‘Kamahardikaan’ kicks off with big bang despite heavy rains PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:34

BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi — Despite heavy rains, the famed Kamahardikaan Festival in Tawi-Tawi kicked off with a big bang yesterday showcasing the province’s diverse culture and tradition to the delight of hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists who are present for the occasion.

Participants numbering more than 3,000 coming from at least nine municipalities of the province marched their way in busy thoroughfares of Bongao and ended up at the Department of Education ground.

Due to heavy rains, strong winds and huge waves, participants from the municipalities of Mapun and Turtle Island failed to join the parade, but promised to come as the weather improves.

Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahali disclosed that Kamahardikaan which means freedom in the local dialect, started by his forefathers 39 years ago to celebrate the province’s founding anniversary with the aim of showing to the world the vibrant colors, grandiose designs and uniqueness of its people that have survived for so many years.

The governor said one of the highlights of the week-long festivities is the seaweeds fair dubbed as “Agal-Agal Festival” since Tawi-Tawi is touted as the Seaweeds Capital of the Philippines and being developed as a premier haven for commerce and tourism for the economic uplift of the people.

All 11 municipalities of Tawi-Tawi – Bongao, Mapun, Tandubas, Languyan, Simunul, Panglima Sugala, Turtle Island, Sibutu, South Ubian, Sapa-Sapa, Sitangkai – are scheduled to participate in the trade fair through a showdown of dances and cultural exhibitions, and a street dancing competition.

Vice Gov. Ruby Sahali Tan said the presentation of each participant is even more special because of the inclusion of seaweeds as either part of their costumes or props to feature the robust heritage of the residents. 

According  to Sahali, various sport competitions will underscore the different moods of the festival such as motocross, basketball, volleyball and many others.

Motorcycle riders in the motocross event will come from Dipolog, Cebu, Zamboanga,  Davao, Bukidnon, Ozamiz and as far as Metro Manila.

This year’s theme “Nurturing the Socio-economic Development Gains through Committed Local Governance Tawi-Tawi’s Impact on Regional and National Growth.” — KS