IN PHOTO: Tawi-Tawi Capitol Building in Bongao

Tawi-Tawi celebrates 46th Kamardikahaan

BONGAO TAWI-TAWI-September 23.2019- Colorful street parades and various events in Bongao town were lined-up in celebration of 46th Kamahardiakaan sin Tawi-Tawi that started September 23, and ends on September 27, 2019. 

The event was organized by the Provincial government led by Provincial Governor Hon. Yshmael Sali along with participating municipalities and it’s 203 Barangays who gathered at the provincial capital and host municipality of Bongao led by Municipal Mayor Hon. Jimuel Que. 

A greater number of guests and visitors have been invited including some high officials of Bangsamoro Regional Office in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to witness the colorful celebration. 

Monday, September 23rd was the soft-opening of the programs that kicked-off with a parade at Bongao down town and followed by sports competition of local athletes. More activities were lined-up for local spectators and visitors to enjoy during the weeklong annual festival.   

IN PHOTO: Decorated Motor Launches (Kumpit/Lansa) from Tandubas and Languyan Municipalities anchor at Bongao, Tawi-Tawi wharf (Chinese pier) on September 22. 2019

Decorated in vibrant colors Lansa/Kumpit (Motor launch) from far-flung island municipalities have ferried passengers mostly visitors and athletes ahead of the event to participate in the annual festivities. 

The annual “Kamahardikaan sin Tawi-Tawi” is in celebration of province’s creation on September 11, 1973, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 302 that made Tawi-Tawi officially separate from the province of Sulu.

Tawi-Tawi province is inhabited by Sama Tribe, and other cultural ethnic sub-tribe of Sama but heavy influx of other tribes from neighboring provinces and settlers from other places who amalgamated and inter-married with native inhabitants have gradually, and subsequently controlled crucial portions of local politics, economy and the province rich natural resources over its inhabitants due to the natives too much hospitality and kindness to their fellowmen who presently inhabit the province.  

The province lies at the southwestern tip of the country sharing sea borders with the Malaysian state of Sabah and Indonesia‘s North Kalimantan province. It is situated in Sulu Sea in the north and the Celebes Sea in the south. 

During the Plebiscite held January 21st, 2019, people of Tawi-Tawi voted overwhelmingly to join the BARMM. 

Islam was introduced in the Philippines when Sheikh Karimul Makhdum, a missionary and preacher landed in Tawi-Tawi in 14th century or sometime in 1380 who started the propagation of Islamic teaching to the native inhabitants when Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer was not yet born. 

The Sheik Karimul Makhdum Mosque is located in Barangay Tubig Indangan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi. It is the oldest mosque in the Philippines and was built by Sheikh Makhdum in 1380, and has become a visitors’ destination.