Theme park to showcase Sarangani’s rich history, culture during 12th MunaTo Festival

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 Nov) – A theme park featuring Sarangani Province’s rich history and culture will open at the provincial capitol grounds in Alabel town next week in connection with the celebration of its 22nd founding anniversary and 12th MunaTo Festival.

Michelle Solon, Sarangani tourism council president, said they adopted the theme park concept to add a new twist to the annual festivity and in making the province “more relevant, more fun and interactive.”

Dubbed MunaTo Yesterland, he said the theme park will allow students, cultural enthusiasts and the general public to learn and appreciate history, social science, culture and arts in an “experiential” manner.

Solon said they will formally launch the theme park on November 27 to coincide with the opening of the three-day MunaTo Festival, which is slated until the 29th.

The festivity, which is the province’s biggest annual cultural event, will be centered at the Sarangani provincial capitol in the capital town of Alabel.

A festival briefer released by the provincial government said the MunaTo Yesterland theme park will mainly showcase 12 attractions.

These are the cave of the ancient, tribal village, Sarangani wildlife museum, looms and beads, MunaTo fotoloco, Sarangani street arts, Glan 100, Sarangani historical lane, Moro cottages, Fabli Guni and farmers market, MunaTo arcade, and MunaTo center stage.

The cave of the ancient features a light and sound show regarding the anthropomorphic jars found in the caves of Maitum town while the tribal village will showcase the culture and traditions of the province’s 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,” it said.

The wildlife museum will exhibit various animals found in the province that were preserved for study.

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 while the MunaTo fotoloco will highlight the sculpture of Mindanaon artist Kublai Millan found at the Sarangani capitol depicting the first people.

At the back street of the provincial capitol building, several Sarangani artists will create a three-dimensional (3D) street art of the different local tourist destinations.

Glan 100 is an exhibit featuring the municipality, which is celebarating its centennial foundation anniversary this year while the historical lane gives tribute to all leaders who have served Sarangani Province since its creation in 1992.

The Moro cottages will showcase displays and hourly cultural dance show of Muslims and other tribes in the province.

The Fabli Guni and farmers market will be the biggest gathering of Sarangani’s produce and products, specifically organic vegetables, fruits, upland rice, ornamental plants, potteries, processed foods, aquaculture harvests, handicraft and furniture, fashion and even Halal food. The MunaTo arcade will showcase food and novelty items and will have traders selling snacks, meals, drinks, and other goods.

Located at the center grounds of the Sarangani capitol, MunaTo center stage will offer free shows and activities that can be viewed by all theme park goers.

These include the daily parade and mascot appearances, the tribal sports and boxing competitions, magic shows, concerts and the “Pearl of Sarangani” pageant.

Solon, who heads the festival committee, said entry to the MunaTo Yesterland theme park will be free.

But she said each attraction will require a P10 entrance fee and visitors may opt for an all-day unlimited ticket pass worth P50.

Larry Asparin, coordinator of the Sarangani Tourism and Investment Promotion Center, said the development of the theme park is mainly an initiative of the province’s private sector.

He said the local government will co-manage the theme park through their office, which acts as the secretariat for the festivities.