Tag Archives: Blaan

MunaTo Festival presents the MunaTo Yesterland Themepark!

Sarangani Province for the first time is turning its Capitol Grounds into an Educational Themepark.  On November 27-29, 2014 Sarangani is going to bring forth 12 Attractions that will make learning about history, social science, arts and culture in a more interactive and fun way!

MunaTo means “First People” in the Blaan Language.  Although Sarangani is a young province, having been crafted out of South Cotabato in 1992, it has a long history.  The anthropomorphic jars found in Maitum takes our Philippine history all the way back to the Metal age.  According to the carbon dating of the pottery found, it is possible that civilization existed as early as 500 BC in Maitum.  Many scholars are now looking into the possibility that this group of people are much earlier than the Malay race influence on the Philippines.  Because of these archeological finds, Sarangani claims that the First People are found in this area.


It was in 2002 that the Sarangani Tourism Council and the Provincial Government decided to celebrate their first MunaTo Festival.  The Festival featured the diversity of Sarangani’s people, culture, and treasures.  This 2014, the 12th MunaTo Festival and the 22nd Founding Anniversary of Sarangani is taking a new twist on featuring the rich diversity and heritage of this People.

munato yesterland sarangani

MunaTo Yesterland Themepark 12 Attractions

  1. Cave of the Ancient – This is a light and sound show regarding the anthropomorphic jars found in the caves of Maitum, Sarangani.
  2. Tribal Village – This will showcase the Tboli, Blaan, and Tagakaolo tribes. There will be a show every hour about their music, dances, chants and stories. Also found here are products for sale made by the Indigenous peoples of Sarangani.
  3. Sarangani Wildlife Museum – This is found at the ECPC. The museum features the different animals and species found in Sarangani that are preserved for study.  Also at the 2nd floor auditorium will play Sarangani- made films from last year’s Salamindanaw’s entry.
  4. Looms & Beads – Located at the Kasfala Hall, the Looms and Beads is an extensive, elaborate, and detailed exhibit featuring traditional arts and crafts in Mabal Tabih, Saul (bead works), and other artifacts. This is an exhibit of Heirloom designs and fabrics from our Indigenous Tribes in Sarangani.
  5. MunaTo Fotoloco – This is the sculpture of Kublai found at the Sarangani Capitol depicting the first people. Here people can take their wacky and fun photos. A photobooth will be available to take photos for a fee!
  6. Sarangani Street Arts – On the back street of the Capitol, several Sarangani artists will create a 3D street art of the different Sarangani tourist destination for those with tickets to take their chance for photo ops.
  7. Glan 100 – Since Glan, Sarangani is celebrating their 100th year this 2014, MunaTo Festival is giving a tribute the first settlers of Glan. We invite you to also try to be one of the Colonos!
  8. Sarangani Historical Lane – Sarangani gives tribute to all the leaders that have served Sarangani Province since its creation since 1992.
  9. Moro Cottages – The different tribes and Moro themed cottages will be on display with hourly cultural dance show. Here you will learn about the traditional practices for marriage, for childbirth, and the others. The Moro themed cottages will be a people’s choice competition. People gets to post a sticker vote for their favorite cottage!
  10. Fabli Guni & Farmers Market – This will be the biggest gathering of Sarangani Produce and Products. Included here will be Organic Vegetables, Fruits, Sarangani Upland Rice varieties including ornamental plants, and potteries. Also for sale, will be Sarangani’s processed foods, Aquaculture harvests, handicraft and furniture, fashion, and even Halal foods. This is one full market where you can buy and even deal with suppliers!
  11. MunaTo Arcade – This is the section for food and novelty items. Here traders sell snacks, meals, drinks, and other goods.
  12. MunaTo Center Stage – Found at the center grounds of Sarangani Capitol. Here free shows and activities that will be viewed by all Themepark goers. This includes the daily parade and mascot appearances, the tribal sports and boxing competitions, magic shows, concerts and Pearl of Sarangani.

sara gani billboard low

Also the other highlight feature that the kids will surely love will be the mascots Sara, the Blaan Princess and Gani, the Muslim Warrior.  These two mascots will have appearances around the park throughout the 3-day event. The Munato Yesterland themepark aims to bring studying of history, social studies, science and culture and arts in a very fun and interactive way!

Themepark Rates

To enter the MunaTo Yesterland Themepark is free.  However to enter each attraction a rate of P10.00 will be charged per person.  Better yet people are encouraged to avail of the One-Day Unlimited Pass at Php50.00 to enter ALL attractions. If you are a Senior Citizen,  Sarangani resident, Sarangani student, or Sarangani employee, you can avail of the discounted One Day Unlimited pass at Php30.00. Present your ID at the Ticket booth.

This has been the most exciting twist just yet!  So book and buy your tickets right away.  Call STIPC at (083)5085230 or GO SARANGANI TRAVEL at (083) 5528015 for more information!


The Mabal Tabih

It’s the month of October and we are celebrating the Indigenous People’s month. For this year’s celebration, the Mabal Tabih of the Blaans will be taking the center stage. Among the distinct weaves of the different tribes in Mindanao, the Tabih is becoming a very rare indigenous fabric. It is almost very difficult to find and only a few masters still know how to design this abaca fabric.

Many Blaans today, do not own thier own “Tabih”. The Tabih fabric is used as a tubular skirt for Blaan women or used as formal pants among the Blaan men. It is the frustration of cultural development workers to see Blaans use the T’nalak (which is the weaved fabric of Tbolis) instead of their Tabih. The Tbolis have done a great job in preserving their weaving tradition and have transferred the skills to the younger generation. T’nalak is the most popular abaca weaved and indigenous designed fabric in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the identity of the Blaan Mabal Tabih weaves are slowly disappearing, if this generation is not cautious.

However, in the town of Malungon, Sarangani, there exists a Blaan Village that continues to pass on the weaving knowledge to the next generation. In Sitio Lamlifew, you will find an organized group of women who are empowered in keeping their Blaan tradition. The Lamlifew Tribal Womens Association headed by Helen Lumbos has been awarded as one of the best SLTs (school of Living Tradition) in the country. One must take a visit to fully grasp the extent of their iniatitives.

Helen and the women of Lamlifew took the opportunity to partner with the government and NGOs to continue in their dream of preserving the Blaan identity and culture. When you take a visit today to Lamlifew, you will be guided by DOT trained Blaan tour guides and walk through their village. This immersion will make you understand their values toward their environment, traditions, and family. The tour will show you several of their century-old heirlooms placed in a traditional Blaan house that serves as their museum. Then, you will see their weaving house where the Tabih is carefully designed and woven. Again, this fabric is very precious because it is woven prudently by one woman who will complete the entire fabric in 3 to 4 months.

Blaan Tabih Weaving
Blaan Tabih Weaving

Several cultural workers such as Arjho Turner, Leonardo Carino, Emi Englis, and Toto Tirando (who works in the Sulong Katutubo program of Provincial Government of Sarangani) are working together to bring an awareness to the Mabal Tabih. With the support of Governor Steve Solon of Sarangani and Department of Tourism 12, an exhibit will be take place this October 13-16 in SM Mall Gensan. This is your chance to see the Tabih up close and personal and meet their Master Weavers, Fu Yabing of Polomolok and Fu Gusiye of Sarangani.

Mabal Tabih

Go Sarangani also organizes tours to visit Lamlifew Tribal Village Museum for immersion with the Blaan tribe. Please contact us at gosaranganitravel@gmail.com for more information.