On The Opening of the SAGAYAN FESTIVAL (Buluan, Maguindanao)

Message from the Regional Secretary

Assamu Alaikum!
Allow me to congratulate the provincial government of Maguindanao and the municipal government of Buluan for successfully organizing the colorful and lively Sagayan Festival. DOT-ARMM takes pride in the Sagayan Festival as it is a manifestation of our proud traditions and customs as a people.

The Sagayan Festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of Maguindanao in various mediums—whether through cultural performances in the form of the kulintang and ethnic dances and through exhibitions of Maguindanao’s wonderful cuisine.

This festival is very significant because it serves as a window to the culture not just of Maguindanao but also of the Bangsamoro. This event serves as a bridge between cultures and religions, expanding opportunities for mutual understanding and broadening avenues for cross-culture dialogue—as such, contributing to sustainable peace in our region.

Like many endeavors, tourism enterprises cannot prosper without meaningful peace and security. As such, tourism development must go hand in hand with peace-building in Muslim Mindanao. And without a doubt, the Sagayan Festival enhances our hopes for tourism and progress to flourish in our region.
Tourism can contribute not just to socio-economic development in our communities, but can also be a powerful tool in forging meaningful peace and equitable growth for our people. Through events such as the Sagayan Festival, we enhance our linkages with other regions in the country and at the same time, provide a venue for our brothers and sisters to appreciate the heritage, talent and beauty of Maguindanao.

Thus, it is truly appropriate to say that the Sagayan Festival is a blending of cultures and traditions of a people. And through this we open the way towards lasting peace and development for Muslim Mindanao.

Thank you, More power and Wassalaam

Sagayan Festival at Buluan, Maguindanao

KORONADAL CITY -- Red wasn't the color of Valentine's Day in Maguindanao Province. Instead, it was a beautiful mix of colors of the Muslim culture as the local government, private sector and residents celebrate their first Sagayan Festival. Organizers said the staging of the fi ve-day Sagayan Festival, which started on February 10, is a move to boost this Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm) province's ecotourism. It is also geared to promote a better image for Maguindanao. Although all 32 towns of Maguindanao will be participating in the festival, all Sagayan activities were held at the interim provincial government seat, Buluan town.

Raquel Magalona, overall festival coordinator, said the opening day was be highlighted by a civic parade, opening of the agri-trade fair and a grand kanduli and thanksgiving banquet. At the kanduli, Muslim delicacies and dishes made from tilapia, one of Buluan town's primary products, were served. Medical and veterinar y services, livelihood trainings, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) demonstrations and social welfare services were also given last February 10 and lasted until February 14.

Other activities included carabao race, horse fight, drum and lyre competition, rubber and palm oil technology forum and cultural presentations. February 11 was exclusive to two important festival competitions such as Sayagan dancing and kulintang competition. A street dance, a showdown and a tribute program highlighted February 14. Sagayan is a Muslim war dance traced from both Maguindanao and Maranao tribes. It depicts the steps of their hero Prince Batugan from wearing his armaments, the war he fought in and his victory. Dancers carry a shield with shell noisemakers on one hand and a kris (double-bladed sword) on the other. PIA
DOT-ARMM Delegates led by Assistant Secretary, Shalimar Candao and guest, Assistant Secretary Pearlsia Dans of DILG-ARMM for the Sagayan Festival 2012, at Buluan, Maguindanao.