Lemlunay (T’Boli Tribal Festival), Philippines
Lemlunay or also known as T’Boli Tribal Festival is an annual celebration staged at Lake Sebu, South Cotabato in Philippines. It is celebrated every third week of September that features tribal rituals that start at early down amidst sounds of gongs and native music, culminating at the town plaza where cultural dances and ethic sports like horsefight are held.
However, Lemlunay Festival is renowned by the 6 major tribes of South Cotabato (T´boli, Ubo, Manobo, Kalagan, Maguindanao, Tasaday) together with representatives from the different tribes in Davao (Tirurays, Mandaya, Surigao tribes, Langilan, Bilaan, Bagog, Mansaka). It was originally just a small town fiesta celebrating the feast day of Sta Cruz.
During 1970’s, the religious feast has incorporated the features of the Mo-inum or thanksgiving ritual of the T´bolis. The commemorative mass held during the final day features a unique blend of Catholic ritual and ethnic color.
This festival was from the belief of the T’Boli in a golden age that they called Lemlunay which means “the good place one goes to in the afterlife”. The word “Lemlunay” is a sort of Camelot or paradise that they would like to make for their tribe. It is when the people there reenergize and renew their vow to work for this coveted state of life.