Koronadal Eyed As Top Cultural Destination

Officials here are pushing for the development of the city as a top cultural destination and center for the promotion and preservation of indigenous culture and heritage.

This came as the city government has embarked on the institutionalization of the city’s famed Pyesta Kolon Datal: Koronadal International Folklore Festival to further promote the country’s rich indigenous culture.

City Mayor Peter Miguel said Tuesday they are currently working on holding the event as a regular biennial showcase in coordination with national government agencies and private partners.

The city is currently hosting the international festival for the second time after its successful launching in 2015.

The week-long festivity formally opened over the weekend, with around 300 participating performers from eight international and six national cultural groups.

“On the cultural side, the impact of the event so far has been tremendous so were planning on doing this every two years,” Miguel said.

The second edition of the Pyesta Kolon Datal was so far a big hit among local residents here and the neighboring areas since its grand opening on Saturday afternoon.

Thousands of residents and visitors lined up beside the city’s main streets and later crowded the South Cotabato sports complex for the street dancing parade and the maiden performances of the participating groups.

The foreign performers are from Romania, Estonia, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Caribbean Islands and Tahiti (French Polynesia).

The national and local participants are the University of the Philippine-Diliman Dance Company, ECD Dance Company of Iloilo City, Sining Kambayoka Ensemble of Mindanao State University-Marawi, Binunyawan Folkloric Troupe of Bukidnon State University and Koronadal City’s Hinugyaw Cultural Dance Troupe and T’nalak Blaan Performing Arts.

Daily performances have been scheduled in this city, General Santos City, Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat, Tampakan town in South Cotabato and Alabel in Sarangani until Aug. 18.

The festival was organized by the city government in coordination with the Paris-based International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF).

CIOFF is an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO and is accredited with its Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee.

Dr. Udomsak Sakmunwong, former president of CIOFF-International Council, lauded the city for hosting anew the event and for giving the organization “a home in the Philippines.”

He said Pyesta Kolon Datal is already one of the anticipated folkloric festivals worldwide.

“We were very impressed with the hosting of the event. In fact, most of the previous participants actually wanted to come back this year,” he said.

Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr., who graced the festival’s opening ceremony, commended the city government and CIOFF for organizing a “beautiful coming together of cultures.”

Boncato assured of the agency’s support to the city’s efforts to further showcase the preservation & promotion of indigenous cultures through the festival.

“We expect the city government to continue this trailblazing program of positioning the city as a destination that truly understands the multiple dimensions of heritage and culture,” he added. (PNA)

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