MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA) -- Aside from various sports activities and free government services, this year's celebration of the founding anniversary of Lanao del Sur puts a spotlight on the rich and colorful culture and tradition, as well as the resilience of the Maranaos. Dubbed "Pakaradiyaan o Sarimanok," the month-long celebration which will last until July 31 kicked off Tuesday with Pagana Maranao, a traditional feast to welcome guests and visitors. Entertainers from Mindanao State University also performed traditional dances in gracious and intricate moves accompanied by the music of the ‘kulintang’ ensemble The partnership between Raheemah Peace Weavers Producer Cooperative, Save the Children Philippines, and the Office of the Provincial Governor was also launched during the ceremony. This is for the implementation of the Meranaw Academy Program, a series of learning modules promoting the Maranao cultural heritage.
A culinary and food festival is likewise scheduled on June 27 to showcase Maranao cuisine. Other activities lined up during the festival are a prayer call competition, Qur'an reciters assembly, livestock and poultry congress, food bazaar and government services exhibit, agri exhibit, Toril and Madrasah medical outreach, medical mission, GAD grooming services, Provincial Health Summit, Tour de Lake, and NAsFOR 4x4 series, among others. This year's Pakaradiyaan o Sarimanok is anchored on the theme "Stronger Together: Honoring Lanao del Sur's Resilience and Unity." "Sarimanok is a mythical bird closely associated with Maranao people. It embodies the spirit of Maranao people to overcome the challenges we faced over the past several years. Now we are still encountering the challenges of rehabilitation as a result of the Marawi siege as well as the pandemic," said Lanao del Sur First District Representative Ziaur-Rahman Alonto Adiong. He said the festival is a way for the Maranao people to celebrate despite all the negative experiences they had. The opening ceremony was attended by the Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Agus Widjojo who underscored the similarities of culture in Lanao del Sur and his country. (APB/PIA-10 Lanao del Sur)