T’nalak Festival, also known as Tinalak Festival, is a festival held to celebrate the anniversary of South Cotabato and is observed every July.
The festival’s unique name is attributed to a popular piece of colorful cloth woven by the local T’boli women (T’boli is a tribe in the region). The cloth is known as a T’nalak, and is made of abaca clothing. There are a number of reasons why this was the choice of clothing among so many options.
First, T’nalak is woven by the women of the community, symbolizing their diversity and unified resilience. The actual process of weaving the T’nalak is a tedious one, requiring a lot of patience, precision, and effort. Which actually reminds the participants that that is the only way to obtain quality.
The story behind the design of the weave is rather interesting. In fact, the design is supposed to be dreamed by the person creating it, which is why this entire province is commonly known as the Land of Dreamweavers. And that’s why the fabric is the symbol of the festival – it represents the blending and unity of all the different cultures and ethnicities that live on the island.
Tourists attending the T’nalak Festival are welcomed by a rich and vibrant culture. Whether it is through the intricate display of traditional artifacts or the adorning of ethnic regalia, visitors are in for cultural espionage of a lifetime. This also presents a perfect opportunity to get meaningful souvenirs of your trip to the Philippines.
The start of the festival is marked by the Grand Parade. Locals come out onto the streets wearing colorful costumes, which showcase the culture of the indigenous people and tribes from the South Cotabato province.
Other highlights of the festival include the diverse sporting activities as well as the dancing competitions. For the latter, make sure you enjoy the popular float and cheer dance competition at the onset of the festival. Look out for the Trade Fair on location too if you would like an entrepreneurial aspect to your holiday in the Philippines.
Of course, the street dancing competition is one of the most important events at the festival, because dance is a really big part of Filipino culture and tradition. And that’s not true just of T’nalak festival – street dancing is a staple event in any Filipino festival and something that you definitely have to see for yourself if you want to get a better understanding of the people’s ways.
You can also participate in the Fun Run, a five-kilometer marathon that’s suitable for everyone. Even if you’re not an avid runner it’s worth it to join the event, since the proceeds from it are usually donated to either some charity or medical research.
And if you’d rather stay up until 4AM than wake up at 4AM, you’ll be glad to know that there’s an entire night dedicated to just rock music. The festival ends on the last day of the week, with a fireworks display and a coronation of the winners of all the competitions that were held.
To experience a perfect blend of culture, fun, and dance, there is no better place to be than at the T’nalak Festival.
This festival is as colorful as ever just like the famous Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental which is held annually on the month of November.
Koronadal City is in the center of Mindanao Island, which lies in the south of the Philippines. The country’s second-largest island is a two-hour flight from Manilla and an hour-long flight away from Cebu. Because the city is in such a central position on the island, it’s not really possible to reach it by boat or vehicle.
So, if you still haven’t purchased plane tickets, we suggest you try to get ones that will take you to Cebu, rather than to Manilla. It’s cheaper to go from Cebu to Koronadal City, and it’s about an hour faster. Driving or going by boat is not really an option – it would take way too long, and it would end up costing you a lot more money than plane tickets.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!