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BY ELIJAH NARVASA BAJO
and RONNIE LEGARTA
KORONADAL CITY — The T’nalak Festival is gearing to celebrate the “rich culture” of South Cotabato province with colorful performances, local cuisine, live music and joyful activities lined-up, aiming to draw an experience that will never forget by provincial folks, including the visiting local and foreign tourists.
“Mark your calendars for July and get ready to immerse yourself in the rich traditions of the Tnalak Festival 2023,” South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Sucayan Tamayo, Jr. said in a statement on his official Facebook account posted last week.
Tamayo said finding a spot during the whole duration of the celebration would be “an experience you’ll never forget.”
The festival officially runs from July 13-18, resuming its traditional calendar for “face-to-face” activities following two years of hiatus due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
The holding of the almost weeklong festival is the highlight of the South Cotabato’s 57th founding anniversary celebration on July 18.
Rudy Gimenea, the provincial information officer, told the Weekly Informer that the opening day would be attended by Senator Frances Tolentino, who is expected to deliver his message as the invited guest speaker.
Gimenea said on July 18, several prominent personalities are also expected to join the people of South Cotabato in celebrating the festival’s last day and the founding anniversary of the province since it was created 57 years ago.
The T’nalak Festival, a weeklong showcasing of the people’s “diverse culture and traditions,” is widely known as the “authentic ethnic” festivity in the Philippines.
The festival’s name is “derived from a unique abaca cloth with a geometrical design patterned from the dreams of its weavers, the Tboli women.”
Here are the scheduled activities from July 13-18:
July 13 — Agri-trade fair [Bahay Kubo and Plant Competition], Panubli: Dreamweavers, Interfaith Thanksgiving, Koronadal’s Night and Fireworks Display.
July 14 — Grand Opening [Civic and Military Parade and Float Competition], Thematic Musical Dance Competition, Jobs Fair and Daily T’nalak Events.
July 15 — Motorcross [Day 1], Pinaka Competition, Farm Walk & Farmer’s Festival, Business Summit [Day 1], Daily Tnalak Events and Mutya ng South Cotabato.
July 16 — Timog Cotabato: PBM Congressional Day, Motocross [Day 2], Business Summit [Day 2], Golf Tournament [Day 2], Daily T’nalak Events and Governor’s Night/Dangal ng South Cotabato.
July 17 — Folk Dance Competition, Weaving Flavors of the Month, Hiphop Competition, Daily T’nalak Events and Dancesports Competition.
July 18 — Street Dancing Competition [Madal Be’lan, Kadsagayan A Lalan and Kasadyahan sa Kapatagan], Foundation Anniversary Program, Daily T’nalak Events and Grand Fireworks Display. ##