“At the center of Mindanao, is the city of Tacurong. It’s dynamic, progressive; life is great in Tacurong…”
Every city is defined by unique features. Consider the colors, landscapes, spots, celebrations or festivals, and the people. Tacurong has a vital story to share and tell.
From the intertwines of aspirations down to the idealism that people form for every challenge that comes through their lives, Tacurong has always been a melting pot of true Tacurongnon values. And if you have happened to cross the bustled National Highway fronting Mama’s Love Rendezvous at peak hours and seen the dancing traffic policeman, dance and groove at the music and tunes of nightlife, eat rice and chicken roll-in-one called “pastel” at Pastil Republik, savor the sumptuous pork barbeque and Liempo of Boyam’s and Bennox, stay for a some coffee or beer at Dragon Convenience, or have spa or beauty regiments with Emon’s and Jonas and Friends’ Salon, you will definitely feel the dynamism of life in this city has to offer.
Being the political, economic, social, cultural and educational center of the province, Tacurong is dynamically a strategic development point of the region. From being a small barangay of Buluan (Maguindanao), Tacurong became a municipality of Sultan Kudarat and eventually became the first and only city of the province and has remained to be the gateway of the province to introduce itself in the entire country.
Strolling in the city, the iconic public promenade Tacurong City Park should be the starting focal point in exploring the splendors of life in Tacurong. The park is home to the Rizal Monument, beautiful landscapes, picnic areas, benches for resting and chatting, and the city’s tennis area. Though the park only opens until seven o’clock in the evening, you can maximize already your stay there in one or two hours so there’ll be no hustle and bustle to feel. At the left of the area is the office of the Bureau of Fire and Protection and the city grounds where you can see the cemented replica of the Philippine map while watching fish swim in the water from the dancing and lighted fountain therein. Indeed, if you go there, you can see many families enjoying with their children playing games while having a picnic.
Food must also be a very big reason why Tacurong either holds back its people or keep visitors on coming. “Hamal”, as they may call it, is evidently in the limelight of different food hubs and restaurants across the city. The soothing feeling of eating interesting and delicious food is a priority for the best chefs and cooks in the area. Visitors usually have wide range of options – from pricey, continental, local, ethnic, cheap, purely seafood, halal food and many more. Indeed, because of this wide horizon of options, people always have the feeling of curiosity of what one restaurant can offer over the other. Mang Gorio, Yunik, Jim’s Place, BJ’s, Goldy’s Food, Julson, Bidz, Nice Place, Green Garden and Maguindanao Food Center – these are just some of the popular restaurants that are already gaining grounds in proving what EATING really is.
If you look at the profiles of these food courts and restos, you can have choices of being in touch with Filipino servings and on the flip side of it, also have choices of dishes from other countries that have successfully refined and integrated its marketability to the Filipinos. There is also a value of knowing how ‘kwek-kwek’, ‘isaw’, ‘gulaman’ and other Filipino street food and drinks taste that you can find infront of the schools especially fronting the Notre Dame of Tacurong College and Tacurong Pilot Elementary School.
If you want to dance in grooves of new trend music, you can visit Hutshots, Barrio Cinco, and Gazebo. And after the night, you’ll realize that it’s completely an unforgettable Tacurong experience that is worth reckoning and repeating.
If you want to take relaxation booze with your friends, you can visit Jag Massage Parlor, Joan Massage Clinic and the city – supported Tacurong City Massage place.
For your place of stay, don’t worry for Edjin’s Pension House, Beldent Star Hotel, Woodland Inn, Twin’s Lodge, among others are there to give you comfort and safety.
Tacurong does not house towering skyscrapers that crown each other in chase of the heavens but it does with herons and egrets at Baras Bird Sanctuary which is located some kilometers away from the city proper. Just one ride from the Baras Tricycle Terminal and, hola! you are already in the majestic and environmental – friendly, two – hectar, semi – private land of the sanctuary. Thousands of birds chirping, flying, feeding, and mating are there!
If you want second-hand clothes sold for very low prices but still wearable and clean, visit the “Ukay-Ukay” stalls during market day (Wednesday) at public terminal and surely, you will not regret it. But, if you happened to visit not on a Wednesday, try the Wagwagan or Ukayan at the back of Jollibee at Ledesma Street.
Tacurong is also known for its celebrations that really define the true Filipino values. We have the Nuestra Sra. Dela Candelaria patronal fiesta every 2nd day of February and the Talakudong Festival (city founding anniversary) every 18th of September from August 3 (municipal founding anniversary) where circuses, daily shows and presentations, search and pageants, and the street dance and field demonstration can be found and enjoyed.
During Talakudong Festival, the Mutya ng Siyudad ng Tacurong is crowned together with her other princesses. The colorful and festive looks of participants of the Talakudong Street dance and Field Demonstration add in the excitement and beauty of the city – visit.
Being a PAMANA awardee and a recognized Child-Friendly city, TACURONG is surely a great addition in your “Bucket List”.
Home to about 90 thousand people and counting, Tacurong continually strives to be at the core of values and a home to many dissenting beliefs coming together and spelling what it means to be a Filipino. And the representation of the people all over the country gracing Tacurong evenly supplements the rich cultural diversity that the city is taking pride from.
Today, Tacurong is not just a home to Filipino values. At the light of preservation schemes and the effort to strike a balance with the need for assimilation to other cultures, it is a home to people all over the world. It’s a perfect place for the opportunity to know Filipino values, traditions and cultural beliefs, and at the same time, to feel safe from that warm hospitality that Tacurongnons provide to the visitors which is also a reflection of what Filipinos have been famous for.
Weaving the fabric of peace and unity, threading the pieces of love and admiration, the merging of the scenic beauty and rich cultural diversity completes a Tacurong experience that one will never forget.
And even if every city has its own unique story to share, Tacurong, as a place for knowing Filipinos and the traditions, cultures within, is the best living story of a city of burning hope and goodwill and passionate Filipino resilience. ### Text by Anthony Landero; Photo by Neil Alvin Cuenca