The Inaul Festival in Buluan, Maguindanao is still on its second year. This colorful and vibrant festival is observed annually on February 8 to 14. But this festival is actually under a new name or a continuation of what used to be called the Sagayan Festival. The latter was already celebrated in Misamis Oriental.
The “inaul” is an original Maguindanaon product, a hand woven cloth. The word inaul literally means “weaved” in English. This distinct Filipino product deserves further national attention, and this is the primary purpose of this festival.
This festival is also sending a message that Maguindanao is relatively a safe and tourist-friendly place. I say it because I was there, I personally went there to experience the Inaul Festival.
The festival is similar to the other festivals in the country, where there are products showcase, food feast, float competition, concerts and, of course the beauty pageant.
In Catholic festivals, it’s about their patron saints, in Inaul Festival, of course the inaul is the real queen. This beautiful fabric is worn by the candidates of the pageant they also held.
Don’t forget the 3rd Inaul Festival next year. Mark the date, from February 8 to 14.
These Maguindanaon ladies are game when I photographed them.
The usual majorette squad just about to start their dance routine.
This woman is weaving an inaul as part of the inaul weaving contest held at the Women’s Center in Buluan Government Center.
Tiroray (left) and Maguindanao and from other tribe inauls are on display at the Women’s Center in Buluan Government Center.
The inaul clothing were also worn during the 2017 Miss Universe pageant.
Yes, they have a foam party. (Photo credits: IliganonKo)
Float parade (Photo credits: IliganonKo)
Tribal dance competition.
Banca racing competition at the Buluan lake.
My first time to know another Philippine-original game, and in Mindanao at that. This is called Sipa sa Manggis.
The motocross was held at the Buluan’s Proposed Municipal Complex. This is a great timely photo by WanderShugah. Many top riders in the country joined this.
Several celebrities also visited Buluan for different events. Romnick Samienta judged a cooking contest. Jason Dy sang during the pageant, and while Megan Young hosted the latter. (Photo credits to The Traveling Feet and WanderShugah)
The 6 Cycle Mind and several nationally renowned musicians such as Hale, Rocksteddy, X-Battalion were also in Buluan to give quality entertainment. (Photo credits to The Traveling Feet).
There were many other activities I didn’t include here, watch out in my future posts.
Is it safe?
Yes and yes. At least in Buluan. The people there are friendly. There are Christian churches there. We walked at night in their parks and went home unscathed. I see some women wearing shorts and sleeveless. You get me.
Would I want to come back? Definitely, yes.
How to get there?
There are several ways to get to Buluan, Maguindanao, depending on where you are from. My starting point was Iligan City.
The shortest and quickest way from Iligan to Buluan, Maguindanao are the Lanao del Norte (dark pink) and Lanao del Sur (violet) routes. The Lanao del Sur route can cut travel time of one or two hours. In the Lanao del Sur route, one has to pass through Marawi City. The city that was attacked by Maute ISIS in 2017.
Going home I did the Buluan-Tacurong-Bukidnon-Cagayan de Oro-Iligan route by bus, for safety reasons. I didn’t want to arrive in Lanao del Sur or Marawi at night time.
How much did it cost?
We rented a van for P6,500 one way to Buluan. Prepare P7,000 including the driver’s meal.
I went home alone, so I took a bus. The Tacurong-Cagayan de Oro fare is P645.