The municipality of Nagcarlan celebrate Ana Kalang Festival last April 17-21 2018.
This festival is very popular, which focuses on spectacular native costumes made from indigenous natural materials. Cultural shows and native cuisines are also major attractions same with agricultural products and industrial produce. Nagcarlan, is the biggest supplier of the fruit in Manila.
Tourism Officer Rino Umali said that Nagcarlan showcases its unique folk arts whose leitmotif is the use of dried indigenous materials and displays.
“Throughout the celebration, oversized statues called kalang-kalang –symbolizing fertile soil and bountiful harvest, all beautifully crafted from indigenous materials, are put up on display around the municipal compound,”Umali said.
” Every nook and corner is decorated with fresh farm produce, while in front of the Municipal Building lies a row of trade fair booths whose façades, known as arko-tekto, are decorated with dried indigenous materials designed to simulate old structures which local and foreign tourists delighted until Sunday April 19,” Umali added.
The major attraction of the festival is the parade and the street dancing contest. Street dancers are dressed in beautiful and colorful native costumes. They dance gracefully in the streets, moving around the giant Kalang-Kalang. The Kalang-Kalang is a unique folk art and a giant statue that is ten feet high and made of various fruits, vegetables and indigenous materials. The parade is fun and enjoyable, with so much participation of the townspeople dancing merrily with the sounds of drums and lyre corps from different schools. You can also see beautiful majorettes in elegant uniforms.
Barangays, schools, organizations and individuals join the Kalang-Kalang making contest. Each of the statues that they make will be displayed in an exhibit and paraded around the town in the last day of the festival. You can see the creativity of the people in beautifying their statues and adorning them with glittery and colorful costumes and accessories.
Nipa huts are also decorated with fruits and vegetables. From afar, the decors look like colorful curtains with various designs, but when you come nearer, they’re actually vegetables like sayote, raddish, chili, upo, and tomato.
Other highlights of the festival include the agro-trade fair where people can show their skills in handicraft-making and basket-weaving and showcase their products and agricultural crops like fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee and root crops. These products are also for sale to both local and foreign visitors. Cooking contest, nightly cultural shows, tours in the town’s scenic and historical spots, antique exhibits, garden shows, folk games, school bands exhibitions and a beauty pageant are the other lively activities in this festival.
The name of the festival was derived from a woman named Ana Kalang who, according to myth, was known for her tremendous wealth, kindness, piety and generosity. Nagcarlenos say this woman used to help her townmates in times of trouble. One day, a Spaniard came to her house and upon looking out of the window, he saw branches of a lanzones hitting one another. He asked what was going on and Ana Kalang said “nagkakalang sila”. The Spaniard repeatedly misprounounced the phrase until it eventually became Nagcarlan.
Where to stay:
Golden Hills Resort
The place is just spot on and literally walking distance to Nagcarlan Municipal. Apartment is very clean and neat. There are 2 bedrooms, quite spacious, equipped with TV, AC and well-furnished washrooms. The only downsides to it were the lack of wifi and of a toaster! Other than that, I would recommend this as a base for anyone traveling to Nagcarlan, Laguna.
How to go there
From Manila, you can ride a bus in bus terminals at Ayala Center Makati near Landmark, Kamias Quezon City near Cubao or Buendia Corner Taft Avenue Manila going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna, then from there you can take a jeepney going to Nagcarlan.