As if it is not yet obvious for its constituents, what's really refreshing to think and like about South Cotabato is the laid-back lifestyle this province can offer despite its growing, developing pace to modernization. I have stayed within South Cotabato since elementary, and I have learned to appreciate every nook there is in this province. Below are the best things I am so proud of in this hometown of mine.
1. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS - Nothing beats the freshness of the products here, from the yummiest fruits especially pineapples, healthy veggies, to the tastiest tilapia, there is no question, those who stay long in the area are careful enough not to tell their waistlines that they have devoured the best food there is in South Cotabato.
2. PEOPLE - The province shelters very friendly people who are more than willing to share with you their time and their humble homes just to make you feel special.
3. CULTURE - The rich culture of South Cotabato can never be equaled by other provinces, judging from what I have learned as I grew to discovering more of it. Modern yet simple, and very rich yet so humble. From the grassroots, people have been raised to honor what blessings they have, and to be grateful for it. From different ways of love, courtship and marriage, to different ways of burying the dead, a culture and tradition so rich and interesting.
4. FASHION/CRAFTS - Oh, see what lovely crafts their hands can design, from corn husk gowns to lovely bangles, beadworks and not to mention the lovely T'nalak, amazingly crafted by gentle hands, woven from patterns designed through dreams, very smooth with intricate artistic designs. Just lovely!
5. FLOWERS - Stop and smell them while you can still breathe, or you will be sorry. South Cotabato houses very rich flora and fauna! A living evidence that life here is just awesome, relaxing and homey.
6. CLIMATE - Not that I approve of the warm weather, but this is better than most places I have visited, very moderate temperature, something which you will enjoy all year round. The rains? Cooling the earth, and not the typhoon type that other provinces experience.
7. TOURIST ATTRACTIONS - Do I have to enumerate them all? Because there are a lot more than what my fingers have. The Majestic Lake Sebu for one, which my kids and family love to visit as often as we can; Mt. Matutum, where the best and most expensive coffee can be found, Surallah's Landmark bearing the rich culture and products the whole province promises to provide, and many many more!
8. SCHOOLS - I love the school where I graduated, and I am very glad that even other schools where my friends have come from are all very friendly and considerate of the needs of their students.
9. POLITICS - Not that I am really into politics, but I feel grateful that I see not much of animosity among the people manning/leading this great province.
10. ROAD DEVELOPMENTS - Along the main thoroughfares of South Cotabato, you will have to agree with me that it is but enjoyable to travel because of the road developments, also, less traffic and courteous transportation drivers, though there may be some who are really annoying, but overall, they are considerate enough to bring you where you want to go.
11. MUSIC - Chants from the IPs, those wooden musical instruments, bamboo musical devices, the paglong which emanates very beautiful music from the B'laan tribe, and the kulintang. Amazing music created by amazing people of South Cotabato. I love province music!
12. CHEAP PRICES OF FOOD - This one I am so proud of, accompanying a friend of mine once around my hometown, she managed to compliment on the low prices of clean and delicious food served in carinderias. Now, that's one good thing, right?
13. PEACE and ORDER - I love the security that I feel when I am in downtown Koronadal during nighttime. Negative news about night happenings are rampant, but as a government worker with full hands, I get to stay late at the office yet going home safe and secure. Lucky me maybe, but still, I think the peace and order enforcers are doing their jobs to protect the people of the province.
14. T'nalak FESTIVAL - What is there not to like in a festival of festivals? Different tribes, different cultures, different ways of celebrating fiestas but all these has converged into one amazing celebration, the T'nalak Festival of South Cotabato. With each town's colorful costumes, interesting stories, engrossing drumbeats, attractive and awesome performances, Hinugyaw of Koronadal, Lembohung of Surallah, F'lomlok of Polomolok, Agten Tufi of Tupi, Helobung of Lake Sebu, Lemlunay of T'boli, etc... all these in one GRANDIOSE festival, South Cotabato's T'nalak Festival! Unity in Diversity!
15. SUN Cellular's Improved Signal in South Cotabato - Well, what can I say? I'm glad that SUN Cellular, my favorite Telecom is already making waves in the province and I am enjoying the night calls to my beloved family back in Gensan effecting cheap cost to my pockets. It is out of love that I have to call them as needed or as I want to, but with Sun Cellular's low rates, I can call them as long as I want to! Thanks be to SUN!
“This is my submission for the T'nalak Festival 2012 Blog Writing Contest, which is made possible with the support of sponsors such as Hon. Governor Arthur Y. Pingoy, Jr and the province of South Cotabato, Sun Cellular - get two days of unlimited text to all networks for only ₱15 with SUN TEXTALL15, Dole Philippines, Representative Teddy Casiño & Bayan Muna Party-List, KCC Malls, SouthCotabato.Org and South Cotabato News.”