The Shariff Kabunsuan Festival is a religious festival celebrated every December in Central Mindanao to celebrate and commemorate the coming of the Arab missionary, Shariff Kabunsuan. He is credited to spread the Islam religion in Mindanao.
As part of the celebration, there was crab cooking and crab racing contests as Cotabato City is known for its delicious big crabs.
Revelers also trooped to the streets to be a part of the colorful street dancing either as participants or audience.
The highlight of the festival is the Guinakit fluvial parade which re-enacts the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan in Central Mindanao. Shariff Kabunsuan rode on a guinakit or boats which display the colorful trappings of wealth on the Rio Grande de Mindanao.
This year’s 12th Shariff Kabunsuan Festival shows a hopeful Cotabato after experiencing a devastating flood in June 2011.