Time check: 2:00pm of September 09, 2012. Crowded streets of Surigao City. My ever reliable P and S camera. with Ding of thepinoyexplorer, Dennis of Lovemindanao and Nathalie of wanderingsoles. What’s happening? Already heard the word Maradjaw/Karadjaw? Or Bonok-Bonok? Sounds interesting?
There are excessively more reasons why you should visit Surigao del Norte- pristine white- sand beaches, virgin islands, and amazing rock formations.Of course not just the places of interest, Surigao City's annual celebration of bountiful harvest, good health, and peace shared equal fame. Bonok-Bonok Festival is an annual fiesta in Surigao City in honor of Saint Nicholas de Tolentino. Local "Mardi Gras" - street dancing and contingents' final presentations at the Grandstand of the City are the highlights of the celebration.
Aside from the colourful costumes, the dance steps’ called "Bonok-bonok" being performed by contingents adds interest.
Bonok-Bonok dance traces its origin from Mamanwas- the natives of Surigao. During ancient times and until now the dance steps are performed by this tribal group during their wedding ceremonies, thanksgiving, worship, and celebrations. Similar to Negritoes in physical looks, Mamanwas living in Surigao del Norte are one of the oldest and still existing tribes in the Philippines.
Watching authentic tribal dance in music created by native instruments and performed by the members of Mamanwa tribe mesmerized me, truly marvelous! . “Ano kaya kung may Festival na Native Tribes from all over the Philippines lang ang participants?”- naisingit ko lang (may konek ba? Love Mindanao?:) jejeje.
We started our walk from Plaza Luneta going to the boulevard area forwarding straight to Surigao City Sports Complex/Grandstand. Do photowalk and not waste my first time to watch and feel the spirit of Bonok Bonok Festival. There are 12 contingents in this year’s festival. Sa sobrang excitement ko hindi ako nakapag note:)
My heartfelt thanks to fellow travel blogger Nathalie Penados (OMG! She’s the most accommodating and hospitable person I've ever meet here in Surigao!), Mr. Ricky Amores- The Chairperson of the Festival (for giving us the passes in the Grandstand), the local government, all the contingents and the people of Surigao del Norte - What a momentous opportunity for me to witness one of the BEST Festivals in the Country.
Maradjaw Karadjaw! Viva San Nicolas de Tolentino! Viva!
Visit the following links to read more about 2012's Bonok-bonok Festival