The first Budayaw Festival opened on Wednesday in General Santos City showcasing diverse rich culture and arts, heritage and artistry of people within the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
About 300 contemporary artists and indigenous cultural masters coming from Southeast Asia had been expected to join various performances slated until Sunday, the last day of the five-day festival.
Malaysian Vice Consul Saifulnizam Wahid, during the launch with GenSam Mayor Ronnel Rivera, said the event is an important step toward more cooperation and exchanges within the BIMP-EAGA.
Nestor Horfilla of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and head of the festival organizing team said the festival is a banner project of the BIMP-EAGA to advance culture and development in the sub-regional grouping.
The Budayaw Festival will be held every two years and will be hosted by different member-countries. Malaysia and Indonesia are each represented by 50 artists and cultural performers while about 30 artists from Brunei Darussalam are expected to join.
Horfilla said more than 300 artists and cultural performers from Mindanao and Palawan are participating in the events.
About P10 million was allotted by the NCCA for the holding of the festival and another P10 million came from various partners
Jerry N. Adlaw