Buluan, Maguindanao—All roads literally lead here for the peace convoy contingents from 36 municipalities on a holiday cheer Thursday, the 58th anniversary of Maguindanao as a province.
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said celebrations will center on the opening and thanksgiving ceremonies for the New Provincial Capitol Building here.
The architectural design of the building, slated for opening in early December, is inspired by the White House in the United States.
Early morning bikers pedaled Tuesday to start the three-week celebration with the “36-km Bike for Peace.” The event was organized by Lt Col Harold Cabunoc, commander of the Philippine Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion.
Maguindanao Province was created under Presidential Decree 341 on November 22, 1973—decades after the old traditional dominions of Maguindanao, Kabuntalan and Bwayan Sultanates evolved into Cotabato District in the regional configuration of the Moro Province.
The other main event of the modest celebration will be showcase of peace initiatives jointly launched here by the governor and his siblings during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit in April, transforming 220 former extremists into productive individuals. The former militants of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters will graduate as vocational technology students.
Engineer Abdulrahman Asim, provincial administrator, said the graduates will be granted packages of livelihood programs.