ARMM to continue cultural programs after Ramadan, Eid PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 10:41

The Ramadan and Eid’l Fit’r are over but the executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will continue with its cultural activities that capped off the two Islamic events.

The ARMM’s cultural programs during the Ramadan fasting month and the July 17 Eid feast were meant to showcase the diversity in cultures and ethnicity of its constituent communities.

The ARMM government has been showcasing since the June 18 start of the Islamic Ramadan fasting season the tribal identities of ethnic groups in the autonomous region through mock cultural villages run by Tausug, Yakan, Samah, Iranun and Maranaw employees of different regional offices.

More than 10,000 Muslim and Christian folks trooped to the parade ground in the 32-hectare ARMM compound in Cotabato City on Monday night to watch a public performance by the shadow play group and “Asia’s Got Talent” winner El Gamma Penumbra.

The event was facilitated by the office of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, through his assistant secretary for Maguindanao, Kirby Abdullah, concurrent in-charge of the region’s Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team.

The show by the El Gamma Penumbra was a special Eid treat by the ARMM government to city residents and people from Maguindanao’s nearby Datu Odin Sinsuat and Sultan Kudarat towns.

Thousands had visited the mock tribal villages inside the ARMM compound from June 18 until the eve of the July 17 Eid’l Fit’r, an important Islamic religious holiday that marked the culmination of the month-long Ramadan fasting season this year.

The Yakan village, being managed by ARMM Regional Education Secretary John Magno, hosted last week an iftar, the first meal after a day-long Ramadan fast, for representatives of the Australian government that came over for a dialogue with Magno on projects aimed at addressing illiteracy in far-flung areas in the autonomous region.

Representatives from the national office of the Department of Education joined in the iftar dinner too.

“It was a great chance for us to show to our friends from Australia how rich the cultures and traditions of the Yakans in Basilan are and the kind of  hospitality we extend to outsiders not just in that mock village but in the province in particular,” Magno said Tuesday.

The Tausug village on Sunday hosted an “open house,” where native foods and drinks were served to Muslim and Christian visitors for free.

Amihilda Sangcopan, ARMM’s agrarian reform secretary, said the activities in the villages will continue with support from Hataman.

Sangcopan led Sunday’s Eid entertainment programs at the Tausug village.

Sangcopan, who is a Tausug, said Hataman, a Yakan from Basilan, is keen on educating the public on the cultural diversity among ARMM’s ethnic groups that are bound together by a common faith, Islam.

Islam was introduced into the country’s southern islands and in Central Mindanao during the 14thcentury by Arab preacher Sheik Karimul Makdum and a Malay prince from Johore in what is now Malaysia, Mohammad Kabunsuan, respectively.

Thousands also visited during the Ramadan the adjoining Maguindanao, Maranaw and Iranun villages inside the ARMM compound.

From the Iranun group sprung the legendary 17th century warrior chieftain Sultan Kudarat, who fought the Spaniards for more than 50 years.

Hataman’s office is now flooded with requests to continue operating the mock villages to educate the public on the ethnographic settings in ARMM.

The ARMM is the country’s only chartered region, which has a regional government comprised of executive and legislative branches existing via Republic Act 9054.