Festivals

Talakudong: A Festival That Should Be on Your Radar Every Year

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Sep 22, 2014

talakudong

After four hours of land travel from my base in Davao City, we arrived in Tacurong to the pulsing, vibrant buzz of the locals. The streets were festooned with buntings; drumbeats could be heard from last-minute practices for the streetdancing the morning after; people milled around the city hall.

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As first-timers at the Talakudong Festival, my travel buddy "Olan theTravelTeller" and I weren't expecting much. And we were so surprised by the grandeur of the festivities and the awesome street-dancing by the locals.

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Talakudong comes from “kudong,” or the “headgear” that the natives and early settlers of this part of Mindanao used to wear. It's believed that the early Christian settlers of Tacurong gave the Sultan of Buluan a gift of golden kudong as thanksgiving for the peace and prosperity that they enjoyed in the area.

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The kudong is depicted in every contingent's presentation. This elevates the performance from being a mere street-dancing to a tribute to the town’s history and traditions. It also explains to the common spectator how the Talakudong Festival came to be.

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Everyone’s attention is on the kudong as it is the focus of the dances. It's your simple salakot made fabulous by getting dyed or painted, then decorated with leaves, flowers, okir, then dusted with gold, silver, magenta, before being transformed into umbrellas that are waved and raised in keeping with the beat of the drums and the dancers' chants.

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The glimmer of colors and the fluidity of the dancers’ movements make for a very beautiful sight.

It simply leaves you in awe.

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The judges for the street-dancing and showdown were experts in the field; still, they had a difficult time deciding who to declare as champion among five very good performances. It was a very close call between Contingent Nos. 2 and 4.

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My favorite, the 2nd contingent (Tacurong Pilot Elementary School) danced away with the grand prize of PhP140,000. They also got the Best in Musicality and Best in Field Demo awards.

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Winning 1st runner-up was the 4th contingent, Virginia F. Griño Memorial National High School, which also won the Best in Streetdancing and Best in Street Showdown and went home with PhP110,000.

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The third placer got PhP90,000 and the other two groups got consolation prizes of PhP20,000 each.

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The prizes may be high, but what makes the Talakudong Festival’s street-dancing high up on the list of Mindanao festivals list that you should attend is this: Tacurong's revelry is small-town but big in heart, and everyone gives authentic performances as they take pride in their culture and history.

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So make it to the Talakudong Festival next year!

Heartfelt thank you to Tacurong City Mayor Lina O. Montilla, City Tourism Officer Emelie Jamorabon, Karen, Kuya Alex, Helen, Kuya Rap, Kuya Pol, Kuya Lando, Councilor Rod Jamorabon, Abbie, Arnee. You are all as awesome as the Talakudong!


VIEW: Make Tacurong your jump-off point to explore Mindanao with the Choose Philippines GenSan Map:

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VIEW: Make Tacurong your jump-off point to explore Mindanao with the Choose Philippines Davao Map:

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How to Get There

Tacurong City is 4 hours land trip from Davao City and 2 hours from General Santos City.

PAL and other major airlines fly daily to Davao City and General Santos City.

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