Cotabato City festival backs ASEAN integration initiatives

This year’s celebration of Cotabato City’s Shariff Kabunsuan Festival will fully support ASEAN integration.

This was stressed by Norianne Lou “Gurlie” Frondoza, tourism officer of Cotabato City during the press conference yesterday at Sunny Pont Hotel, Davao City for Bangala Fashion Fair, a BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) event in line with the celebration of the festival.

Frondoza said in a press statement that the initiatives will jumpstart the commitment of Cotabato City to the ASEAN Integration in the coming years.

One of the initiatives is the launching of Bangala: BIMP-EAGA Exhibit, one of the new activities of the festival which will be showcasing the different traditional dresses of the people of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines which will go around the main theme “exchange of cultural fabrics of BIMP countries”.

Later on the same day, these costumes will be worn by local models in the BIMP-EAGA Fashion Fair.

Ammarah Biruar-Dumama, World Hijab Day Ambassadress of the Philippines, said that aside from the exhibit, a forum will also be held to tackle on the heritage of the textiles as well as a short talk from the hijab ambassadress of other member countries of BIMP-EAGA such as Dian Pelangi, Lulu Elhasbu, and Nada Puspita from Indonesia and Natasha Hudson from Malaysia.

Dumama added that there will also be a hijab tutorial and a photography competition during the fair.

The hijab ambassadress also stressed that the initiative is to inspire the young Muslim women to wear their hijab as well as a battlecry against issues conforming Muslim women such as racism and discrimination.

“Hijab is a process,” said Dumama.

Another event will be the culinary competition which will feature the diverse flavors from BIMP countries using local products that can be found in the markets in Cotabato City.

City Mayor Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said, it is timely that the theme of the festival must be expanded to the culture and tradition of the other ASEAN countries because these nations are being considered by Cotabato City as its partners in development.
“The BIMP-EAGA is very important for Cotabato City because we have already established a relationship with these countries back in the ancient times. Remember that our forefathers are of Malay blood and Shariff Kabunsuan himself is also a native of Malaysia”, Mayor Guiani-Sayadi said.

The Shariff Kabunsuan festival will be celebrated on December 15 to 19, 2016.