Munato is a coinage of the vernacular “muna” which means first, and “to” which means people.
Solon, who is also Sarangani Tourism Council chair, said with the archeological finds in Maitum, Sarangans should feel blessed that in the “whole Southeast Asia the earliest civilization and its proof rests in Maitum- Sarangani’s westernmost municipality”.
The Munato Yesterland Theme Park, according to Solon, is the first festival-based theme park in Mindanao.
Solon pointed out the importance of making people experience and understand the diversifying cultures in Sarangani. She said the theme park provides a very good experience thru immersive and interactive presentations like the 3-D street arts, cultural village and other showcases of IPs in Sarangani like Blaan, Moro, Tagakaulo and Tboli.
Like in 2015, Solon said organizers are making Munato an international event. This year, “we carry with us what the foreigners want to feast. We are calling it international because we have foreign performers from Indonesia.”
Davao City-based Consul General Berlian Napitupulu of Indonesia personally brought in performers to go onstage during the festival and led the cultural exchange with Sarangani on November 25.
Napitupulu underscored their part of the festival as he particularly identified a lot of cultural commonalities being shared by Sarangani and Indonesia.
Through this cultural exchange, Solon said both Indonesians and Sarangans are able to learn new things and celebrate each other’s culture which she described to be a lot similar.
“We want to build better understanding with them,” Solon added, especially that there are several Indonesian villages in Sarangani that have been around for decades. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE /Beverly C. Paoyon)