TAWI-TAWI’S AGAL-AGAL FESTIVAL | The Philippines’ Only Seaweed Festival

The Province of Tawi-Tawi is considered as the biggest producer of Seaweed Powder in the country. Because of its significance to the livelihood of the people and the economy of the Province, one grand celebration is made every year as tribute to its great value. This is the Agal-agal Festival which is said to be the only Seaweed Festival in the country. It is derived from the word Agal-Agal which is the local term for seaweed in the Sulu Archipelago.

The staging of AGAL-AGAL FESTIVAL coincides with the Kamahardikaan Sin Tawi-Tawi or the Founding Anniversary of the Province which happens every 25th of September. This year, the celebration was held in the town of Languyan, one of the 11 towns of Tawi-Tawi.Agal-Agal Festival shows how the community value the importance of the seaweed industry which has been part of their living. Being a Province composed of island towns surrounded by vast seas, Tawi-Tawi is endowed with rich marine and aquatic resources. The celebration also reflects these rich bounties of the sea that Tawi-Tawi takes so much pride of.

The festival features the rich culture and traditions of the Sama, Badjau, Jama Mapun and Tausug who peacefully and harmoniously live in the Province – colourful cultures and admirable traditions that are still lived and practiced to this day.

In this year’s edition of Agal-Agal Festival, 9 out of the 11 municipalities of the province participated in the street dancing competition and showdown. Each contingent showcased their well-rehearsed and choreographed dances and performances in their most elegant traditional costumes, colourful props, and upbeat traditional music that reflect the rich culture of their town. Pangalay which is a traditional dance of the Sulu Archipelago is greatly incorporated in their graceful performances.

I have been to a number of festivals in the Philippines. In Mindanao, I have covered some of the most significant festivals that the Island boasts. And just when I thought I have seen enough, Agal-Agal Festival offered me a different festival experience – a different vibe incomparable to the other festivals I have witnessed in the country.

To be here in this southernmost part of the Philippines witnessing such spectacular festival is truly an honor. Given a chance, I shall come back and again relish another Agal-Agal Festival experience!

Shout out of thanks to the Department of Tourism – ARMM headed by Regional Secretary Ayesha M. Dilangalen for inviting The Travel Teller to witness this amusing festival of the country’s southernmost Province.

Wacth THE TRAVEL TELLER’s Video Blog of the Agal-Agal Festival HERE.

AGAL-AGAL FESTIVAL | Seaweed Festival of Tawi-Tawi Province (VIDEO BLOG)

The southernmost frontier of the Philippines, the Province of Tawi-Tawi just recently celebrated its 44th Founding Anniversary. The celebration is called Kamardikaan Sin Tawi-Tawi. One of the major highlights of the celebrated is the Agal-Agal Festival which is said to be the only seaweed festival in Mindanao and perhaps the entire country.

Tawi-Tawi is the country’s major producer of Agal-Agal, local term for seaweed, and this festival honors the significance of the seaweed industry in the Province. The festival also features the rich and colorful culture of the Sama, Badjao, Jama Mapun and Tausug, the people of Tawi-Tawi.


For the second time around, I was invited to sit as one of the judges of the most celebrated festival of hats in the Philippines, the colorful and action-packed TALAKUDONG FESTIVAL. This is one of my personal favorite festivals in MINDANAO. Since I got to witness it in 2014, I never stop to come back to the City of Goodwill to experience it over and over again. And this year is another amazing for Talakudong Festival.

A neo-ethnic festival, Talakudong Festival is TACURONG CITY’s tribute to the most prized symbol of the city’s history – the kudong, a head covering worn by early settlers of this city. Talakudong which comes from the word kudong refers to something that covers the head against the sun and rain. It is said that the early people of Tacurong gave the Sultan of Buluan, now Buluan town in Maguindanao, a golden kudong as a special gift for his enduring efforts in instituting peace and progress in the area. Hence kudong becomes symbolic to the city and its people. In fact, the name Tacurong is derived from this emblematic Talakudong.

Coined as the festival of hats, Talakudong Festival has become a historical and cultural spectacle in South Central Mindanao that draws attention from nearby provinces and region. It is highlighted by street-dancing and field demonstrations with well-decorated talakudong accompanied by the lively sound of bamboos and drums. The dances and performances showcase the history of Tacurong from being a barrio of Buluan into a multi-cultural town of Sultan Kudarat and eventually into a bustling city.


Journey to Tawi-Tawi, the Southernmost Jewel of the Philippines (Video Blog)

I have so many beautiful stories to tell you about my travels to the southernmost province of the Philippines, the fascinating island province of Tawi-Tawi. Stories that have occupied a special place in my heart. Stories that have concreted how beautiful and amazing this part of Mindanao really is. Beautiful stories that reflect not only beauty of Tawi-Tawi but the goodness of its people and the richness and colorful their culture is.  Along with those thousands of people who were once lured to come to Tawi-Tawi, I will share my exciting stories about my wonderful experience romancing the pristine and natural magnificence of this province I consider as “the southernmost jewel of the country”.

From the charming islands and islets dotting the seas of Tawi-Tawi to the breathtaking peak of its tallest mountain, from the flavorful traditional cuisines of its people to their colorful dances and lively music, from the busy pier of Bongao to the bustling barter trade of Panglima Sugala, from the stilt houses of Badjao to the peace loving town of Simunul, from the sand bars of Panampangan to the awe-inspiring Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area – amazing things that are truly and uniquely Tawi-Tawi’s.

ARMMazing DESTINATIONS | Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (TRAVEL VIDEO)

It’s almost a year since I started traveling and documenting the many amusing and awe-inspiring sights to see and experience in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). From beaches to mountains, lagoons to lakes, islands to highlands, traditional cuisines to colorful weaves, exhilarating adventures to peaceful immersion to its people – these are just some of the many many amazing things I learned and experienced wandering to its charming provinces and municipalities.

Allow me to share to you some of my humble journeys to some of the remotest places in the country found in this region. These are wonderful places that have remained unexplored, raw and pristine to this day.

I hope this will entice you to come to this part of our country, the Philippines, and experience that kind of thrill, fun and happiness I feel while going to these places. There are actually more to experience, more to enjoy, more to discover.


#ARMMazing #ARMMazingTravels #ARMMAzingJourneys

Special shout out to Department of Tourism – ARMM sa pangunguna ni Secretary Ayesha Mangudadatu Dilangalen sa pambihirang pagakakataon na ito. Shukran ARMM! Napakaganda mo!