Tawi-Tawi Agal-Agal Festival PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 10:54

On September 25th, Tawi-Tawi, the Seaweeds Capital of the Philippines and Carrageenan Capital of the World, will celebrate the Agal-Agal (Seaweeds) Festival.  It will coincide with the Kamahardikaan Tawi-Tawi, the Founding Anniversary of this Province. There will be a cultural extravaganza showcasing the rich history and culture of the Sama, Badjao, Jama Mapun and Tausug of southern Philippines through colorful street dancing and parade of floats all using the Badjao LEPA or houseboat as the main structural design (www.tourism.gov.ph)

Tradtional Muslim dances like the pangalay, kuntao, silat, Igal to the accompaniment of native musical instruments and percussions like kulingtangan, agong and gandang will be performed. Dancers would be in their colorful native attires adorned with seaweeds and other marine products.

Agal-Agal (Seaweeds) is used as the representative emblem to promote Tawi-Tawi as a Tourism Destination in this southernmost frontier of the Philippines and front door to the BIMP EAGA.  Being part of the Coral Triangle, it is considered to be the center of marine biodiversity and has some of the interesting dive spots in the country including white beaches that are better or at par with Boracay.  Tawi-Tawi is also the first seat of Islam in the country. 

The world-acclaimed movie filmed in Tawi-Tawi, "Thy Womb" by Brillante Mendoza and starring Nora Aunor, has caught the attention of moviegoers around the world. Though the movie story revolves around a Bajau midwife (played by Nora Aunor), it unfolds the beauty, culture and tradition of the island. The movie won numerous awards for Nora Aunor as Best Actress in Venice (Italy), Brisbane (Australia), Hong Kong, and Sakhalin (Russia) as well as in various Philippine annual rites of recognition for cinematic achievement: the Young Critics Circle (YCC), Gawad Urian, Gawad Tanglaw, Gawad Pasado, and the Metro Manila Film Festival.

Now if only governments programs can reach the grassroots of Tawi-Tawi and there will be lasting peace with terrorists and the rebels, Tawi-Tawi has a waiting gold mine in the tourism industry.

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14