As many Filipinos are beginning to experience Mindanao, they are pleasantly surprised to understand how similar it is to neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, major East ASEAN countries they have also visited. Here, in fact, are some similarities between the island and her neighbors:
1. Various tribes abound apart from mainstream cultures. Visiting any of the three countries allows one to see indigenous peoples - " katutubo" in Filipino, "Orang Asli" in Bahasa. They all form part of the mixed culture that characterizes ASEAN.
2. Durian and Marang- Unseen and for a long time unknown in Luzon and the Visayas, the fleshy, if pungent, and nutritious fruits are popular in Mindanao, a shared element with various ASEAN countries like Malaysia and Thailand.
3. Rendang: beef or chicken cooked in caramelized coconut milk and spices, rendang is a celebrated dish among Muslim Filipinos, especially the Maranao. It is likewise treasured among our neighboring Muslim countries in ASEAN.
4.Islam - Largely based in Mindanao, a good number of Filipinos are Muslims, which form the majority in ASEAN.
5. Kulintang- the gong array is a popular musical form among Mindanao peoples snd their proximate ASEAN cultures, a shared sound for celebrations and significant events.