Bong Go a no-show but lauds Koronadal’s growth

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 06 January) — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go skipped Monday’s formal opening ceremonies for this city’s 20th Hinugyaw Festival and 80th foundation celebrations here.

Go, who was earlier invited to deliver the keynote address for the formal opening of the week-long festivities, was seen in the afternoon in Malacanang for the signing ceremony of the 2020 national budget by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In his message, Go said the city has achieved so much since its establishment as a settlement and eventually becoming a municipality and component city of South Cotabato province.

He cited its rise into the regional administrative center and the socio-economic hub of Soccsksargen or Region 12.

Go credited the area’s emergence into one of the most competitive and business-friendly cities in the country to its “industrious, resilient and peace-loving people.”

“You were able to build a booming regional center out of an ordinary land. I’m sure you will be able to achieve so much more in the coming decades,” he said in his message delivered by Deputy House Speaker for Mindanao and South Cotabato second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez.

Go challenged residents, especially the dominant Christian settlers, to “continue to live in harmony with our Muslim and Lumad brothers and sisters and continue to be an example to the rest of the region and Mindanao.”

The city’s foundation anniversary celebration and Hinugyaw Festival formally opened at the South Cotabato Sports Complex on Monday, highlighted by the annual drumline parade and competition.

The other lined up activities until Jan. 10, the city’s 80th anniversary day, are the Farmer’s Festival, Celebrity Night, Mixed Martial Arts, Settler’s Fellowship Night, Indigenous Peoples Day, Mega Job Fair , Mindanao’s Best Dance Crew Varsity Hip-Hop Competition, Tamiya Racing, Grand Parada and Pyesta Kalon Datal civic-military parade, Handurawan Grand Production Showcase, grand fireworks display and rave party.

Originally known as Marbel, a Blaan term for “murky waters” in reference to a river traversing the area, the locality was first established as the center of a settlement district on Jan. 10, 1939.

Koronadal was created into a municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 82 issued on Aug. 18, 1947 and eventually became the capital town of South Cotabato province upon its creation on July 18, 1966.

It was converted into a component city of South Cotabato on Oct. 8, 2000 through Republic Act 8803 and was designated as the regional seat and center of Region 12 or Soccsksargen in March 2004 through Executive Order No. 304 signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (MindaNews)