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Salagaan Festival: A Colorful Showcase of Rich Culture and Bountiful Harvest in Kalamansig

July 23, 2024

Salagaan Festival is an annual event that celebrates the culture, history, and abundance of the people of Kalamansig, a coastal municipality in the province of Sultan Kudarat in the Philippines. The festival is held every month of July, coinciding with the founding anniversary of Kalamansig on July 23. The word Salagaan comes from the Maguindanaon language, which means “a place where salt is produced”. Kalamansig is known for its salt-making industry, as well as its fishing, agriculture, and ecotourism.

The festival aims to showcase the town’s products, hospitality, and thanksgiving, as well as to strengthen its identity as “Bayang Pinagpala” or “Blessed Land”. It also features the diverse culture and traditions of the various ethnic groups that inhabit Kalamansig, such as the Maguindanaon, Tiruray, Manobo, Ilonggo, Cebuano, and Tagalog. The festival is marked by culturally enriching, meaningful, and exciting events that attract thousands of local and foreign tourists every year.

One of the main highlights of Salagaan Festival is the Ingkil-Ingkil or the street dancing competition. This event depicts the culture, values, and traditions of Kalamansig through colorful costumes, accessories, and musical instruments made from natural materials. The performers parade along the streets of Kalamansig while gracefully dancing to the beat of gongs, drums, flutes, and bamboo zithers. The dances also tell stories of the town’s history, such as the arrival of the first settlers, the establishment of the salt industry, and the reign of peace and harmony among the different tribes.

Another highlight is the Agri-Tourism Trade Fair, where visitors can buy and taste various products made by the local farmers, fisherfolk, and entrepreneurs. Some of the products include salt, dried fish, rice cakes, coconut wine, honey, coffee, fruits, vegetables, handicrafts, and souvenirs. The trade fair also showcases the town’s ecotourism attractions, such as the white sand beaches, waterfalls, caves, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and marine sanctuaries.

Other activities that celebrate the culture and bounty of Kalamansig include the Cultural Night, where different groups perform songs, dances, dramas, and other forms of entertainment; the Search for Mutya ng Kalamansig, where beautiful and talented ladies compete for the title of Miss Kalamansig; the Fluvial Parade, where decorated boats sail along the coast to honor the patron saint of fishermen; and the Thanksgiving Mass, where people express their gratitude to God for all the blessings they have received.

Salagaan Festival is a rare opportunity to witness and experience the rich culture and bountiful harvest of Kalamansig. It is a celebration of their resilience, diversity, and unity as a people. It is also a reminder of their valuable contribution to the Philippine society and nationhood.

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July 23
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Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat.
Kalamansig Sultan Kudarat Philippines + Google Map