Sambuokan Festival turns 10
By Neela G. Duallo
Mati, Davao Oriental (24 September) -- Ten years swiftly passed, and looking back to its humble pre-beginnings, the Sambuokan Festival takes center stage again as the prime tourism activity of Mati.
Though Mati has just been through a debacle in it's fight for citihod, but the local government of Mati is never showing any stones unturned for the holding of the Sambuokan, as it depicts Mati, it's rich history and culture, and the people behind the metamorphosis of Mati.
As a matter of fact, as early as August, preparations are underway for the Sambuokan, with the theme "Mag-iban kita para sang kanaton mahal na Mati" (Let us be one for our beloved Mati).
To be celebrated simpler this year, the local government is now at the verge of preparations for the 108th Araw ng Mati and 10th Sambuokan Festival on October 26-31, 2010.
Highlighting the celebration is the "Indak-Indak sa Sambuokan", a street dancing competition to be participated by the different schools in the locality.
The dances will revolve around the rich history and culture of the Mati.
The festival started with a dream for unity, and a desire to have a fabulous celebration for the Araw ng Mati.
To achieve the purpose, series of meeting were conducted by the local government.
In one of the meetings, a proposal to have a street dancing extravaganza surfaced, an activity that will give color to the celebration of the Araw ng Mati.
With the proposal accepted, the next move was to give a name to the dancing extravaganza.
There were many suggested names, but SAMBUOKAN prevailed.
Though it really is a native name, but it speaks of what the local government of Mati aims for, lasting unity and peace.
Sambuokan is from the Visayan word "buok" which means "one".
The local government then, thought it was over, not until they noticed that the festivity was responded only by the people in the local government.
As such, all efforts were exerted to explain to the people that Sambuokan Festival is for all the people of Mati.
Sambuokan Festival then became a Sambuokan of politics, politics of accepting people from all walks of life, and from different denominations and economic status.
Now, ten years after, the Sambuokan Festival gained the honor of being second to the most participated and renowned Kadayawan Festival of Davao City.
The Festival has gained the respect of the people, including visitors and spectators.
Every step, every body movement, and the costumes of the dancers made meticulously and creatively, of the dancers speak of struggles, determination, and loyalty to Mati.
Mayor Michelle Rabat said that Sambuokan is here to stay, and it's message of unity and peace.
The Sambuokan Festival is a tribute to the forefathers of Mati, to the elders, particularly to the late Mayor Francisco "Paking" Rabat, the man of vision for Mati, and to Madam Edith Merced Nakpil-Rabat, for the dawning of Sambuokan, and for making a legacy out of Sambuokan. (PIA) [top]