It’s often the 25th anniversary that is considered the first true milestone of most anything in the world. Not for nothing that it is symbolized by the element of Silver, after all. Back in 1992, the Third Congressional district of South Cotabato province was reborn as its own province, named Sarangani. Two and a half decades have passed since then, and that’s a major reason for the Sarangans to throw the most epic birthday party ever, even inviting their neighbors to join the fun. They’ve been doing great tourist-drawing foundation anniversary celebrations for years now, named in honor of their ancestors the First People, or “Munato.” This year’s Silver Anniversary festival promises to be on a whole new level.

From Tuesday, November 28 to Friday, December 1, the biggest happening in SOCSKSARGEN will be in the Sarangani capital of Alabel where the heart of the Silver Munato Festival will be in full swing. In fact, the commemoration activities start off Monday, with a special expo, the first of its kind, by the Sulong Kaligtasan Search and Rescue Olympics and Disaster Response. The region has had its own fair share of flooding, earthquakes and other calamities, so such an expo, running until Friday, will be most welcome.

The actual Munato festivities however begin on Tuesday morning, with the opening of the Silver Anniversary cultural village and a special open house tour of the newly finished provincial hospital. Staffers of the provincial government will have their own day in the limelight on Employees Day, followed by a local “Sarangani Got Talent” show for the daring and skilled. The youth also have a Sulong Kabataan Summit that might catch their interest, while in the evening the people who brought about the creation of Sarangani province will be honored.

Wednesday, November 29, shows no sign of stopping the Silver Anniversary hype. Our southerly neighbor Indonesia is having a cultural exchange with Sarangani in the morning, along with a Folk and Ethnic Dance Competition and a celebration for Indigenous People, the Munato themselves. The night will also shine and shimmer splendidly with the province’s beautiful contestants vying for this year’s crown in Pearl of Sarangani.

On Thursday, November 30, even as the Sulong Kaligtasan Expo and Cultural Village presentations continue, the celebrations now touch on the techy, with a morning Air Show featuring aircraft, helicopters and RC drones filling the skies. Faith is also given a nod, with a Jesus Reigns prayer rally late in the day.

The last day of the Silver Munato Festival on Friday, December 1, will see the culmination of the fun and excitement with the big Street Dancing Competition in the afternoon, followed by the end Munato concert “to sawa” with featured performers Rivermaya.

Twenty-five years is an important reason to celebrate, and as Sarangani province celebrates their first quarter of a century as an integral part of SOCSKSARGEN, Mindanao and the Philippines, they will be very much pleased if you will come from all over to share in their immense happiness. Maybe we’ll even run into each other there.

Photo courtesy of Munato Festival FB page

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