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Maguindanao renames annual festival over Miss U’s use of inaul


ALI G. MACABALANG
Cotabato City | January 13, 2017

The provincial government of Maguindanao has renamed its annual Sagayan festival into inaul fest in promotion of the Moro fabric, which local organizers of this year’s Miss Universe pageant have adopted for use as part of the traditional attires of more than 80 competing candidate-coeds.

“We’ll have inaul festival, not the usual Sagayan festival, starting this year,” said Ayesha Mangudadatu-Dilangalen, niece of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu and current regional tourism secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The promotion of Inaul, an age-old Moro fabric produced mainly in Maguindanao and the Lanao region, gained a big boost after Filipino designers involved in the current Miss Universe pageant decided to use the colorful textile in the designs of candidates’ traditional attires, according to Sec. Dilangalen.

Dilangalen made the announcement as sports enthusiasts opened on Jan. 8 in Buluan town the first Governor’s Cup for resident Moro basketball players to compete in prelude to the 7th Sagayan Festival set on Feb. 7-14.

Sagayan, a colorful war dance held usually on festive occasions in mainland Mindanao’s Moro communities, took the center stage as official name of the annual Festival launched by the Maguindanao governance six years ago.

Provincial officials have been “very enthusiastic” in the conduct of the renamed festival as the preparatory activities jived with the sidelights of this year’s Miss Universe pageant, festival facilitators said.

“Our officials especially Governor Esmael Mangudadatu had assured full support…because he is a known staunch promoter of massive inaul production and patronage,” Eman Aljani told reporters.

Aljani said the governor and other Muslim officials were eager to witness the events showcasing the Miss Universe candidates in traditional attires made of inaul fabrics.

More than 80 coeds are expected to compete in the world’s most prestigious pageant.

Four of them already arrived in the country early this week, while the bulk of them enplaned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) yesterday, according to the Department of Tourism.

Pre-pageant activities will kick off in Boracay on Jan. 14, followed by Vigan on Jan. 15, Cebu on Jan. 17, Baguio on Jan. 18, and Batangas and Davao on Jan. 19. A Governor’s Ball will also be held in Manila on Jan. 16.

The coeds will also be meeting President Rodrigo Duterte in a courtesy call in Malacañang on Jan. 23. (Ali G. Macabalang)
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