COTABATO CITY, PHILIPPINES
The Bangsamoro government capped off with a “Guinakit” fluvial parade its commemoration on Sunday of the arrival in the 14th century of Shariff Mohammad Kabunsuan here from Johore Bahru, now part of Malaysia.
Kabunsuan, an Islamic preacher of mixed Arab and Malay descent, was responsible for organizing the first ever Muslim communities in pagan settlements in what is now Cotabato City and neighboring provinces.
The foreign missionary arrived here from Johore Bahru via the Illana Bay riding a colorful Guinakit watercraft adorned with colorful flags, according to contemporary historians.
Central Mindanao commemorates the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival every December 19, a non-working holiday.
This year’s festival was organized by the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Hundreds of spectators, among them local executives from Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, watched the Guinakit fluvial parade at the Tamontaka River that drains through the southwestern seacoast of Cotabato City.
The MTIT-BARMM also facilitated, through its director-general Rosslaini Alonto-Sinarimbo and senior staff Mustapha Ala, Jr., a seven-day trade fair here that showcased products of traditional crafts like loom woven cloth, metal wares and food. (John Unson)