DOT pitches for Mindanao, Palawan at Budayaw Festival in Malaysia
MANILA, Philippines — Mindanao and Palawan have a greater role to play in Southeast Asia’s sustainable development not only in fostering economic cooperation but also celebrating the two islands’ diverse cultures with neighboring countries.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) made the pitch for Mindanao and Palawan at the recent 2nd Budayaw Festival, held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
A biennial event of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-
In a statement, DOT said that during the festival, the Philippine team conveyed plans to collaborate with public and private stakeholders within the BIMP-EAGA with the Philippine delegation specifically tasked to promote and market tourism in Mindanao Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and Palawan.
The Philippine team also explored talks with the Sarawak Tourism Board for forging sisterhood agreements with localities in Northern Mindanao and having direct flights between Kuching and Davao City.
“Improved connectivity between Sarawak and Mindanao gateways like Davao City is the key to accelerating regional development cooperation among member states of the BIMP-EAGA along with the sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, provinces in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the island chain of Maluku, Papua, Sarawak, the federal territory of Labuan and Sabah,” DOT assistant secretary for Mindanao Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar said.
He described the Budayaw Festival as ”a catalyst in weaving the aspirations, creative expressions and appreciation of our richly-diverse Asian culture which should shape our regional development and prosperity.”
The name of the festival is taken from the Bahasa words “budaya” or culture and “dayaw”, which means to present one’s best with pride or to celebrate with dignity.
Joining Abubakar were Adelina Suemith, program monitoring and evaluation division chief of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, DOT directors Marie Elaine Salvaña-Unchuan of Region 10 and Tanya Rabat-Tan of Region 11 as well as representatives from the tourism office of General Santos City, which hosted the first festival in 2017.
The Philippine team attended the senior officials’ meeting and the BIMP-EAGA 25th anniversary gala dinner held at the Plaza Merdekah and the Old Courthouse in Kuching.
The five-day festivity was highlighted by weaving demonstrations, cultural performances, choral concerts, visual arts exhibit and culinary presentations. There were also trade and travel fairs, fashion shows, and cultural outreach programs.
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