SAGAYAN FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS By; Dulce Santos (February 10, 2013)
The Province of Maguindanao, under the leadership of Gov. Esmael
Mangudadatu, is celebrating the Sagayan Festival 2013 from February
10-14, 2013. This is the 2nd year that the Municipality of Buluan,
conducted this flamboyant and lively event, drawing thousands of
spectators, visitors and participants around the province and the ARMM.
The Sagayan Festival has become the trademark annual celebration of the
Province of Maguindanao, supported by all the nearby municipalities in
the area. Like all the other festivals, the Sagayan depicts the local
culture of Maguindanao, the history of its people and the traditions
that persisted in the Moro life through the years. The province has
recreated this festival to foster harmony among the people in their pursuit of lasting, sustainable peace in Maguindanao.
This year the theme of the festival is "Maguindanao's Culture and
Traditions for a Better Understanding and Harmony...A glance." The
opening activities on February 10, 2013 started with a street parade,
messages from the local officials of the province and guest speakers.
Several activities, including performances from the Maguindanao Dance
Troupe, and a list of other relevant activities served to enliven the
The Sagayan, originally known as the Moro war
dance, is interpreted to also represent the warding off of evil, and
purification of the self. Over the years, the Sagayan has remained a
part of the Moro merrymaking, especially during weddings.
support to the Sagayan Festival, the DOT-ARMM sent a contingent from the
office to cover the affair, led by the newly-appointed Regional
Secretary, Sittie Jehan Mutin-Mapupuno. We witnessed the excitement of
the people as they watched the parade of colorful costumes, graceful
dancers wielding swords and using beads and other accessories to create
noise. It was a memorable sight to behold and we were all caught up in
the fun-filled festivities. Due recognition should be given to the local
officials for continuing their efforts in significantly increasing the
appreciation of the people towards Sagayan, and making us realize that
there is beauty, grace and even, reverence behind the facade of this
ritualistic 'ancient war dance'.