8th Munato Festival opens in Sarangani
THE PEOPLE of Sarangani gathered together this morning at the Capitol Park for the opening of the 8th Munato Festival, which drew a bigger crowd this year with the presence of Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, who has just brought home his eighth championship belt in boxing.
In his speech, Pacquiao showed his enthusiasm in helping develop the province by announcing to the eager listeners that, while he was on training in Baguio City before his fight with Margarito, he had a meeting with President Benigno Aquino, who has committed to allocate 200 million pesos for the establishment of a provincial hospital in Sarangani.
Furthermore, he affirmed that the leaders of the province are setting aside politics and that they will work together for a better Sarangani Province.
Among the many activities set for the celebration is an amateur boxing tournament, which was participated in by young boys who are hopeful that they will one day become world boxing champions like Manny Pacquiao.
Just before going home this afternoon, I dropped by the Fabli Gu Ni Tourism and Trade Fair where the different Municipalities of Sarangani showcased their tourist attractions and their products and entrepreneurial ventures.
Alabel takes pride of the world-class Isla Parilla Resort Hotel. The organizers also displayed their products such as the seaweed pickle and seaweed crackers from the seaweed farm in Ladol, Alabel. Alabel is highly-agricultural and produces banana, and fresh and processed bangus (milkfish) and prawns, which are exported to other countries. Barangay Baluntay also produces vermicompost, which is an alternative to chemical fertilizers. These agricultural products can be found at the town’s booth.
Malapatan, showcased its famous Tinagtag, brightly-colored cloth woven by tribal women, and banig products.
Glan is known for the pristine white sand beaches in Gumasa and the century old houses in the Poblacion. The different resorts have their respective displays inside the booth, which has the feel of the old houses in the town of Glan. The town is also one of the largest coconut producers in the country. Coco products, including the bahalina (coco wine) and lambanog (coco spirit), of course, are on display. There are also other products like the fashionable slippers, you might want to wear while walking on the shores of Gumasa.
The booth of the town of Malungon features a gallery that showcases the different faces the B’laan people. Beadworks made by the tribal women of Malungon are on display. Malungon produces corn, mangoes, goat’s milk, among others.
Maasim is controversial for the proposed coal-fired power plant in Kamanga, which is very near to Lemlunay, a diving spot that is gaining popularity among diving enthusiasts. Maasim’s booth has the feel of a Class A resort cottage.
Upon entering Maitum‘s booth, you will be welcomed by a replica of the Pangi River, winner of the Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran for cleanest river and host to whitewater tubing that is already famous among adventure-seeking tourists. It was in Maitum that the anthropomorphic jars that were dated to be oldest in Southeast Asia were unearthed more than a decade ago. The name Munato Festival, was, in fact, derived from the B’laan world for first people, supporting the claim that the earliest civilization in Southeast Asia existed in Sarangani ages ago.