Officials confident `Inaul festival' will bond folks on common peace agenda

Tourism • Sat Feb 11, 2017 04:23 PM  •  362   0
By John Unson
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The on-going Inaul Festival, highlighting Maguindanaon traditions and arts, partly aims to foster unity among local folks. JOHN UNSON
The on-going Inaul Festival, highlighting Maguindanaon traditions and arts, partly aims to foster unity among local folks. JOHN UNSON
MAGUINDANAO -- Officials are banking on the on-going Maguindanao “Inaul Festival” to bind local noble clans together in helping sustain the fragile peace now in the province.

Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu on Saturday said their initial stride in rallying the sultans and datus behind the Bangsamoro peace process and Malacañang’s anti-narcotics campaign is to gather them in the “Governor’s Night” of the festival on Monday.

The first ever February 9-14 provincial Inaul Festival, intended to highlight the traditional colorful Inaul fabric Maguindanaons have been wearing for generations, is capped off with programs depicting the cultures and traditions of locales.

Starting this year, the Inaul Festival shall be held annually, intended to keep the traditional Inaul fabric weaving industry alive.

The colorful Inaul cloth hit the news when it was featured by designers in a Mindanao-themed Miss Universe fashion show in Davao City in January.

“We are expecting the datus and sultans in the Governor’s Night. They will be reminded of how our ancestors cooperated in addressing peace and security issues in ancient times when we converge there wearing Moro attires,” Mangudadatu said.

Mangudadatu is himself a blue-blooded political leader who belong to the Rajah Buayan lineage of the historical Raya Area, the upper valley of Maguindanao, whose datus fought the Spaniards, the Americans and, subsequently, the Japanese during World War II.

Mangudadatu said his administration wants to involve the Moro nobility in activities meant to sustain the dividends of Malacañang’s Southern Mindanao peace process.

“Surely, by cultural and traditional bonds, we can unite and help each other push the anti-narcotics thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte in all of the 36 towns in Maguindanao,” he said.

Members of the central committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front had also been invited to the Governor’s Night of the Inaul Festival.

The event is to be preceded with the “Palamata Nu Maguindanao” pageant on Sunday night, whose judges include 2016 Miss Philippines-Universe Maxine Medina and other national beauty titlists.

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