South Cotabato now gradually known as the Land of the Dreamweavers is best known for its vast plantation of fruits and vegetables. The province owes its fertile soil to the volcanic waste that eroded from the orifice of the magnificent Mt. Matutum. One of the towns in the Province richly endowed with this natural resources is the town of Tupi.
Tupi is known as the fruit capital not only of South Cotabato but the whole of SoCCSKSarGen Region. It boasts of its vast pineapple plantations just located along the national highway with the imposing view of the majestic Mount Matutum dominating in the background. Aside from pineapple and other fruits, Tupi is also greatly known for its vast cut-flower and vegetables lantation.
Along the national highway is the Tupi Fruit Stand that sells tropical fruit produce and preserved fruits from Tupi. It is strategically located along the national highway within Barangay Kablon and Polonuling. If you’re into bottled fruit jams, perhaps you’ve heard of Kablon Farms. They’re from Tupi.
In the heart of the town is the charming Tupi Municipal Hall and Town Plaza. Its unique architectural design with attention-grabbing colors possesses a stunning appeal that has become a unique attraction to passersby. Believe me, I was captivated too by this structure when we passed by the town.
About 20-minute drive from the town proper is the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape. Deep into this forest reserve is the Linan Tarsier Sanctuary situated in Sitio Bagong Silang, a small B’laan village in Barangay Linan.
Long before the strict conservation of Tarsier and other wild life in this protected area, B’laans were used to cut trees and burn them to make charcoals as source of livelihood. When the local government implemented the protection of the wildlife in the site, they found it hard to convince the B’laans to stop this practice. But with the alternative livelihood program and intense information drive introduced to the community about the necessity to protect the habitat, the locals eventually realized the importance of the wildlife and the need to conserve them.
Today, Linan Tarsier Sanctuary is both managed by the local government and the B’laan community with the support of the NGOs and other agencies. Together, they work hard to preserve the Tarsiers that they locally “tukay mal” or “small monkey” and other wildlife that can be found at the foot of Mt. Matutum like squirrels, flying foxes, civets, and several species of eagles.
Those who’d like to Visit Linan Tarsier Sanctuary can also experience immersion program with the B’laan community. B’laans are generally hospitable and good-natured people. Here, you will experience indigenous culture, local food and their way of life. You will not only be amazed by the wildlife of Sitio Linan but also by the rich culture of the IP community living and protecting the area.
So the next time you visit South Cobatabo, don’t just pass by Tupi. Perhaps, you can park your car on the side, run to the vast Pineapple Plantation and get yourself a striking selfie there with Mt. Matutum at your background. Or perhaps, a selfie at the Municipal Hall or maybe a selfie of you eating pineapple at the Tupi Fruit Stand. Or better yet, go to Linan and spend the night there with the B’laans and the Tarsiers. Because just so you know, TUPI IS BEAUTIFUL.