LOOK: The Colors and Flavors of Eid’l Fitr

, Cotabato

Enrico Dee | Jul 24, 2015

The Halal Goodness Culinary Tour is the first of its kind and was organized by the Department of Tourism Region XII and the City of Cotabato.

Cotabato City is part of Region 12 collectively known as the SOCCSKSARGEN region.

It’s a celebration like no other. Far from the blaring sounds and the deafening drum beats I’m so used to during Festivals. It was my first ever experience of the Eid’l Fitr or the end of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims.

The Halal Goodness Culinary Tour is more than just a feast for the palate. It is an introduction for us on the local Islamic culture. Through the tour we were able to get a glimpse of how the Maranao, the Iranun and the Maguindanao people living in Cotabato City celebrate the grandest Islamic feast.

Sunset prayers

We headed to the People’s Palace where the Takbir prayers are recited by men. After the takbir, just in time for the last sunset of Ramadan foods were served. We had preserved dates overflowing the table. Dates are staple during the Eid feast.  We also had the traditional Maguindanao foods like the beef sinina tinagtag and dudol.

We also got to visit the ARMM Complex – ORG to check out the different tribal villages. There was this distinct air of joy you get to feel when inside the complex. The whole area is filled with locals enjoying their picnic snacks and dinner while young kids are having a good time at the play area.

Iranun Village

Our first destination at the Tribal Village is the Iranun Village. Iranun are people mostly living in Parang Maguindanao. We had the traditional Iranun feast known as “Pagana”. Pagana is usually served during special occasions like the Eid holiday.


We had arroz caldo, tinagtag and other local delicacies. Tinagtag is a popular snack common in Cotabato City it is made of rice but looks like sotanghon rolled like a wafer stick. It is lightly sweetened and a perfect pair for locally brewed coffee.


There were a lot of people going in and out of the village. Young visitors also enjoying playing the traditional Muslim instruments like the kulintang, debakan and gong.

From the Iranun Village we then moved to the Maguindanao Village. The area is bedecked with colorful banners or locally known as lemba siganlling the joyous occasion. We got to check out one of the traditional Maguindanao houses with four-poster bed complete with all the decors fit for a royalty.

Our next destination is the Sama Village. The Sama-Badjao is known to be the sea dwelling people living in Tawi – tawi. There was also a program held at the Sama Village and a photo exhibit showcasing the rich culture of the Sama people.

Yakan Village

From the Sama Village we continued our hopping spree with the Yakan Village. The Yakan people are known to be the inhabitants of the Basilan province. Quite a number of Yakan people also live along the coastal areas of Zamboanga City. Yakan people are known for its colorful hand-woven fabric with symmetrical and geometric patterns. Their creations are among the favored textile of choice for table Runners and handbags.


READ more Byahilo articles on Choose Philippines!

(These travel essay and photos were previously published on www.byahilo.com. For more features about Philippine travel destinations, food, delicacies, festivals and products, as well as hotels, resorts and restaurants, LIKE Byahilo: Ito ang Trip ko! FB Page.)

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