SOME 30,000 are expected to visit Buluan, Maguindanao on February 9 to 14, 2017 for the upcoming Inaul Festival.

“We are expecting 20,000 to 30,000 guests to witness our upcoming celebration wherein we will be featuring the most prized fabric produced by the women in Maguindanao,” said Datu Paul Ampatuan, Festival Director of Inaul, during Monday's edition of Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao.

The fabric, meticulously woven by the Maguindanao women, has been showcased all over the world including Europe, America, and Malaysia.

“Inaul is one of the most valued treasures found and weaved in Maguindanao. It has already been in the limelight for a long time now. They were recently worn by the Miss Universe candidates during the Mindanao Tapestry Show held in Davao City,” said Ayesha Mangudadatu-Dilangalen, Secretary of Department of Tourism in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOT-Armm).

Dilangalen said the festival aims to enliven the rich culture and heritage found in Maguindanao. They are also focused on enriching the lives of the women in Armm.

“More and more women in Armm were able to have jobs and livelihood through Inaul weaving. With a much higher demand, we are now planning to expand the production by adding more organizations,” she added.

Aside from the Inaul exhibit, which is the main highlight of the Festival, other leisurely activities like the Alugan Sa Mindanao, a cookfest featuring goat as the main ingredient, will also be held.

Different sports events like the Sipa sa Manggis, Sagayan Dance Competition, Rodeo, Dindang sa Lalan and Regata (Boat Race) is also expected during the two-week long celebration.

Ampatuan assured the security of the visitors by the implementation of strict regulatory measures.

“The government of Armm already deployed 200 tourist police officers intended to bring forth maximum security to the guests. Not only this, the PNP, AFP, including the MILF and MNLF will be working hand in hand to ensure the safety of the upcoming Inaul Festival,” Ampatuan said. (Anna Angelica Sotto)