,000. Moreover, Cluster 3 also received the Best in Fairy award, while Cluster 2 grabbed the Best in Sultan award, and Cluster 1 received the Best in Costume award. Other groups received P5,000 each as consolation prizes.

Cluster 2 comprising barangays Malingao, Bulod, Licapao, and Sto. Niño, secured the first runner-up spot in the Sagingan Festival dance showdown and grabbed the Best in Sultan award. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)
Cluster 3 receives the Best in Fairy award during the Sagingan Festival. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Harmony in motion

John Michael Huntimara, a contingent from Barangay Poblacion, had always looked forward to participating in the Sagingan Festival since he was in Grade 5. He was happy to finally join the competition and thrilled at the thought of showcasing his skills for their barangay.

“Amo i-prove nga kaya namo, amo ipakita among kusog para sa among barangay. Pasalamat nako among coaches na nitabang namo. Thank you kaayo kay daghan mi nakat-onan niya [We aim to prove that we are capable, and we want to demonstrate our strength for our barangay. I am thankful to our coaches for helping us. Thank you very much because we have learned a lot from them],” he said.

Meanwhile, Kiziah Faith Baruma, a 13-year-old participant from Barangay Pigcarangan, joined the festival for the first time and was elated to portray the fairy in their dance performance. She expressed gratitude and appreciation for their teammates, highlighting their dedication and energy in their dance performances.

Moreover, Leah May Rabon from Barangay Malingao emphasized the importance of their team's experience and their desire to prove themselves as champions. They practiced for nearly a month, focusing on chanting, facial expressions, and teamwork. Leah expressed her gratitude for her teammates, acknowledging their shared effort and determination despite the challenges.

In addition to the vibrant performances, the festival also featured an agricultural fair showcasing various banana varieties such as Cardava, Lakatan, Tundan, and Thousand Fingers, further emphasizing the significance of bananas in Tubod's culture.

The Sagingan Festival is not just a celebration but a testament to the strength, unity, and unwavering spirit of Tubod's residents. Bananas are more than just a fruit; they are a symbol of the shared identity and the foundation of the residents' strength and resilience. (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

About the Author

Lou Ellen Antonio


Region 10

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