Inspired by, and in celebration of the world-class South Cotabateño, the provincial government of South Cotabato recently launched the “Balik South Cotabato Program,” a unique endeavor uniting the global South Cotabateño who has gained grounds, expanded horizons and forged frontiers on foreign shores. Driven by the tourism philosophy that “the greatest journey is the one that takes you home,” the program’s primary aim is to unite, inform and strengthen the bonds with those from South Cotabato who live and work abroad and invite them to come home during key events in the province, like the much anticipated T’nalak Festival.
Enrolling in the “Balik South Cotabato Program” will establish direct linkages for South Cotabateños living outside their home province to receive information through mailed brochures and e-mails of interesting occasions and events happening back home.
PRIVILEGES, EVENTS AND SERVICES FOR BALIKBAYANS DURING T’NALAK FESTIVAL 2009:
1. Balik South Cotabato Privilege Card
In line with the T’nalak Festival Celebration from July 9 – 18, 2009 , the Balik South Cotabato Privilege Card will be given to local and foreign balikbayans who have registered in the Balik South Cotabato Program. The card will give guests the opportunity to experience a wide range of exciting options during the festival, from invitations to the Balikbayan Night, International Motorcade, invitation to various T’nalak Festival events with prime seating, tours of the province’s scenic tourist destinations, airport welcome and great discounts at malls, restaurants, nightspots, cafes and spas among numerous other establishments, all making the T’nalak Festival 2009 experience truly unforgettable.
To claim their Balik South Cotabato Privilege Cards guests are requested to present their passports (for foreign balikbayans) or their employment/school identification cards (local balikbayans) at the Arts, Culture, Tourism and Sports (ACTS) Promotions Unit located on the 2 nd Floor of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Capitol Compound, City of Koronadal .
2. Balikbayan Night
In July 2009, the province looks forward to celebrating its 10 th T’nalak Festival enhanced with numerous exciting events lined up. The much awaited T’nalak Festival 2009 will be celebrating its international flair with a Balikbayan Night as a special welcome home party for all the global South Cotabateños . This will also be a venue to honor those who have achieved exceptionally well in various fields and contributed to benchmarking what makes the South Cotabateño truly world-class. The evening will be highlighted by a dinner, cultural presentation and fashion show of the province’s leading designers.
3. Mutya ng South Cotabato
Another event that will be fused with international style is the search for Mutya ng South Cotabato 2009. For the first time this prestigious pageant will be open to all qualified and gorgeous South Cotabateñas, not only from within the province but from abroad as well. The pageant is open for aspiring candidates who are from, and reside in South Cotabato to represent the province’s city/municipalities as well as have the opportunity to represent a South Cotabato community/organization abroad. The pageant’s doors are also open for internationally based South Cotabateñas to represent the foreign land they call their home away from home. A truly worldwide convergence fused into one prestigious and global search for Mutya ng South Cotabato 2009.
Mutya ng South Cotabato 2009 has grown to become an event that will epitomize a woman of the world – beautiful, intelligent, exotic, almost intimidating, but with an elegant and mysterious quality that makes one eager to discover more about her, and the southern paradise land she calls home. Pageant qualifications, requirements and criteria are available on the provincial government’s website www.southcotabato.gov.ph .
4. International Motorcade
As part of the festivities for T’nalak Festival 2009, with the sound of vibrant music, performers will fill the streets adorned in their colorful costumes. Balikbayan guests will also be invited to join the motorcade and be part of the fun during the T’nalak Festival 2009 Opening Parade with a burst of color and music to thrill the senses.
5. Prime Seating at Selected T’nalak Festival Events
To ensure that visiting guests thoroughly enjoy the T’nalak Festival, our balikbayans will be treated to special passes with prime seating allocation during selected T’nalak Festival events.
6. Tour Package
For balikbayan guests from South Cotabato to get an experience of the province’s tourism destinations they will be provided with special tours of scenic locations such as the Seven Falls of Lake Sebu.
7. Airport Welcome for Group Arrivals
Upon arrival at the General Santos Airport , South Cotabato balikbayans arriving in groups will be treated to a South Cotabato inspired airport welcome throughout the days of the T’nalak Festival.
LET US KNOW WHEN YOU’LL BE HOME:
South Cotabato balikbayans who will be travelling home in time for T’nalak Festival 2009 or during any other time of the year are requested to furnish the ACTS Office with tentative or final dates of their arrival in South Cotabato by sending their travel details/itinerary to the following e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org .
FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT:
ARTS, CULTURE, TOURISM AND SPORTS (ACTS) PROMOTIONS UNIT
2nd Floor, Provincial Planning and Development Office
Capitol Compound, Alunan Avenue , City of Koronadal
Telefax No: + 63 83 228-3447