GENERAL SANTOS CITY–Several Mindanao cities including Davao, Koronadal, Cagayan de Oro, Malaybalay, Zamboanga and Iligan were chosen to host a grand week-long festival to showcase the cultural diversity of the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) early next year, a Mindanao development official said.
Gerardo Reynaldo, Mindanao Development Authority officer, said the merrymaking, dubbed as the First Budayaw BIMP-EAGA Festival on Culture and the Arts, promotes “the sub-region’s rich heritage and culture …that will display and demonstrate the creative works of over 300 cultural practitioners from the four member-nations.”
Budayaw “is a portmanteau of the Bahasa word ‘buda’ (which means festival) and the Filipino word ‘dayaw’ or celebration, Reynaldo explained, adding that the event also commemorates the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Sotheast Asian Nations.
He said the sub-regional festival was finalized during the recent BIMP-EAGA Socio-Cultural and Education Cluster meeting attended here by the sub-region’s key officials “to develop initiatives that will harness greater understanding and solidarity among the BIMP-EAGA multi-cultural populations.”
The event, Reynaldlo said, will also feature the cultural movers from the BIMP-EAGA by giving them a platform to honor their significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the sub-region.
“We are looking at establishing networks of stakeholders that will help leverage the works of these artists to a more prominent scale,” he said and stressed that the festival will be subdivided into several sub-events focusing on visual arts, photography, film, music, dance and theatre.
National Commission for Culture and the Arts executive director Adelina Suemith said the event will also highlight traditional weaving techniques from master ikat weavers across the sub-region.
BIMP-EAGA was created in 1994 to address the socio-economic development gaps within and across the sub-region particularly in less developed areas of the participating countries.