The Ministry of Human Settlements and Development cruised through the Rio Grande de Mindanao from Mother Barangay (MB) Kalanganan and docking at the Bangsamoro Ports Management Authority (BPMA) Port, along Rajah Tabunaway St., Cotabato City, in solidarity with the BARMM as it commemorated the Shariff Kabunsuan Day on December 19, 2023.

As a vital chapter in Bangsamoro history, the celebration showcases the Guinakit Fluvial Parade, a reenactment of Shariff Kabunsuan’s arrival featuring vibrant boats and captivating kulintang. This marks a pivotal moment that profoundly influenced the faith, culture, traditions, and way of life of the Bangsamoro people.

“As we witnessed the Guinakit Fluvial Parade, the message of the occasion is a celebration of our heritage in a way for us to look ahead with determination knowing that we continue sailing the waters; we will make sure the BARMM is a political entity to serve as our vessel to achieve peaceful, cohesive, empowered and progressive Bangsamoro,” shared Abdullah “Dong” Cusain, Assistant Senior Minister (ASM), who represented BARMM Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim in his keynote speech.

“The Bangsamoro Government is with the Local Government of Cotabato city in celebrating this prestigious festival; this Guinakit serves as a vessel spreading the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the territory of Maguindanao sultanate, encompassing the center value of Cotabato and the mountains of Lanao,” ASM Cusain continued.

“This Guinakit Fluvial Parade represents a symbolic voyage into our history, culture, and shared aspirations. It serves as a celebration of peace, unity, and our unwavering commitment to all. This festival serves as a reminder of our rich and diverse cultural heritage. It not only showcases, but also demonstrates, our resolute dedication to unity and cooperation. This celebration stands as a testament to what we can achieve when we work together hand in hand,” said Mayor Mohammad Ali “Bruce” Matabalao.

This year’s Celebration of the Guinakit Fluvial Parade is centered on the theme “Honoring Traditions, Forging New Horizons”.

The team was led by the Human Resource Management Section, Supported by the Divisions and Sections of the Ministry. The ‘Guinakit Fluvial Parade was graced by officials and representatives from various BARMM ministries, LGU-Cotabato City, and other agencies in Cotabato City.

In the 16th century, Shariff Mohammad Kabunsuan, an heir with a heritage blending Arab and Malay roots from Johor, Malaysia, made his way along the banks of Masla Pulangi, later identified as the Rio Grande de Mindanao. His mission was to introduce the Islamic faith to mainland Mindanao.