if;">Text and photos by Lerio Bompat
Sagayan is a dance of nobility, gallantry and honor and is a fitting name for the first festival in the province of Maguindanao.
Shared by both the Maguindanaon and Maranao, it depicts fierce warriors carrying a shield called "klung" elaborately painted with curlicues, rounds, twirls and adorned with mirrors which are attached with shell noisemakers.
The Sagayan is performed in different occasions from the march of the groom's entourage during a wedding or "kuyog" to the elaborate healing ritual called "kapagibat".
For the first Sagayan Festival, traditional Muslim dances were presented by the Sala Mindanao Dance Troupe to formally open the festival.
All officials and visitors who attended the opening of the festival wore a Maguindanao attire, "malong" and silky long sleeve with "tondong" for women and "tubao" for men.
Maguindanao Governor Toto Mangudadatu himself has set an example to his constituents in his attire.
"Sa lahat ng probinsya sa buong Pilipinas, mayroon po silang tinatawag na festival. Ang probinsya ng Maguindanao lagi pong bakbakan, lagi pong bombahan...wala po tayong nakikitang kasiyahan na nagkakaisa. ipakita po natin ngayon na tayo ay nagkaka isa at dapat ay hindi takot ang mga tao tuwing nakakarinig ng salitang Maguindanao", Gov. Mangudadatu said.
Governor Mangudadatu's siblings are in full support of the activity.
Acting Second District Assemblyman, Toy Mangudadatu, the brother of Maguindanao Governor Toto mangudadatu recognized the governor for being a transformer.
"I congratulate my brother, the good governor for creating this festival. He is indeed a transformer. We should work hand and hand to clean the image of our province. I could say that from street fighting to street dancing, this is now the new Maguindanao."
15 contingents from the different municipalities in the province will join the Sagayan Festival.
The Sagayan Festival Competition will be in Buluan, Maguindanao.