Sulu’s mock village wins ARMM cultural competition PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 December 2014 11:22

The Sulu “mock tribal village” depicting the oldest Southern Philippine Muslim civilization was voted as overall champion in various  cultural contests that capped the month-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The construction of the mock Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi villages inside the 32-hectare compound of ARMM in Cotabato City was one of the highlights of the 30-day anniversary festivities.

The designated chieftain of the Sulu village, Engineer Emil Sadain, who is concurrent public works secretary of ARMM, received the P1 million cash prize for the contest and a trophy from the region’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, during a program here Friday night.

The Sulu village depicted the customs and traditions of the Tausog people, their traditional day-to-day activities, their native cuisine, and the governance practices of their sultans whose unbroken chain of rule started as early as the 13th century.

In an emotional speech, Hataman, the eighth elected regional governor of ARMM, said the organizers of the four other mock tribal villages that failed to win the grand prize should not be saddened by their loss.

“We must bear in mind that in the past 30 days we have shown that contrary to the perception of people in Visayas, in Metro Manila and in Luzon, people in the autonomous region can co-exist for the sake of peace and development,” Hataman said.

Close to 30,000 local tourists visited the mock tribal villages from November 18 to December 19 as indicated in guest registry books.

“This could be our last anniversary celebration. Next year there will be a transition from ARMM to the new Bangsamoro political entity,” Hataman said.

He said his administration is ready to turn over all the assets, regional rank-and-file personnel and all savings in the ARMM’s coffer to the Bangsamoro government.

The enabling measure for the replacement of the ARMM with a new Bangsamoro self-governing entity, the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is now in Congress, is expected to be enacted into law by first quarter of 2015.

The mock village of Tawi-Tawi, which showcased the rich cultures and traditions of ARMM’s Samah people, ranked second in the regional cultural contests.

Industrial psychologist John Magno, assistant education secretary of ARMM and designated chieftain of the Tawi-Tawi mock village, said he is thankful to local officials and employees of the regional government who hails from the island province for helping put up a typical fishing enclave depicting their ethnic identity.

Hataman said this year’s celebration of the ARMM’s 25th founding anniversary is also an advance thanksgiving feast in anticipation of next year’s establishment of the Bangsamoro entity based on the government’s final peace accord with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the March 27, 2014 Comprehensive agreement on Bangsamoro.

“This early we are ready to turn over to the government and the MILF a reformed ARMM, touted as a `failed experiment’ which this administration managed to let function efficiently in the final three years of its existence,” Hataman said.

Hataman said his administration had also succeeded in correcting wrong notions on the disunity of ARMM’s Muslim, Christian and lumad communities.

“The mock tribal villages we ran in the past 30 days was a good showcase of how these three groups in the region have been co-existing peacefully,” he said.