Rich with vibrant culture, South Cotabato is one of the most interesting places in the SOCCSKSARGEN region and from reading it’s history, i have also learned that it was never conquered by foreign intruders. No wonder, they were able to preserve their religion and natural beauty. Koronadal which is the capital city lies a simple but vivid tapestry of history that is worth discovering.
Looking at the beautiful colorful pieces of clothing and accessories the province of South Cotabato offers, I embarked to an online journey of knowing the province and short listed fifteen (15) reasons of the many reasons of why i would love to visit it.
1. Let’s start with Lake Sebu and it’s Seven Falls- a place so magical for me. When the good Lord showered it’s blessing, he gave this place a cool climate, beautiful lakes and majestic waterfalls that every visitor could say nothing but smile with awed and amazement. For an eco-mom and nature lover like me, visiting Lake Sebu would be an answered prayer.
2. While I’m at Lake Sebu, i would never missed the opportunity to go on hiking at the Seven Waterfalls Park and see for myself the beauty it offers.
I have heard that going to the falls is easier now and not to forget I would definitely try the new zip line which is the most picturesque zip line in our country
which offers a breathtaking view and a glimpse of nature beauty at its best.
3. Staying at Punta Isla Resortis what every local and international tourist would love to do . Known for its lake side view, it also has a resto on top of a hill and a little pavilion floating in the lake and what’s more wonderful about it is that they have a very affordable rate that truly fits your budget. I would definitely love to try their famous tilapia dishes.
What do you think about Nilasing na Tilapia or Sinugnog na Tilapia. Wow, i haven’t heard about that. That’s definitely worth trying.
4. Row, row your boat, gently down the stream. I’m not good in rowing but i will definitely enjoy a peaceful time riding a traditional dugout canoe and enjoying a beautiful scenery like this.
5. My trip with Lake Sebu will not be completed without visiting Lang Dulay, the famous and living legend among T’Boli and our National Artist . Also known as the master dreamweaver, her work has definitely a must see, because of it’s unusual patterns that depict stylized clouds and butterflies.
Even though, I would never learn how to weave, just exriencing it for myself would be a treasured memory. Wearing one of her works would be truly awesome.
6. Seeing Lake Sebu would definitely an amazing thing to do and what’s more interesting about it is the fact that I can mail Lake Sebu postcard from one of their local post-office.
Deltiologist always dream of receiving cards from different part of the world especially if that card was sent from the place the card depicts. Before I travel in a certain place in our country, i always make sure that I bring a copy of a postcard (of a famous landmark) of that province or city and mail a Lake Sebu postcard for myself.
7. Who says Davao’s durian is only the best. South Cotabato also boasts their sweet durian. Their Durian garden at Polomolok is visited by many tourist. I would definitely want to try their Durian Pie.
Polomolok is very famous for Mt. Matumtum, every hiker dreams of trekking and conquering this silent volcanic mountain .
Blessed with natural beauty, Mt. Matutum is also nominated as a new Unesco Heritage Site . If given a chance, i would definitely plant a seedling here.
8. Blessed with wonderful weather (that’s why South Cotabato is also called as a summer capital) the world’s biggest pineapple plantation, owned and operated by Dole Philippines can be found in Polomolok, South Cotabato (I did not know this at first but watching AHA, i have learned this interesting fact.) I love pineapples, especially DOLE, i always make sure that i always have pineapple chunks in my kitchen cabinet to be included in my dishes. A visit to their pineapple plantation, knowing and learning how my favorite drink and chunks was made would be an interesting and best educational tour.
9. Bohol is known for chocolate hills and the smallest monkey in the world called “Tarsier“.
But not many knows, (so claiming that it is only found in Bohol is false) that it is also found in South Cotabato.
Linan Tarsier which was found in Bgy. Linan in Tupi is wild but definitely has the same look that can be found in Bohol. As an advocate of green living , it is with high hopes that they can be able to preserve their sanctuary.
10. The province is a home for different fauna and flora. Lake Sebu’s Lotus flower is just one good example of the beautiful flowers that can be found in South Cotabato.
The province is also known for many orchids which should not be missed out.
Civet (Philippine cat known worldwide to be the source of the famous alamid coffee) can be found in South Cotabato. I’m a coffee addict myself and drinking this famous alamid coffee which is really expensive is a dream come true for any coffee enthusiast.
11. Koronadal City – South Cotabato’s capital city is known for contrasting ethnic culture and influence. Many knows the sad history of how this once troubled city cope up with the challenges and how different people from different walk of life comes together to live peacefully and aspire only the best.
A perfect get-away for every nature lover like me, their vast jungle is still conserved and preserved and that’s where i would like to go for a visit. Called Marbel, every visit is indeed a marvel.
12. Bring back lots of souvenir – In each trip I make, buying a souvenir items that is famous on the province or city is definitely present. Even if it’s for a friend, relative or for your self, souvenirs like the t’boli bells or the famous T’nalak accessories should always be listed in my top priorities. I know the receiver would surely appreciate the beautiful accessories and souvenir items they sell. Their accessories and souvenir items is surely world class quality and what’s more important is knowing that it is good for our environment.
13. T’nalak Culture and T’boli Tribe – T’nalak is getting more known not just in our country but also in the international market. Many well known designer have created several pieces of beautiful dresses and gowns made from this fabrics.
There is no denying that this fabric is indeed a beauty, a prize possession that every woman would wanted to have in their wardrobe. Given the chance, i would definitely one to have one not just because of it’s natural beauty but because I being a dreamer and someone who believes in magic, wearing a magical dress would definitely like living in a magical world.
T’nalak cushion is something every household would love to have.
14. Our country has many feasts and celebrations and T’nalak festival which was held each July during the foundation day of the province was one of the most colorful festival in our country which highlighted different activities such as civic parade with it’s fabulous float and cheer dancing competition. Fair and bazaar are also one of the common things that can be found as part of the activity.
The festival shows the colorful culture of the province. What is T’nalak anyway and what it got to do with magical dreams?
T’nalak is a traditional cloth found in Mindanao island made by a group of people in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato called T’bolis, Tboli people. This traditional cloth is hand-woven made of Abaca fibers which traditionally has three primary colors, red, black and the original color of the Abaca leaves. The colorant of the materials are naturally dyed boiled in with bark, roots and leaves of plants. It is an heritage and believed that the intricate and creative patterns of the Tinalak was seen on their dreams and made it on to work. They can’t create a design of the Tinalak if they haven’t dreamed of it. They are sometimes called the “Dream Weavers”.
Parading on the street wearing colorful woven abaca costumes and showcasing their different interpretation of their respective areas. T’nalak festival is indeed a week of pride and beauty.
15. Improved Signal of SUN in South Cotabato – And what’s definitely worth it, is the fact that the country’s prime cellular network is now covering Mindanao.
Living in a modern world, communication is always very important and knowing that wherever you are, you get to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings without worrying of missing any important calls. Sun Cellular makes this happen by giving a better signal and wide coverage in whole Mindanao. It’s a good news for every adventurous people whether your visiting good old rural areas and interesting landmark of the different provinces or even trekking the mountains of South Cotabato , I am secured that SUN get me covered.
So, what else are you looking for? Visiting South Cotabato and experiencing for yourself the wonderful celebration of T’nalak is not just a magical dream but a realization of wonderful things that this place could offer. I would definitely wanted to go there and experience all this for myself and for my family.
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, SouthCotabato.Org and South Cotabato News.”