Among the numerous festivals in the Philippines, T Nalak Festival is one that stands out. Not only because of its colorful event (most Philippine festivals are, too) but also because it is a way to promote and preserve South Cotabato’s cultural heritage. 

This festivity is an annual celebration that commemorates the Foundation Anniversary of South Cotabato. If you’re planning to experience this celebration, make sure to read this blog as we’ve laid out all the information you need that will guide you for an ultimate festival experience.

*Cover photo source: Wikimedia Commons

T’nalak Festival Date

T’nalak Festival is held every second week of July. This year, T’nalak Festival 2021 will be held from July 16-18.

What’s inside this blog?

T’nalak Festival Place of Origin

This festivity is celebrated in Koronadal City in South Cotabato. 

T’nalak Festival History

colorful costumes at t nalak festival

Photo by Constantine Agustin via Flickr

The festival is named after T’nalak which is the province’s cultural emblem. It is a colorful abaca fabric woven and worn by T’boli women. This is not your ordinary fabric as T’nalak has a deeper meaning. The patterns of the fabric symbolize diversity and resilience and are based on the weaver’s dreams, that’s why South Cotabato is called The Land of Dreamweavers.

Seeing Cotabato as a place of sunshine and everything nice wasn’t always the case because it has always been tied with conflicts, making people fear visiting the province. But in 1989, the locals found a way to celebrate driving many tourists to the place. It was when the late Lang Dulay, a local of Lake Sebu and a well-known dreamweaver, was awarded as a National Living Treasure due to her work as a T’nalak weaver. Through this awarding event, Tnalak Festival was born. So this celebration has two primary objectives: first is to celebrate the founding anniversary of the province, and the second is to honor the rich cultural heritage of T’nalak.

Schedule of Activities: T Nalak Festival 2021

men street dancers at T Nalak Festival

Photo by Constantine Agustin via Flickr

The celebration of Tnalak Festival 2021 will be very different from the previous years. Because there is still a pandemic, the Tnalak Festival 2021 will be held online. Below are the schedule of online events.

July 16 
10am to 12nn – Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration
12nn to 1pm – Tama at Maayos na Serbisyo ni Governor Tamayo
6pm onwards – Mutya ng South Cotabato 2019 (Throwback)

July 17
10am to 12nn – Cheerdance Competition and Hiphop Dance Competition 2019 (Throwback)

July 18
10am to 12nn – Tnalak Festival Tri-People Grand Parade 2019 (Throwback)

Source: T’nalak Festival


Tips when attending the festival

a siling street dancer at T Nalak Festival

Photo by Constantine Agustin via Flickr

  • Charge your batteries and prepare extra memory cards as you will be taking lots of pictures during this colorful event.
  • Plan your day. Check the schedule of activities for a hassle-free experience.
  • Make sure to go to the event venues early to get the best seats.
  • Wear sunblock and comfortable clothes and shoes.

How to get to Koronadal City

By air
From Manila, book a flight bound for General Santos City. Upon arrival, take a bus headed to Koronadal City, where the festival is going to be held.

By land
From Manila, you can ride a bus going to Davao City. The trip is going to be a long one as it takes three days. Once you’re in Davao, there are buses going to Koronadal.


Frequently Asked Questions About T Nalak Festival

Q: When is the Tnalak Festival date?
A: Tnalak Festival is held every second week of July. This year, T’nalak Festival 2021 will be held from July 16-18.

Q: Where is Tnalak Festival held?
A: The festivity is held in Koronadal City, South Cotabato in Mindanao. 

Q: What is T’Nalak? 
A: T’Nalak is South Cotabato’s cultural emblem. It is a colorful abaca fabric woven and worn by T’boli women. The patterns of the fabric symbolizes diversity and resilience and are based on the weaver’s dreams, that’s why South Cotabato is called The Land of Dreamweavers.

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