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COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Madison Avenue in New York City, USA, saw for the first time Sagayan warrior dancers from the Bangsamoro region join a Philippine float parade on June 4, showcasing their rich cultural heritage through traditional dances and indigenous musical instruments such as the kulintang.
Tindig Sindaw, a cultural performing group hailing from the predominantly Muslim region in the Southern Philippines, mesmerized the audience with their captivating performances, offering a glimpse into the vibrant traditions and customs of the Bangsamoro people.
The event also highlighted the rich tapestry of diversity and unity among Filipinos in the BARMM.
Officials said the occasion served as a bridge to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the region’s cultural heritage and its economic prospects.
The grand parade not only celebrated the cultural diversity and traditions of various provinces, cities, regions, and Filipino organizations across the United States but also provided a platform for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to participate in the 125th Philippine Independence Day celebrations.
The Philippine Independence Day Council Incorporated (PIDCI) organized the event in New York City ahead of the June 12 celebration in the Philippines.
The 33rd annual program commenced with a flag-raising ceremony held on June 4 at the Philippine Consulate in New York, paying tribute to the valiant Filipino heroes who fought ardently for independence.
Mustapha Ala Jr., a member of the Bangsamoro delegation, joyfully exclaimed, “Finally, my dream has come true as I waved the flag of the Bangsamoro with pride in a foreign land.”
Amid the festivities, BARMM proudly showcased its distinct indigenous and cultural products, spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism (MTIT).
BARMM information office chief Ameen Andrew Alonto said participants and onlookers were offered a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant arts and crafts of this Muslim-majority region, an experience that evoked a sense of appreciation and admiration.
BARMM officials expressed their hope that companies based in New York would seize the opportunity to explore investment prospects in the Bangsamoro region, recognizing the untapped potential it holds.
MTIT Director-General Rosslaini Alonto-Sinarimbo took part in a forum organized in New York, where he shared valuable insights on BARMM’s economic landscape, fostering potential partnerships and collaborations. – Rappler.com
Ferdinandh Cabrera is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.