Sarangani has the unique distinction of being one of the country’s youngest provinces and, at the same time, one of the oldest settlements of the 2,000-year-old prehistoric man. This ancient allure and modern technology come together as it holds the 18th MunaTo Festival to mark the province’s 28th founding day.
Themed “MunaTo: Iba’t-Ibang Maskara, Bagong Kultura,” it will be unlike previous observances bursting with culture and color, as it will be held electronically online.
“This year’s festivity is putting the spotlight on the new heroes—health workers, essential service providers, public servants, and frontliners who are risking their lives to keep the citizens safe, says Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon.
He said that MunaTo 2020 is about helping each other and emphasizing health and safety protocols, essential goods and services, education, and obedience to ensure the people’s well-being.
He pointed out that Sarangani is one of the provinces with the lowest incidences of Covid-19 in the country because it adheres to stringent health measures and proactive and God-centered governance.
The online fest kicks off with a conversation with Chat Ansagay, a medical frontliner of the province, on Nov. 28, 6:00 p.m.
On Nov. 29, 2:00 p.m. the Kastulen forum which will tackle conversations of workers on the field on material culture appropriation, with resource persons Blaan Fulung Fredo Basino and provincial tribal chieftain, and Carlo Ebeo of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, and moderated by Malungon municipal mayor Tessa Constantino.
The annual Mindanao Week of Peace will be streamed at 3:30 pm and highlight the quest for a just and lasting peace in the southern Philippines.
Tourism in the new normal takes center stage at 6:00 p.m. with Glan municipal mayor Vivien Tan, Lemlunay Resort and Southpoint Divers president Paul Partridge, and CCT Malungon Retreat Center manager Lalaine Naquita, hosted by Rain Ramas.
Nov. 30 will feature “I Survived Covid” True Stories and Testimonies of Sarangans who recovered, with Malapatan mayor Salway Sumbo Jr. at 10:30 am Donna Panes of the Department of Education Sarangani CID, and will be moderated by Sarangani Provincial Tourism Council chairperson Michelle Lopez-Solon.
There will also be the nightly Padula Munato online game, namely the Museo de Sarangani Tiktok Challenge on Nov. 28, Hula Munato What’s in the Box, and Alam Munato on Nov. 29, and Hakoot Munato Municipal Quiz on Nov. 30. The games, set at 7:00 pm, is sponsored by Touch Mobile, Globe at Home Prepaid Wifi, and Talk N Text.
The three-day fest wraps up with Jesus Reigns Celebration on Nov. 30 with the Victory Feast at Home at 10 am and the Virtual Worship at 2 pm. All events will be live-streamed on the Munato Festival Facebook page.
The festival is derived from the Blaan phrase Muna Toh or “first people.” Sarangani was created in 1992 from South Cotabato’s coastal towns and dates back to the Metal Age based on the anthropomorphic burial jars unearthed at the caves in Maitum town. Displayed at the National Museum, the jars are described as exceptional archaeological assemblage and unparalleled in Southeast Asia.
Also read: Sarangani Bay: A Haven Of Marine Mammals