By Ali G. Macabalang
BULUAN, Maguindanao – The provincial government on Thursday, February 7, opened the 3rd Inaul Festival aimed at promoting the centuries-old hand-woven fabric common to Maguindanao and Maranao tribes.
The annual festivity formally opened with a morning grand parade around the capital town by thousands of residents and officials from the 36 towns of the province mostly wearing colorful dresses made of inaul fabric.
Eye-catching traditional flags, flyers, banners, and streamers resurfaced in strategic sections of this town and around the provincial capitol building here where many of the festivities are scheduled to be held until February 14, Valentine’s Day.
Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said national fashion designers were invited to infuse modern features that could help inaul clothes penetrate the global markets.
Among them is Renee Salud, who took interest in the fabric and designed inaul gowns that were worn and displayed by candidates of the 2017 Miss Universe pageant during their tour segment in Davao City.
“This time, fashion designers including Salud would personally observe the rudiments of inaul weaving by dozens of Moro hand weavers in a segment of the festival called ‘inaulative’ venture,” Mangudadato said.
From the colorfully refurbished gym, officials, residents and visiting dignitaries proceeded to the public market for the opening of the inaul expo, which features different native products topped by varieties of inaul by-products.
Other events lined up are the drum and lyre exhibition by participating students from different schools across Maguindanao; a sagayan (Moro war dance) competition; and a concert featuring celebrities like Bamboo Mañalac.
Event organizers said Bamboo Mañalac, Francisco Gaudencio in real person, readily accepted the invitation as part of his contribution to the enhancement of colorful cultures and traditions of the Moro people, to which the popular Filipino musician traces his parental lineage, especially among the Maranao tribe.
Police and military authorities led respectively by provincial police director Senior Supt. Ronald Briones and Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, head of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, have assured full security during the conduct of the week-long festival.