The “Kudong”, Talakudong Festival,
Felizardo Lazado, and Bogz Jamorabon
By Apolinario Villalobos
“Kudong” is the generic name for anything that covers the head. It is a Karay-a word used by Ilonggos. Anything can be a “kudong”, such as the wide “gabi” leaf, banana leaf, turban, towel, and of course, hat. When the Ilonggos came to what was then Pamansang, a sitio of Buluan, they adopted many Muslim traditions, one of which was the use of one particular Muslim hat originally made of buri and tikug, but today, of the widely-planted African palm and has become the symbol of the current Talakudong Festival.
The festival has gone through a difficult metamorphosis but with the persistence of the people behind the initial celebrations, it has become another touristic come-on of southern Mindanao. It was conceived during the early 70’s when Felizardo Lazado was involved in the touristic affairs of Tacurong, and which was not yet a city. It was well-supported by the barangays, commercial establishments and educational institutions. Working in tandem with him and who is still actively coordinating the actual activities today, is Bogz Jamorabon.
Felizardo Lazado did not waver in his support when he left the local government to teach full time in Notre Dame of Tacurong College. Bogz Jamorabon, who was then active as one of the Councilors, on the other hand, continued his job as Director cum Coordinator of the festival. Today, Emelie Jamorabon who heads the City Tourism Council is actively involved, especially, in the planning, but her brother, Bogz is still at the forefront as the “traditional” over-all Coordinator. Bogz, as an information, heads the City Team that handles the disaster prevention.
Today, Felizardo Lazado, could be the doting granddad to his grandchildren. But, for the Talakudong Festival, he is the “father”…while Bogz is the “Big Brother”.