Shortly after the addition of the Socio-cultural and Education Pillar in BIMP-EAGA in 2015, the Socio-cultural Development Working Group (SCD) agreed to institutionalize a signature event which will serve as venue to foster stronger connectivity among the peoples of the region.  Budayaw, portmanteau of the Bahasa “budaya” which means culture and the Filipino “dayaw” which means good or beautiful, aims to strengthen the ties within the region through a celebration of its cultural diversity and heritage.  Budayaw is a grand cultural exchange of the BIMP-EAGA held every two years, hosted by each of the member-states. The first Budayaw Festival was held in 2017, in General Santos City, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the ASEAN where Philippines was the host.


Festival Objectives

Bearing in mind the goal of the SCD -to enhance people to people connectivity- Budayaw specifically aims to:

  • Showcase the diversity of creative expressions of the BE region;
  • Raise public awareness and appreciation on the landscapes and aspirations of the peoples of the region;
  • Foster understanding and solidarity among the multi-cultural populations of the BE;
  • Mobilize collaboration and convergence of multi-stakeholders, public and private.


Festival Components

To attain the above objectives, the following components are organized:

  • This is intended to raise the level of appreciation and understanding among students, educators and media practitioners on the peoples of the BE region. Selected resource persons will be invited to shed light on the past cultural and economic exchanges in the region, as well as share the present issues and future programs of the four countries.


  • Intertwining Dreams (Ikat weavers). This component will provide the audience a glimpse on the process of ikat weaving, a tradition common in the region. The exhibition aims to educate the public on the processes from the preparation of raw materials to the actual weaving. Invited weavers will demonstrate their skills and techniques to reflect diversity of designs and context.


  • Jewels of the EAGA: Performance showcase. Traditional and contemporary performances (theater, dance, music) will be performed simultaneously in different venues by more than five hundred participants coming from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palawan and Mindanao.


  • Voices Rising (Choral Concert). Selected youth chorale from the four countries will sing country songs including the Budayaw theme song composed purposely for the Festival.


  • Earth Music. A mini-concert of traditional musicians performing their unique music, accompanied by their country instruments.


  • Under One Sky: EAGA Visual Arts Exhibition. Works of visual artists from BIMP will be exhibited at the Merdeka Plaza Atrium. Interactive arts workshops will be conducted to engage the public into creative processes as well as learn the significance of the artwork.


  • Community Outreach. Performances will be held outside of the city of Kuching to share with the townfolks the spirit of Budayaw and for the guests to experience the hospitality and culture of the countryside.


  • Trade and Travel Fair. Organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth-Sarawak, this will consist of exhibition which will provide visitors an opportunity to know the tourist attractions and cultural icons of the four countries.


  • Culinary showcase. Chefs from the four countries will give visitors the chance to taste the unique dishes of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines.


  • Fashion Show. A fashion show of local fabrics cum performance will allow understanding to the richness of textile traditions in the country.


   The agencies involved in this Festival are the following:

  1. Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth-Sarawak
  2. Mindanao Development authority – being the National Secretariat of the BIMP-EAGA Philippines
  3. National Commission for Culture and the Arts – the funding agency of the festival
  4. Department of Tourism


Prepared by:


Adelina M. Suemith


Head of Delegation