Koronadal,City, South Cotabato – Pyesta Kolon Datal: Koronadal International Folkloric Festival, which will be hosted by Koronadal City, will be the first of its kind celebration not only in Region XII but throughout the country. This was announced by Mayor Peter B. Miguel during the meeting of the Regional Development Council XII on June 25, 2015.

“The event is the first international folkloric festival in the country spearheaded by the Council of International Organization of Folkloric Festival (CIOFF),” Mayor Miguel revealed.
The CIOFF is an official partner of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), accredited by the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Committee. Created in 1970, CIOFF safeguards, promotes, and diffuses traditional culture and folklore.

Mayor Miguel explained that CIOFF currently covers 89 countries composed of 68 national sections, 2 associate members and 19 corresponding members. “The folkloric festival is the COIFF annual celebration of traditional dance, music, songs and crafts all over the world, and this year we were selected as the host of the event,” Mayor Miguel said.

The 10-day event, scheduled on August 9-18, 2015, will be participated in by 12 international contingents from Poland, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Slovenia, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Armenia, India, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Israel. The country’s 4 nationally-acclaimed performing dance companies, and Koronadal City’s very own Hinugyaw Cultural Dance Troupe will represent the country. This will be celebrated in a spectacular display of diverse cultural heritage and folk arts of all groups thru performances, exhibits, lectures and workshops.

Ambassadors and visitors from the participating countries are expected to come; thus, the event is an opportunity for the region to showcase its culture, people and products, and provide impressions that will define the region and the country’s identity. Mayor Miguel urged everyone to extend hospitality, courtesy and helpfulness. “A simple smile to our visitors will instill good impression of our region, in particular and our country, in general.”

The international event will be preceded by another big event in South Cotabato. During the same RDC XII meeting, Ms. Jennifer C. Bretaña of the Provincial Planning and Development Office of South Cotabato announced that the 16th annual T’nalak Festival will be held on July 9-18, 2015. It will be also a celebration of the province’s 49th founding anniversary. With the theme “Sharing our Best with the World,” the festival is a week-long celebration of South Cotabato’s rich culture and bounty.

From various sports events, colorful street dancing, exciting street parties and innovative trade expos, skills training and educational-related fora, the T’nalak Festival is the province’s biggest and most colorful annual celebration.

“The highlight of the celebration, which is named after the traditional cloth hand-woven by the Tboli tribe, is the T’nalak Festival Tri-People Grand Parade on the18th of July in Koronadal City,” Ms. Bretaña added.

The two forthcoming festivals are expected not only to boost tourism industry and the local economy, but also to open investment opportunities, particularly in this part of SOCCSKSARGEN region. (Helen L. Vestal, NEDA XII – DRD)