Sarangani bans street-dancing, similar acts during festivals
ALABEL, Sarangani –The Sarangani government has decided to do away with street-dancing and similar activities that have become usual in festivals, starting with this year’s Munato (first people) Festival.
Michelle Solon, Sarangani tourism officer, said instead of street-dancing, they opted to hold activities that would showcase the music and arts of the Sarangans.
Munato is being celebrated from November 27 up to December 6 of each year.
“We want Munato to be iconic in the sense that we don’t want to compete with municipal festivals in the region. As such, we’re holding the first international music and arts festival where we will now celebrate the diversity of cultures, diversity of arts and diversity of people in Sarangani and presenting them in a stage so the world can enjoy them,” she said.
Solon said the cultural and arts presentation will be participated in by performers from the Blaans, Tagacaolos, Tbolis and the Moro group.
“We are also bringing in artists to actually give the stage a much wonderful show, like Waway Saway from the Talaandig Tribe with his band; and Mathew Ngau Jau from Malaysia to perform Sape, a wooden short-necked stringed instrument from the lute category,” she said.
Honoring the “first people” has been an annual event in the province since November 2002.
Sarangani, a 3,601.3-square kilometer agricultural province, is on the southernmost tip of Mindanao and had been mainly populated by the B’laan tribe in the past. Now, its nearly 500,000 population consist of B’laans, migrants from Visayas and Luzon and people originally from other parts of Mindanao.
The province has since been among the top tourist destination in Central Mindanao.
The Pinol Cave and Linao Cave in Maitum town – where anthropomorphic burial jars, which were used by the ancient people of Sarangani were discovered in 1991 – remains among the top visited areas in the province.
Dr. Eusebio Dizon of the National Museum, who led a team that discovered the finds, described them as “unparalleled in Southeast Asia.”
He said Pinol and Linao caves were “the most significant caves in Mindanao” especially after radiocarbon tests showed that some of potsherds were even likely 3000 years old or from the New Stone Age era while others were much newer, about 2,000 years old.
Dizon said the finds might be able to provide “significant information and material evidence to trace not only Philippine prehistory but also that of Southeast Asia.”
As to the precise identity and origin of the original inhabitants of Sarangani, it remains uncertain to this day but as Dizon would put it, the burial jars have “similarities with some of the Sabah pots from Bukit Tengkorak.”
Bukit Tengkorak in Sabah was one of the largest pottery-making sites in Southeast Asia during the Neolithic period.
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