Cotabato Province Information Board

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Samayaan: A ceremony of thanksgiving, hope and prayer


CARMEN, COTABATO – As everyone knows, the Indigenous Peoples of Cotabato province have a rich culture and vast array of festivals, celebrations and ceremonies.

In the village of Bentangan in Carmen municipality for instance, a spiritual ceremony called “Samayaan” was performed by no less than the Aromanen-Manobo tribe in the community just recently.

Like many other ceremonies of the Indegenous Peoples “Samayaan” is describe as a ceremony of thanksgiving purposely to express the tribe’s gratefulness for having a bountiful harvest and prayer for another good planting season.

The “Samayaan” as a tribal ceremony goes similarly like other tribal festivals in the province including “Pamaya”, “Bulangan”, “Ulahingan” and the famous “Kanduli” of the Muslim.

Similar to other festivals, Samayaan is characterized by various tribal dances performed during the rituals.

These dances as exquisite as they are were performed by the locals of Bentangan village wearing elegant tribal costumes.

Their dances are called “Pamikar”, “Pamendita”, “Hari” and “Aglukuvan”. The last one mentioned uses the traditional “arnis” or a pair of long sticks used as combat weapon.The war dance called “Kalong” and “Pangayukay” which uses the “Lantoy” or the bamboo flute and the “Dayuray”, a single-stringed instrument that can create up to 35 kinds of sound were also played at the “Samayaan”.

“Samayaan” also includes a number of meaningful rituals to include cockfights between a white and a red rooster.

It is their belief that if a white cock wins the fight there will be abundance in harvest and if the red one wins the contrary would happen in the next harvest.

These rituals are done to demonstrate the IP’s gratitude and hope for the Almighty’s blessing and guidance.

The festival in Bentangan was graced by honorable IP leaders to include Timuey Dahil Mampurok, the Deputy Governor for Indigenous Peoples affairs of the provincial government of North Cotabato.

Mampurok said that the “Samayaan” as an essential part of the culture of Aromanen-Manobo people of Carmen reminds all of them of their roots and identity.

The Timuey also stressed that culture and tradition as important as they were, should always be a part of their lives and should not be neglected.

“Not even education or new learning can make us desolate our identity on the contrary education must strengthen our ties with our very own culture” Mampurok told the hundreds in attendance in the “Samayaan”.

On the other hand, Damasco Ampalid, a tribal chieftain based in Carmen municipality who did partake in the ceremony has called on his constituents to work hand in hand with their leaders to maintain peace and progress.

He also called upon other tribal leaders to be more united and support each other in order to have a stronger bond of IP’s.

Both Mampurok and Ampalid speak well of the programs of the provincial government under the administration of Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza.

They lauded Taliño-Mendoza for championing the welfare of the Lumads in the province and for supporting their sector in many projects.

The provincial government has been giving scholarships for IP students among many other programs including festivals and ceremonies of thanksgiving.

On top of this, one can ask many questions with amusement, what is really the significance of the “Samayaan”? Do ceremonies like this one still has an impact to the community – to the IP or Lumads in particular? For how long will the tribes embrace this practice amidst the fast changing world of ours?

Well, the answers are certain. Our brother IP’s in the province of North Cotabato have a strong bond with their culture – with

who they are or what they are. In their blood runs the rich culture and tradition that their forefathers have passed on to them.

Their way of life is connected with their history and that define their actions and the path they would go, notwithstanding the changes or challenges of the present generation.