A FLUVIAL parade on Monday featuring a reenactment of the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan, the Arab missionary believed to have introduced Islam to southern Philippines in the 16th century, will cap off the Bangsamoro region’s five-day celebration of its heritage and diversity among its tri-people.
“We take inspiration from the determination of Shariff Kabunsuan in sailing towards the nourishment of people’s faith and improvement of the lives of the people of Maguindanao and in other areas in mainland Mindanao,” Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said in his message during the opening ceremony on Dec. 15 in Cotabato City.
Over the weekend, various activities were held such as a cooking demonstration of local dishes, including cuisines of the region’s indigenous peoples, Muslims, and Christian settlers.
“These dishes are part of our identity that we want to preserve, that’s why we continue to showcase them so that it will continue to be part of our narratives, our history,” Tourism Bureau Director Marites K. Maguindra said in Filipino in a statement from the region’s information office.
Minister of Trade, Investments, and Tourism Abuamri A. Taddik said the Culinary Show also puts a spotlight on halal practices in food preparation, an important component for the region’s aim to promote the halal sector, including tourism.
A trade fair featuring the region’s agricultural commodities and processed products — mainly by micro, small and medium enterprises — is also ongoing at the Cotabato City Plaza.
Mr. Taddik said the Agri-Trade Fair is intended not just to promote the region’s goods but also to strengthen unity and camaraderie among the provinces, echoing the chief minister’s message.
“We must always remember that development is built on the foundation of peace and cooperation and it is an effort in which everyone must participate,” Mr. Ebrahim said. — MSJ