COTABATO CITY Aug. 8 (PIA) — As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) turns 50, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) come together to promote their rich diverse cultures and shared heritage through the first ever Budayaw Festival on September 20-24 in General Santos City.
“ Budayaw” means celebration of peace, beauty, diversity and cultural expression that aims to foster the sense of connectivity, a sense of belonging, a sense of bonding with other people in the BIMP-EAGA regions.” said Ms. Adelina Suemith, head of the BIMP-EAGA Socio Cultural Development Workshop.
The event is a collaboration among different agencies and institutions including the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Department of Tourism (DOT) Region XII, the City Government of General Santos, the Provincial Government of Sarangani, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
As host, the Philippines will highlight the culture, heritage and artistry of Mindanao and Palawan.
According to Suemith, BIMP-EAGA originally has four pillars namely environment, tourism, connectivity and food basket and the addition of socio-cultural and education in 2015.
Through the socio-cultural and education pillar, the representatives of BIMP member countries began to conceptualize, discuss the programs of the socio-cultural and education pillar dividing it into two, one under the education committee headed by Malaysia and the other socio-cultural committee headed by the Philippines.” Suemith explained.
As part of the projects under the socio-cultural committee, the NCCA funded an inventory or research on the artists and cultural organizations in the BIMP-EAGA islands.
“One of the projects under the socio-cultural committee is the ongoing inventory of artists in the region.When we started planning the socio-cultural group, we realize that we don’t have the data, we don’t know who are the people, the artists and so the NCCA funded an inventory or research on this artists, the initial result of the research will be presented in September during the Budayaw.” Suemith said.
With the theme ‘Taking Pride in the Creative Diversity of the BIMP-EAGA Region.’ Festival events include Photo Exhibit and Colloquium, Visual Arts Exhibit and Workshops, Choral Special Concerts, Country Performance Showcase, Ikat Pavilion and Traditional Virtuosos, BIMP EAGA Tourism Pavilion, Mindanao History and Culture, Community Outreach Showcase, and Special Events and Outdoors Concert.
As this developed, Suemith expressed optimism that the event will serve as a platform for cultural promotion especially among the youth to strengthen cultural education.
“ With this event, we aim that the interest would be develop among the youth, the creativity the arts, the thinking are all the young generations has the possessions of it, and we wanted them to be culturally rooted through strengthening cultural education and this Budayaw is a form that we can use to bring about cultural appreciation.” she stressed. (LTOBolongon/PBChangco-PIA Cotabato City)