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Regional Yakan villages educate public on Basilan cultures, traditions

TOURISM • 01:00 AM Sat Aug 29, 2015
John Unson
The Yakan model tribal village at the 32-hectare compound of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Cotabato City at night.(John Unson)

COTABATO CITY --- Imam Musa, a Yakan cleric, was so delighted seeing photos on Facebook of the Basilan model village inside the compound here of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that he had them printed and kept in a folder as special memento.The Yakan mock enclave at the 32-hectare ARMM government center here is one of six tribal villages built by regional agencies and support offices to showcase the region’s unique culturally-pluralistic settings.The villages are also meant to educate the public that while the ARMM’s major cultural groups differ in customs and traditions, they are one in their faith - Islam.The incumbent regional governor of ARMM, Mujiv Hataman, is an ethnic Yakan, who hails from a seaside area in Sumisip town in Basilan. This model village will show to people in Cotabato City how we, the Yakan people, live in our villages in Basilan. We ought to thank the ARMM for embarking on this cultural activity,” said Imam Musa, a preacher in an Islamic school west of Basilan.Hadja Nuring Jamaldin, assistant superintendent of schools in Basilan, said employees of the Department of Education in the province were also elated with the continuing good show of Yakan ethnicity via the Basilan tribal village inside the ARMM compound in Cotabato City. What else can be a good visual aid that can help educate people in Central Mindanao on what Yakan cultures and traditions are all about? The village is a good venue for learning our cultures and traditions, said Jamaldin, who is also an ethnic Yakan.Thousands have toured the ARMM compound since July to view the Yakan, Tausog, Sama, Maguindanaon, Iranon and Maranaw mock villages, each run by a designated tribal leader.The designated Yakan chieftain, ARMM Education Secretary John Magno, on Friday said they have listed new cultural activities at the village.Each of the six tribal villages hosted separate food festivals in early August, where organizers displayed centuries-old native cuisines. It is also nice to see how Yakan employees of different ARMM line agencies pool their efforts to ensure that the village is always well and dandy,” Magno said.

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