Mati’s Sambuokan

A festival of oneness

Apart from the magnitude 6.6 that jolted some parts of Mindanao including Mati City on October 29, the city was also shaken with chest-pounding drumbeats and stomping of feet during the opening of the Davao Oriental capital’s Sambuokan Festival.

Derived from the Mandaya term “buok” meaning one, Sambuokan is a yearly celebration for oneness and unity of the ethnic group Mandaya to have a progressive and highly-developed society.

It is a festival of colorful costumes along with the festive beats of the performers of the street dancing competition.

Revelers packed the Baywalk area where the street dancing competition (their version of Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan) was held. Temblors and rains didn’t shake the enthusiasm of the performers and the people of Mati City who went out to join the recently concluded festival.

The people were so charged up that every thought and worry was banished as they threw all caution to the wind with just the excitement on their minds.

Winners of the street dancing competition were: champion, Matiao Central Elementary School (P100,000); second, Don Luis Rabat Sr. Elementary School (P75,000); third, Rabat Rocamora Mati Central Sped School (P50,000).

Special awards for Best in Musicality and Best in Costume and Props were also given to Matiao Central Elem. School.

For secondary/tertiary category: champion, Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy (P100,000); second, Mati National Comprehensive High School (P75,000); third, Dawan National High School (P50,000).

Immaculate Heart of Mary and Mati National were also awarded with Best in Musicality and Best in Costume awards respectively.

Consolation Prize of P10,000 each were given to non-winners.

Sambuokan festival is an annual celebration coinciding with Mati’s founding anniversary on every 29th of October.

The celebration aims to showcase its Mandaya culture and tradition. The Mandaya tribe inhabited mostly in the east coast part in Davao Oriental.

Because it promotes unity, Sambuokan is not a time for rules but inclusion and a time to celebrate diversity.