Ana Kalang Festival is a 5-day celebration every April in Nagcarlan, Laguna, across the foot of Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal. This festival commemorates the bountiful harvest of the town’s agro-industrial products which are abundant in the place, like rice, coconuts and lanzones.
The festival was named after the legendary tribe head Ana Kalang, which according to the myth was known for her tremendous wealth, kindness, piety and generosity. It is said that she used to help her townspeople in times of trouble. One day, a Spaniard came to her house and upon looking out of the window, he saw branches swaying and hitting one another, and so he asked what was going on. Ana Kalang answered and said “nagkakalang sila”. The word was repeatedly mispronounced by the Spaniards until it became Nagcarlan, which is now the name of the town. It was also said that Ana Kalang saw the Virgin Sta. Ana who took the poison out of the lanzones fruits to make them edible. Now, lanzones is one of the major products of the province.
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.
Another special feature of the festival is the “Sunduan”, meaning “to fetch”. Sunduan is an old Filipino fiesta ritual that pays tribute to the Filipina’s unique Asian beauty. This is participated by the muses and escorts of the town’s different communities. These muses are then fetched by their escorts with the town mayor accompanying them from the farthest end of the town to the festival site. All are dressed in native costumes; these muses compete to be crowned the “Bb. Ana Kalang”.
Myths, legends, and cultures blend together in this dynamic Ana Kalang Festival. You will witness people's creativity and resourcefulness while having a glimpse of their rich cultural heritage.
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.