COTABATO CITY – About 100 big and small colorfully decorated motor boats filled the country’s second largest river as the Bangsamoro people reenacted Tuesday the arrival of Islamic missionary Shariff Kabunsuan to spread Islam on the island.
It also capped the weeklong festival to commemorate the arrival in Mindanao some 500 years ago of Arab-Malay missionary Shariff Kabunsuan of Johor who would spread Islam in the region and build the sultanate of Maguindanao.
“To reaffirm our dedication to preserving the unique Islamic identity of the Bangsamoro, across various sectors, let us come together to deepen our understanding of Shariff Kabunsuan's contributions and face the future with faith and confidence,” Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim said in a statement Tuesday.
Colorful tribal weaves covered the main boat that carried the Arab missionary followed by three or four more big boats and 55 other smaller ornament clad-boats.
People along the river banks of Rio Grande de Mindanao applauded as the colorful water crafts passed by during the annual parade dubbed “Guinakit fluvial parade.”
The festival is celebrated every 19th of December and the fluvial parade was named “Guinakit” which means “a convoy of boats” embellished with Muslim colorful textiles.
It arrived at the riverbank of what is now known as Barangay Kalanganan 2, the same spot where Shariff Kabunsuan disembarked about 500 years ago.
In Tuesday’s finale celebration, the boat that carried the Arab-Malay missionary continued its journey upstream to the Bangsamoro Ports Management Office in Barangay Poblacion 4.
The symbolic voyage was themed: “Honoring Traditions, Forging New Horizons." (PNA)