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.

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