Basilan marks 45th founding anniversary

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

March 8, 2019, 7:35 pm

A Yakan native displays her weaving skills to visitors as the province of Basilan celebrates its 45th founding anniversary Thursday. (Photo by Teofilo P. Garcia, Jr.) 

ZAMBOANGA CITY--The provincial government of Basilan highlighted the cultural and economic value of weaved Yakan cloth as the province celebrated Thursday its 45th founding anniversary.

Basilan Governor Hadjiman Hataman-Saliman told the Philippine News Agency that the celebration put a spotlight on the weaved Yakan cloth as it is the greatest heritage of the province.

Saliman said they added the word “Tennun” to promote the identity of Basilan and to signify the province's achievements in terms of peace and development.  "Tennun" generally means woven cloth used in making the Yakan dress.

Anchored on the theme “Tennun…Weaving Diverse Culture for Peace and Inclusive Growth," the celebration culminated at the Isabela City Grandstand following a parade of participants wearing Yakan cloth.

Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, highlighted the improved peace and order condition of Basilan compared to the situation 21 years ago when he was assigned in the province.

Dela Vega represented National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the keynote speaker who was not able to attend due to an important appointment in Manila.

“We can see a big difference between before and now because of the development that is undertaken by the local government in terms of political, social and economic environment,” dela Vega said.

“You can count us in all you endeavors to ensure a brighter and better future of Basilan,” he added.

Saliman said this year’s "Pakarajaan", merrymaking in the local dialect, calls “for what is happening today and the previous ones”.

The different municipalities also showcased theatrical performances depicting their cultural values and traditions.

“We are celebrating the pride and culture of all the Basileños not only of the majority Yakans but also the Tausugs, the Christians called Chabacanos, and Sama who are inhabitants of this province,” Saliman said.

Saliman is the elder brother of former Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared March 7 as special non-working day in Basilan to provide an opportunity to the residents to celebrate the founding anniversary of the province. (PNA)