Sunday Sep, 22 2019 08:02:04 PM

Upi contingent champion in Inaul Festival street dance contest

TOURISM • 22:52 PM Fri Feb 15, 2019
John Unson
The street dance parade is one of highlights of the yearly Inaul Festival. (Photo from Jeff Mendez)

MAGUINDANAO --- The non-Moro Tedurays were champion again in the cultural street dance parade contest that capped off the culmination on Thursday of the Inaul Festival.The winning contingent from Upi town in the first district of Maguindanao also topped in the same event during the 2017 and 2018 provincial Inaul Festival.The festival, pioneered in 2017 by the now outgoing third-termer Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, showcases the now iconic Inaul fabric that ethnic Maguindanaons have been producing even before the Spanish colonial times.Cultural activities and traditional sports competitions involving Muslim, Christian and Lumad residents are among the regular highlights of the annual festival, intended to foster camaraderie among Maguindanao’s culturally-pluralistic communities.Mangudadatu said Friday this year’s Inaul Festival was made more meaningful with the visit on Monday of President Rodrigo Duterte to Buluan town, where the seven-day event was held, to distribute land titles to agrarian reform beneficiaries from across Maguindanao’s 36 towns. We are proud of the municipal street dance contingent from Upi, homeland of the Tedurays who are close to the hearts of Muslims and the Christians in the province, Mangudadatu said.Entries from Maguindanao’s Datu Piang and South Upi towns emerged as first and second runner ups in the street dance contest, respectively.The more than a hundred Upi street parade dancers have performed in cultural shows in other parts of Mindanao and in Metro Manila in recent years.The mayor of Upi, Ramon Piang, who is a Teduray timuay, or chieftain, is actively supporting programs focused on preserving tribal cultures, particularly those that promote co-existence with Muslims and Christians.The local government unit of Upi thrice received in three years the Seal of Good Local Governance award from the central office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in recognition of the efficiency of its domestic peace, socio-economic and other humanitarian activities.

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