WANDERLUST| Surigaonons takes it to the streets

ASIDE from its paradise-like islands, sumptuous local delicacies and, yes, those fat and fleshy crabs, one of the reasons why people flock to Surigao Cityis for its annual Bonok-Bonok Maradjaw Kardjaw Festival.

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Bonok-Bonok is a Mamanwa word that means “heavy downpour” while Maradjaw Karadjaw is a local greeting that means “all the very best”. The festival’s name is culled from the notion that the rain ensures the abundant harvest of rice, root crops and fruits.

The festival was celebrated with a colorful street parade last Saturday, September 9, coinciding with the feast of the city’s patron saint, San Nicolas de Tolentino.

While it was a religious feast, it was also a tribute to Surigao’s indigenous roots.

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The festival was inspired by a tribal festivity of the Mamanwa, the indigenous tribe in Surigao known for their creative patterns, brass jewelry and native crafts.

The festive ritual is observed by the Mamanwas as an intercessions for an abundant harvest to their god, Mambabaya, to wed couples, or as thanksgiving to their ancestors for good health.

Last Saturday afternoon, the Mamanwas led the foot cavalcade, followed by the competing contingents as they danced and chanted “Viva, Senor San Nicolas de Tolentino, Viva!” from the City Boulevard, to the city’s major arteries, performing their respective numbers at designated areas.  The parade wound up at the city’s sports complex for the grand showdown that lasted until early evening.

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The 33rd edition of the Bonok-Bonok Bonok-Bonok Maradjaw Kardjaw Festival produced the following winners: For the Free Interpretation Category: Champion – Lumad Carrascalanon Folkloric Ensemble; 1st runner up- Saint Paul University Surigao; 2nd runner up- Surigao del Sur State University-Cantilan Campus; Bonok-Bonok-based Category: Champion- Surigao City National High School – Special Program for Arts; 1st runner up- Hiyas Kabataan Performing Arts of Brgy. San Juan; 2nd runner up- Hiyas Kabataan Performing Arts of Canlanipa Central Elementary School

Special awards were also presented for: Best in Contingent ID – San Isidro Elementary School; Rayna ng Bonok-Bonok 2017 – Lumad Carrascalanon Folkloric Ensemble; Best in Musicality – Lumad Carrascalanon Folkloric Ensemble; Best in Street Dancing (Free Interpretation) – Lumad Carrascalanon Folkloric Ensemble; Best in Costume (Free Interpretation) – Lumad Carrascalanon Folkloric Ensemble; Best Choreographer (Free Interpretation) – Lumad Carrascalanon Folkloric Ensemble; Best in Street Dancing (Bonok-Bonok-based)- Hiyas Kabataan Performing Arts of Canlanipa Central Elementary School; Best in Costume (Bonok-Bonok-based) – Hiyas Kabataan Performing Arts of Canlanipa Central Elementary School; Best Choreographer(Bonok-Bonok-based) – Surigao City National High School – Special Program for Arts.

The colorful Bonok-Bonok Maradjaw Karadjaw Festival is truly a reflection of Surigao’s rich and harmonious cultural, historical and religious heritage.

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