The Legend of Ana Kalang of Nagcarlan, Laguna has many versions. Some say that it is only a legend others says she actually existed. Ana Kalang is portrayed as a strong military individual others says she is a mountain fairy like Maria Makiling. Legend claims that she is responsible for bountiful harvests and a helper in times of need. Others express that she is a community leader before the colonization of Spain. While other acclaims that she is the fairy who cleansed the fruit lanzones from poison to make it edible.
With so many versions to consider, I will tell the story narrated to us by Celerino Umali. Given to us on that night celebrating a festival in Nagcarlan honorably named to her character, Ana Kalang Festival.
The Legend of Ana Kalang
Whether she actually existed in real life or not, we will never know for sure. However, it is imperative to pass on this local legend for the next generation to cherish.
Ana Kalang is a wealthy lady who lives in a house made of stone. The villagers often see her strolling the town donning her golden cane and salakot, a form of traditional hat made of rattan or reeds. The villagers love her because of her kindness. She always help the people of her village in time of need. Aside from this characteristics, Ana Kalang is a good leader in the community as well. Through her leadership the village prospered and received bountiful harvests.
By the time that the village was under Spanish colonization, Ana Kalang made a generous donation to help build the first catholic church. Ana Kalang is a devoted to her faith and goes to church every day. The priests will not start the mass unless they recognized that she is sitted comfortably in her usual spot.
Being an important person in the community the Spaniards often pays her a visit to her home. With each visit, they always hear an unfamiliar sound coming from her backyard. Fired by curiosity they always ask what was that, to which Ana Kalang replied that it was the bamboo outside that is making the sound. The local term for it is Nagkakalang-kalang or the rustling of bamboo trunks clashing with each other as it sways with the wind. The Spaniards always ask this question. When they ask what is the name of the village Ana Kalang responds with the same answer. Due to language barrier the Spaniards took it as the name of the town. Over time it was shortened to Nagkalang in which eventually it is was further corrupted to Nagcarlan adapting towards their western tongue.
Pass The Legend
The legend of Ana Kalang has many account as I mentioned. Passing the legend from one generation to generation through the words of mouth with no written record. Whether she actually existed in real life or not, we will never know for sure. However, it is imperative to pass on this local legend for the next generation to cherish.