I woke up early on July 18, 2010. My much awaited day since I will be seeing for the very first time the T'nalak Festival Parade. With much anticipation, I walked fast the T'nalak Agri Fair and hurriedly made my way to the main street of Koronadal. At 7 in the morning, the weather isn't that great, it was gloomy. Just as the music started, the rain is slowly making its move, anxiously waiting for the big drops.
But I would never let the tiny little rain ruin my excitement. I positioned myself few meters from Protech center, the parade's start off point with only a small umbrella as my shield. The music comes loud and clear with speakers set in different parts of the main road. As the people started to flock the streets, the spirit of the festivity has definitely started to pump up, enjoying the first few groups with their dancer's costumes laid in vibrant hues of red, blue and black. I have once again seen a series of T'boli dance.
This street dancing is divided into three parts: Madal Be'Lan, Kadsagayan A Lalan and Kasadyahan sa Kapatagan. I'm not really sure if these 3 are some types of dances, one thing's for sure though, they were all great to watch. The performances of the students from different parts of the region would surely bring in more tourists in the future.
From drizzle to heavy downpour...I was quite disappointed because of the heavy rain (watch the video below), but I have to commend the dancers who participated in this event. You guys are total performers! Kahit ang lakas na ng ulan, bigay todo pa rin! Kids and teens alike, you still gave your best despite of the heavy rain. My hats off to all of you. :)
T'nalak Festival is named after the t'nalak, a woven fabric made from abaca fibers which is made especially by the T'boli tribe. This t'nalak fabric is one of the famous souvenir items presented mostly as wall hangings. The festival is celebrated yearly during the anniversary of South Cotabato and is held every month of July in its capital city, Koronadal (formerly Marbel). This particular streetdancing competition is the highlight of the week long festivity and is set to showcase the rich and colourful heritage of Mindanao, one great event to learn and appreciate the history and culture of this southern part of the Philippines.
Here's the video of the 11th T'nalak Festival Parade.