Cagayan de Oro’s majestic throwback

Jack Biantan

ON FEBRUARY 25, I experienced the history of our beautiful city through the eyes and the mind of Datu Bagunsaribu.

You might be wondering: How is this possible? Did I go back in time? Did I dream? No, it wasn’t a dream. It was all real. I lived through the past in the eyes of a datu, made possible through Rosevale School’s play called Sugilanon sa Kagayha-an.

Everything started since the start of the school year, where the announcement of the play was made. As early as July, auditions were made to determine the perfect fit for each of the historical characters in the likes of Datu Bagani, Bailawanin, Dayang-dayang, and Datu Maniscampo.

When the roles were given, rehearsals were done at once. Acting workshops were supplied by Nicole Abas-Datayan, the play director. Dance rehearsals were made possible by Raul Prima, the dance choreographer.

Instrumentalists were trained to play instruments that were about 200 years old by Zamir Balacy. Together with their exceptional skills, the students were transformed to become the Bukidnon and Moro tribe.

On the play date itself, mixed emotions can be observed from students and teachers. Excitement, nervousness, and joy can be recognized from their faces. Although the performers felt that way, they never showed hints of jitters as they entered the stage. They performed each scene with much emotion and dedication in order to take the audience back in time, to experience the origin of Cagayan de Oro city. At the end of the play proper, nothing but ecstasy was felt. Genuine happiness and pride was felt by each one, from the student performers to the staff who dedicated their time and passion to make the play a success.

Even as the play concluded, the feeling of majesty was never lost in the hearts of the performers. They are left in awe and wonder after the experience of being a part of our city’s history. Even as the days passed by, the urges of a play rerun can still be perceived.

Play Sypnosis:

The people of the Bukidnon tribe lived with prosperity and bountifulness. With the leadership of Datu Maniscampo (Joseton Torre) and his son, Datu Bagani (Alrafie Abedin), the future of the tribe was full of promise. On the other hand, the Moro tribe lived peacefully under the command of Datu Bagunsaribu (Josef Benedicto). Many suitors asked for the hand of the datu’s beautiful daughter, Bailawanin (Monica Fernandez), only to be rejected.

One morning, as the Bukidnon tribesmen were fishing, they came upon some Moro warriors who were also catching fish. This angered the Bukidnon men, for they believed that the Moro men have crossed their territory. This resulted to a swordfight between the two groups, which eventually grew to a war between the two tribes. The Moro warriors defeated the Bukidnon warriors. A little girl (Michelle Longno), with the death of his father who was a warrior, cried out a prayer to the Birhen sa Kota (Andrea Rut), which were heard by the birhen.

Meanwhile, after suffering a great loss, Datu Maniscampo ordered Datu Bagani to begin the peace talks with Datu Bagunsaribu. With that, Datu Bagani set forth to the Moro tribe. Upon arriving at the Moro tribe, Datu Bagani fell in love at the sight of Bailawanin. As the peace talks began, Datu Bagani asked for the hand of the princess. With that, he also promised to give half of their land to Datu Bagunsaribu. Upon hearing this, Datu Bagunsaribu agreed. This restored the peace between the two tribes.