Cotabato City—City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi led on Saturday the formal opening of the weeklong annual Shariff Kabunsuan Festival, commemorating the arrival of Islam in mainland Mindanao.
The activity commenced with an opening program at the city plaza followed by the launching of the brassware exhibit at the old city hall building, which shows various artifacts and utensils made of bronze and silver.
In the afternoon, Sayadi led the opening of Shariff Kabunsuan Festival Bazaar at the Citi Mall featuring low prizes gift items ideal for Christmas gift-giving.
Gurlie Frondoza, city tourism officer, said other highlights of the celebration is the Guinakit Fluvial parade commemorating the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan to bring Islam to mainland Mindanao using the Rio Grande de Mindanao.
The celebration is centered on the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan via Rio Grande de Mindanao more than 500 years ago to introduce Islam to the natives.
“It is an event displaying Muslim religion and culture,” Frondoza said.
Apart from the colorful fluvial parade, a street dancing parade and competition will be featured along with cultural shows, “inaul” (Muslim fabric) fashion show, culinary competition, and many others.
“Cotabato City is host to fishponds that cultures tasty crabs, thus the festival will feature crab cooking and eating show,” Frondoza said.
She also described the festival as an opportunity for the city government to appreciate the efforts of every Cotabateño in making the city earn regional and national recognition in terms of economics and good governance.