Every third Wednesday of April to its following Sunday, Nagcarlan, Laguna celebrates Ana Kalang Festival. Nagcarlan opens its doors with a warm welcome to everyone. Excitement and happiness fill the air that comes with the celebration of the Ana Kalang Festival. It is during this season that Nagcarlan showcases its culture and bountiful harvests of local produce. This presents its claim as the Vegetable Basket of Laguna, if not the Vegetable Bowl of Southern Tagalog.
Ana Kalang Festival: Laguna’s 1ˢᵗ Non-religious Festival
Nagcarlan, Laguna originally celebrated Lanzones Festival on October 1987 to coincide with the abundance of Lanzones. This festival’s initial aim is to denounce that sweet Lanzones only comes from Paete. The festivity was replicated the following year of 1988 however, on 1989 with the sudden drop of harvest due to the Global Warming necessitated renaming the celebration. With the unanimous choice, it was then renamed to Ana Kalang Festival, giving honors to Ana Kalang a woman depicted in the legends of Nagcarlan. The annual festival continued until 2008 when the decision to move it in April. This change evades the rainy season and to concur with the bountiful harvests of local produce and when the weather conditions are highly favorable.
The participation of 52 Barangays, 35 schools, and commercial establishments will entertain visitors in the duration of 5 days full of activities. Giant statues called kalang-kalang and replicas of old structures called arko proudly stands at the municipal compound. Locals present their talents in various talent competitions that include, street dancing, body painting, and fashion design competition. With these mentioned their pets also show their might and elegance, from horse racing to dog shows and more. The nights are busy with beauty pageants, open-air concerts, and talent competitions. The Municipal compound is also full of art, trade, and displays that feature what Nagcarlan, Laguna is all about.
It is my first time to hear about Nagcarlan, Laguna and its Festival and I am really thankful for the Municipal Tourism Office to invite me to participate in the event. though I only covered the latter part of the event due to work related concerns. Although I was only able to participate in the last 2 days of the celebration, I totally enjoyed the experience to the brim!
Arkotekto Park Exhibits
Arkotekto Park displays arko, kalang-kalang, and various products locally made in Nagcarlan. Arkos are replicas of old buildings or historical in nature. Local renewable materials such as leaves, tree barks, dried flowers, and coconut husks make the structures elegant and picture-worthy.
Cocoa Trees grows in the mountain slopes of Nagcarlan. Being a local produce, various products are made out of this crop. Cocoa in Nagcarlan is not only for making chocolates, they also make soap, wine, vinegar, and spreads out of cocoa beans.
Visitors are also treated an exhibit of arts made by Nagcarlan Residents or Artist that lived, resides, or were born in Nagcarlan.
Body Painting Exhibition
Bb. Ana Kalang Coronation Night
One thing that surprised me about this coronation night is that people from different Barangays have their representatives. The spectators are equally engaged in cheering and applauding that makes the night alive and fun. These ladies are talented, graceful, and beautiful!
Juego de Anillo and Carrera de Caballos
Juego de Anillo is a competition where someone rides a horse and holds a stick or a dagger aiming to catch a ring hanging on a tree or similar structure.
Street Dancing and Parade
Street Dancing and Parade is such an event not to miss! On this event winners from all contests and exhibitions as well as units in local government don their colorful costumes and feasts on merry-making!
Thank you so much for the warm hospitality given by Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna especially to Municipal Mayor, Hon. Nelson Osuna, and the Tourism Office headed by Sir Celerino Umali and for the Promotion Team for inviting us to experience the celebration of Ana Kalang Festival.
Acknowledgment to Hon. Rexon Arevalo of the Municipal Council, Jason Bisa, Dainielle Vitangcol for assisting us throughout the duration of our stay. With my fellow bloggers as well who made the coverage fun! Please visit their respective blogs as well, Karla of Travel With Karla, Mariel of The Flawsome Lady, and Michael of Footlocker Wanderer.
The thing about my stay in Nagcarlan is that I gained not only friends but I gained a family. The people of Nagcarlan are warm and welcoming. Nagcarlan, Laguna is worth visiting even on regular days as it also showcases wonders and scenic and historic places worth visiting!