The city government has allocated some P4.5 million for the city’s 79th foundation anniversary celebration and 2018 Kalilangan Festival slated next month.
City Councilor Shandee Llido-Pestaño, chair of the city tourism council, said preparations are now underway for the grand festivity, which will highlight anew the city’s diverse and rich cultural heritage.
She said they have asked the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Region 12 to spearhead this year’s festival in coordination with the Mindanao State University, which managed the previous celebrations.
“We already had some initial talks and we’re working on making a formal agreement with them,” Llido said.
The official clarified that while the DOT-12 will take the lead role in the upcoming festival, MSU personnel will continue to assist in the preparations.
She said the university had signified to take a break in hosting this year’s festivities due to problems with their other scheduled activities.
Llido acknowledged that the available time is quite limited for the preparations with just over a month left before the festivity.
The week-long Kalilangan Festival, which is the first of the city’s four annual festivities, takes place every last week of February.
It coincides with the city’s foundation anniversary celebration, which is observed every Feb. 27.
Kalilangan was derived from the root word “Kalilang” which typically means celebration or commemoration in the Maguindanaon dialect.
In 2013, the festival was elevated to the Hall of Fame of the annual Pearl Awards for best tourism practices after being adjudged as the country’s best culture and arts tourism event for three consecutive years.
The Pearl Awards, which mainly recognizes the country’s top tourism events and best practices, is a project of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines and the DOT. (PNA)