SouthCot's bamboo products highlighted in "Kawayan Festival"

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the festivities will highlight various native bamboo products from various parts of the province that are fast becoming popular in the international market. 

Fuentes said this year's festivity, slated on February 27 to March 7 at the Protech Center in Koronadal City, is geared towards the advancement of the native bamboo into one of the province's major industries.

The festivities will include the usual night bazaars and food court as well as nightly entertainment at the Protech Center.

The Department of Science and Technology, Department of Labor and Employment and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority, which are the government agencies supporting the festivities, will also conduct techno seminars and training that are focused on the promotion of various technologies and innovations that will further improve the area's bamboo processing industry.

The governor said the Kawayan Festival will highlight competitions that promote the use of bamboo such as Bahay Kubo, Likha Kawayan and Laro Kawayan and a garden room showcase.

She said the Bahay Kubo contest will feature various original and artistic design concepts of native huts made of bamboo that are being produced by bamboo furniture-makers coming from various municipalities in the province.

Fuentes said the competition will showcase some of the Bahay Kubo products that have already attracted interests from exporters.

For the Likha Kawayan, she said the contest will focus on artistic showcases with kawayan as the medium produced by craftsmen and artisans in the province.

Fuentes said the most exciting feature in the Kawayan Festival so far is the Laro Kawayan or Bamboo Triathlon, which has generated a following among local residents and visitors.

The contest, which is open to both elementary and high school students, is mainly a team relay that combines local indigenous games "kadang," "latay sa kawayan" and "palo-sebo."

Fuentes added that as a sidelight to the Laro Kawayan, nightly games will also be held featuring bamboo-inspired games such as putok kawayan, kadang, and bamboo wrestling. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)