It is said that Sarangani Province has cemented itself as a national vacation getaway for the summer, especially during May, thanks to their holding what is hailed as the “Biggest Beach Party of Southern Philippines.” This is the Sarbay Festival, the celebration of which is centered primarily on the provinces white-sand beach area around the area of Gumasa and the municipality of Glan. But that is not the only beach-themed festival they have around. Glan has internalizes that party atmosphere into their cultural heritage festival happening a month before Sarbay. During the latter half of April, Glan commemorates the Mahin Festival, and this year’s celebration was a fun-filled summer success.
The Mahin Festival, Glan’s celebration of nature, culture and tradition, began its 2019 preparations rather appropriately on April 22, the international observation of Earth Hour. From that day until the 25, the residents of Glan engaged in a cleanup drive to prepare the beaches for an early party ahead of Sarbay. The festivities proper took off on Friday last week, April 26, which a majority of the special events on the beaches of Gumasa. Competitions like the Mahin Eco-Trek and Sand Art Contest alternated with exercises on opening day. After skim boarding clinic and Zumba afternoon, the “Lerong sa Mahin” evening entranced residents and guests.
Saturday, April 27, saw the blending of traditional culture and contemporary modernity characteristic of the Mahin Festival, with early morning Yoga on the beach followed by the Bangkarera boat-racing contest that is a staple of seaside communities. On the early evening the beautiful people of Glan took to the stage and catwalk during the annual Mahin Bodies pageant, followed by a triple-threat extravaganza that is a night rave, a foam party and beachside light show.
But even the Perfect Summer in Glan has to wind down eventually, and the last Mahin Festival day on Sunday, April 28, saw things wrap up nicely while the day is still high, after one last bout of relaxing Yoga at sunrise. While Glan residents began to tidy up Gumasa, the last competitions took place on land (Enduro Cross) and sea (Jet Ski contest). As the final prizes for the festival are presented with the sun climbing higher into the sky, one can say that the 2019 Mahin Festival of Glan has set out to do what it was conceived to do: help the municipality celebrate its culture and heritage, while sneaking in some early beach fun before Sarbay comes.
Images: Mahin Festival Facebook page