Friday, November 27, 2009

Sarangani's festival for "first people"

By Beverly Paoyon

ALABEL, Sarangani (November 27, 2009) - Vice Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon formally opened Thursday (November 26) the three-day celebration for the 17th Foundation Anniversary of Sarangani and 7th MunaTo Festival in time with the provincial athletic association meet.

Solon, before a crowd of more than 5,000 spectators and athletes, said the festivity calls for two things for Sarangans to celebrate - “to remember its province’s history” and “a celebration of the diversity and the unity of its tri-people (Indigenous People, Moro and Christian.”

He said “kinahanglan dili nato kalimtan ang pagmungna sa Sarangani in 1992. Kung asa ta gikan ug asa ta karon.”

Progress is evident in Sarangani, he said.

“Such great progress for Sarangani! And it is what we are celebrating in our foundation anniversary,” the vice governor said.

In a message of Congressman Erwin Chiongbian delivered by his brother Roy, he said this year’s theme, “Pride of the Sarangani Tri-People history… culture… resources” is very appropriate because “our history in Sarangani is short as we are only 17 years old and we go a long way back. But like all teenagers, we are full of energy.”

Chiongbian said “our culture is unique as we are filled with diverse people of different cultures working together to live together in peace and harmony.”

This, Solon has credited to the leadership of Governor Migs Dominguez for his “mission of making the tri-people working together for the benefit of the province as a whole.”

MunaTo meaning “fist people” is a festivity to showcase the cultural heritage as well as the tourism potentials of Sarangani.

It has also been linked to the 2,000-year old archaeological finds (anthropomorphic jars) in Maitum, Sarangani revealing the origin of community life in Southeast Asia.

Sarangani is culturally rich. It is populated with more or less 60 percent indigenous peoples. (Beverly Paoyon/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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