Malaybalay, Bukidnon
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Dancing with the Talaandigs
The Philippines has more than 160 ethnic groups and tribes. Each is unique and has its own set of traditions. One such ethnic group is the Talaandig Tribe in Bukidnon which I visited some years ago. Before we were allowed to enter the community, the tribal elders held a welcome ritual asking their spirit gods to recognize their guests’ intentions. As far as I can remember, it involved chewing betel leaves and a lot of 25 centavo coins. The women, beautiful in their traditional costumes, performed the Binanog for us, a dance that mimicks the movement of a bird called Bano. It was a beautiful experience, something I will treasure forever.
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