Tacurong celebrates Kudong: Headdresses of BIMP-EAGA

   As part of the 17th Talakudong Festival, the City of Tacurong opens the festival with Kudong: Headdresses of BIMP-EAGA. It is a pre-event of the Budayaw Festival in which it showcases the various hats and headgears of Mindanao, with Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia and the Philippines, along with the corresponding stories and its symbolism. As such, the local festival is put into the next level and to a wider scale. Kudong is organized by the Local Government of Tacurong and the Department of Tourism (DOT) 12 that runs from September 13-18, 2017.

   “It is such both a privilege and an honor to be able to welcome you all to today’s event,” said Mayor Lina O. Montilla. “We are really happy that we get to be a part of this significant event. I am certain that our continued partnership and the uniting quest for excellence, we will be able to reach more heights. And we will surely be able to bring our dear SOX to its utmost potential.”

   “The Kudong event is a collaborative effort among the different agencies in the region,” said DOT 12 Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera. “We are doing events and developing sites because we want people to visit our region.”

   “Tacurong already perfected in organizing the Talakudong Festival. It’s time to go a notch higher. We conceptualized Kudong because we want to connect Tacurong to the world.” RD Dillera added.    

   DOT 12 is helping the city through Product Development, Connectivity, and Marketing. The Baras Bird Sanctuary and Talakudong Festival are the prime tourism products of Tacurong. DOT 12 and Tacurong Tourism Office conceptualized a “balikbayan program” to help establish the Kudong Gallery. Basically, it is a project in which Filipinos who lived abroad can bring (traditional) hats from their host country. They can donate it to the Kudong Gallery.

   “This is a testament that despite the things (happened) around us, we, us a nation, can still be proud that we are united. And at the same time that our place is still peaceful at that matter,” said Al-Nezzar Ali, the Artistic Director for Design & Visual Arts of the Budayaw Festival. “We are also dedicating Budayaw Festival to the victims of the Marawi siege. We remember them as part of One Mindanao.”

   The Philippines will be hosting the first festival of culture of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) on September 20-24, 2017 in General Santos City. As host, the Philippines will highlight the culture, heritage, and artistry of Mindanao and Palawan. The event aims to foster a sense of connectivity, sense of belonging, and a sense of bonding with other people in the BIMP-EAGA regions. Budayaw will showcase the diversity of creative expressions of cultural masters and artists in BIMP-EAGA as well as raise awareness and foster appreciation on the landscapes, lifescapes, and aspirations of peoples of the region.

   This big event is a collaborative effort among different agencies and institutions including the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the city government of General Santos, the provincial government of Sarangani, Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Mindanao State University (MSU) GenSan, and the private sector.

   “This is the right time for Mindanao to shine. We are trying our best to stand up and show to the world that we can do better.” Ali added.

   The Kudong event has four major activities – the Kudong Interactive Exhibit, Indak Kudong Stage Performance, Kudong Forum and Training on Making Kudong as Souvenir Item.

   The Kudong Interactive Exhibit showcases the various headgears of the cultural groups of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The exhibit is interactive in the sense that the visitors can see not only sample of hats with corresponding descriptions but also observe how hats are made, and also get the chance to talk to the artisans. The visitors are also allowed to try using the headgears for experience and photo ops. The Kudong exhibit is curated by Leonardo “Bing” Cariño. 

   Performers from where the headgears are produced are invited to participate in the Indak Kudong Stage Performance. It is a competition among various stage performers that will focus on the headgears. It is a presentation of the stories and the cultural significance of the BIMP-EAGA headgears in a form of dances and stage performances.

   Kudong Forum is the conference component of the exhibition which focuses on the cultural education with regard to the significance of Kudong.

   Trainers are also invited for the Training on Making Kudong as Souvenir Item. The participants have the opportunity to learn not only making Kudong souvenir items but also as an entrepreneur.

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