Malapatan- Gateway of Sarangani Bay
Do not let the looks of this sleepy town fool you. Life may be simple and quaint but this town has a rich history and a proud tradition. Inhabited by Christians, Muslims as well the indigenous people of Sarangani, Malapatan is a great illustration of how different religious beliefs can harmoniously co-exist. It is also the home of the famous Blaan "dreamweavers" who crafts sleeping mats using the designs they have dreamt about.
Malapatan has coconut plantations, rice and corn fields, and many people are also fishermen. The Blaans named the place for "mala" (pepper) and "fatan" (place). Pepper abound the place during the 15th century. Malapatan's coastline is fortified with Mangrove forests and several sites have been declared as marine sanctuaries. Aquaculture is also a leading industry of the town.
With its proximity to the capital town of Alabel and Gen. Santos City, Malapatan is the ideal suburb for those who want to experience a serene but exciting life. Visitors can explore the town center and sample the delicious "tinagtag" (rice crispy) as well as choose from the array of expertly woven colorful "Malongs" (Sarong in other parts of Southeast Asia ). Guest also has the chance to purchase the unique "Banig", hand-made by the "dreamweavers" of the village of Upper Lasang.
The hinterland villages offer captivating landscape which is ideal for those who want to go trekking or even trail biking. Guests will marvel at the majestic rivers and natural cliffs which abound the interior part of Malapatan.
Another interesting point to consider when going to Malapatan is the rich history of the villages of Sapu Masla and Sapu Padidu. One can find Arabic tombstones as well as burial sites which locals' claims were as early as the 15th century containing skeletal remains that may have belonged to early European explorers. Archeologist are presently investigating this claim.
Handloom Weaving and Garments
Handloom Weaving and Garments Making is that Moro women weave garments traditionally known as malong using legis or cloth fibers in a handloom machine. This cultural site is located at barangay Tuyan formed by Balungis Women Association with at least eighteen regular and trained weavers. They also accept made to order garments. Other crafts produced are bags, pouches, and shawl.
Malapatan celebrates Pakaradyan Festival during its foundation anniversary every June 21. Pakaradyan is a Maguindanaon term meaning "celebration" or "thanksgiving." It is usually a weeklong event to celebrate the harmony amongst Muslims, lumads, and Christians.
From General Santos City, you can ride in passenger jeepneys going to Malapatan for only Php40 (one way fare). Travel via the 43-kilometer paved highway takes only about 25 minutes.