GenSan all set for 5th Blaan Day celebration

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The local government will showcase anew the rich culture and traditions of the Blaan tribe, the city’s first inhabitants, during the 5th Blaan Day celebration on July 22.

City Councilor Lucio Cawayan, the city council’s Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR), said Friday the three-day event will include cultural activities such as the Blaan arts exhibit and competition that will open on Saturday at the Gaisano mall atrium.

Cawayan said members of the tribe from various barangays will gather at the oval plaza on Monday for the traditional parade and culmination program.

“This is a celebration of our culture and of other indigenous peoples (IPs) in the city,” Cawayan said, adding the city government has allotted some PHP1.3 million for the revelry. 

Cawayan said Blaan Day aims to promote the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Blaans in the city. It started in 2015, a year after the historic appointment of the city’s first-ever IPMR, tribal leader Fulong Mario Empal.

The Blaans are the earliest documented settlers of the city and coined its original name, Dadiangas, from a tree with thorns on its trunk and stems that had reportedly thrived in the area.

Malacañang has declared the 5th Blaan Day on Monday as a special non-working holiday in the city. (PNA)

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