T'nalak Festival : Colors of a Genuine Southern Passion

Vibrant colors, rhythmic sound of nature, perfect sways and breath-taking performances...

Indeed, no word can describe what it would feel to be in T'nalak Festival. Taking South Cotabato in the map of July hotspot, the festival has made its crowning glory in the limelight of tourism map and must-go's in the Philippine hub. A country known for its different festivities, Philippines continually takes pride with what SouthCot has to offer not just to the locals but also to foreigners who come to witness the annual event. 

T'nalak refers to the colorful way of weaving the abaca cloth by the women of the T'boli Tribe, which is thought to symbolize unity and strength of all the ethnic tribes in the province. 

There are 15 sound reasons why you should hop in this event for your future travels. 

1) The smiles of the people are very rewarding. 

Well, who wouldn't want to be in a place where people are smiling for your presence  and show you the best of a real SouthCot pride? The T'nalak Festival highlights the warmth of the hospitality of the people with their eagerness to show you their enthusiasm and optimism. They just send positive vibes in the atmosphere. 

2) The Streetdancing Competition was as lively as a game of pride and creativity. 

Streetdancing seems to be a platform of creativity. All the colors complement wonderful presentations that send positive attitudes in the air. The gaiety and merriment among the people makes it less of a competition, but an avenue for people to stand in unity for a common vision - which is to showcase the best of South Cotabato. 

3) "Balik South Cotabato"
This is how they refer to the Governor's Fellowship Night which gives tribute to all the balikbayans who came from South Cotabato. This is a way to fuel the desire of the government to encourage empowerment of its people at all levels. This is a must-see event which caters to different talents thru dances and songs for all ages. 

4) Who will ever forget the Search for Mutya ng South Cotabato?
South Cotabato is not just a place of talents but also of beauties. Indeed, the Mutya ng South Cotabato is one of the premiere highlights of the T'nalak Festival as it shows how beautiful the people in the area are. The most awaited part of the event is the Question and Answer portion which gives avenue for the beauties to show-off their wits on different issues today.

5) You can learn from different cultures. 
Of course, the primary symbolism of T'nalak stands for cultural diversity and the fusion of traditions. But the festival itself brings you more to the message. it encompasses into your subliminal consciousness teaching you of values of respect to other people's traditions and beliefs. 

6) The Bahay Kubo and Product Display Competition
This kubo showcases flowers, vegetables, portraits, lanterns and many more that the hosting municipality can offer. Since this is a product display competition, municipalities show their bests by producing artsy products that will entice the tourists to come to their respective places. It is also supplemented with the 'Harana sa Kubo' competition that lauds the great musical inclination of the people. 

7) It's a perfect avenue to get to know other tourist spots in South Cotabato.

Of course, with the festival, you will really feel enticed to visit other places in South Cotabato. It gives an essential precedence which leaves a message to the people to explore the entire province, its falls, resorts, pineapple plantations, zipline centers, Lake Sebu and many more. 

8) Live Band Entertainment with trendy performances
The Provincial Government of South Cotabato has been very proactive when it comes to inviting celebrities to join the event. Many performers which range from acoustic bands down to television personalities grace the shows during the entire festival. Rock band icons hit these live band entertainments in focal stages identified by the city officials. They also get to promote the city in greater perspective.  

9) T'nalak Weaving and Pottery Making
This is really a very interesting act because people will be given the opportunity to know how to weave this popular abaca cloth in a colorful way. Stalls are being set up on certain areas to cater to those people who wanted to learn more about T'nalak weaving. Another bonus option is to learn how to make pots. For the knowledge of everyone, pottery making is also a big part of the South Cotabato pride for its productions. 

10) Industrial Skills and Taekwondo Competition
If you are into sports and skills competitions, then this might be the one in store for you. The Industrial Skills Contest showcases the different livelihood skills and industry-based innovations. The Taekwondo competition is a center hub for sports inviting competitors from nearby regions to compete with the province's pride. 

11) Luces in the Sky, the Grand Fireworks Display

The Grand Fireworks Display by the Provincial Government, marks the beginning of a delightful festival. They believe that with a blast beginning, everything that will happen in the middle will be as awesome as how the tone of the festival was set. You shouldn't miss the great luces hit the sky through its colors that upbeats with the best standards.  The ending of T'nalak Festival is also marked with the much-awaited Fireworks Display which costs millions to mark the month-long event's success. 

12)The Convergence of Mindanao Riders, SouthCotMotocross
For all the motorbikers, cyclers and racers out there, the South Cotabato motocross is a must-see event gathering top-caliber riders all over the island with special breakthrough comeback rides of past champions and professionals in the field. Surely you'll never miss this lifetime thrill of keeping up with the riders' fight for life as they race towards the end line's glory. 

13) Getting Loud with Cheerleading Competition

At the peak of all the excitement over different activities, the Cheerleading Competition resembles the city's take on flexing talents most especially in stunts and cheerdance. 

14) Releasing of Flying Lanterns
The flying lanterns, with the flaunting colors that appeals sexily in the eyes of the audience, marks the opening of the grande festival. 

15) And I've heard that Sun Cellular has an improved signal now in South Cotabato. Now you will never be lost in the city with the latest upgrade. You can just text or call your friend right away who might just got held for a fancy thrill along the busy road amidst T'nalak excitements. 

With all these wonderful reasons to go South Cot for the T'nalak Festival, what are you waiting for? Plan your travels ahead in your planner and don't forget to add T'nalak in your drop-by's. It's a lifetime experience that you will never forget. 

This is my submission for the T'nalak Festival 2012 Blog Writing Contest, which is made possible with the support of sponsors such as Hon. Governor Arthur Y. Pingoy, Jr and the province of South Cotabato, Sun Cellular - get two days of unlimited text to all networks for only ₱15 with SUN TEXTALL15, Dole Philippines  Representative Teddy CasiƱo & Bayan Muna Party-List, SouthCotabato.Org and South Cotabato News.

(All of the pictures are not mine. These are photos and images in the internet.) 

photo credits: 
http://www.pinaytravelogue.com/2010/07/tnalak-festival-of-south-cotabato.html http://www.flickr.com/photos/ricsamanion/page21/
http://www.tupi.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=649:tupi-bahay-    kubotupi-joins-bahay-kubo-competition&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=173
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