Ana Kalang Festival

Who is Ana Kalang?

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If Los Baños has Maria Makiling, Nagcarlan has Ana Kalang. According to myths, Ana is the leader of the community even before the Spanish Colonization. She is known for her tremendous wealth, kindness, piety, and generosity.

Unlike the normal citizens with wooden houses, Ana lives in a house made of stones. She always brings a golden salakot and a golden rod wherever she goes. She’s very wealthy that she donated a lot of money to build the San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church (Nagcarlan Church). For instance, there are rumors that the priests won’t start the mass if Ana is not yet seated in the church. She even built a stone road between the Nagcarlan Church and her stone house to make it easy for her to go to and from the church.

During the Spanish Colonization in the Philippines, the Spaniards visit her house often because they know that Ana is well respected by the community. One time, they heard a strange sound coming from the backyard of Ana. She explained that the Bamboo Trees are hitting each other. In Filipino, “Nagkakalang sila.”  At first, the Spaniard thought that it is Ana’s surname. That’s why she’s called Ana Kalang. Due to language barriers and repeated mispronunciation, it became Nagcarlan, which is the name of the municipality now.

There are other versions where they identify Ana Kalang as the virgin who took out the poison of the Lanzones fruit to make it edible. Apparently, some creative writers made some plays to mix the myth of Ana Kalang and the Lanzones fruit.

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To be honest, it’s my first time to know about Ana Kalang. There are several versions of her story so I decided to ask the tourism officer in Nagcarlan, Cerelino Umali.

When is Ana Kalang Festival?

Originally, Nagcarlan celebrates the Lanzones Festival every October. However, there was a year when their Lanzones didn’t bear any fruits. It was 1989 when the community decided to change its name to Ana Kalang Festival. They held a one week event every October until 2008. It was 2009 when they decided to move it to April because Philippines experience a lot of typhoon during the month of October.

From 2009 until now, Ana Kalang Festival is being celebrated every April. Since it became April, the major challenge is that they can’t get any participation from schools because the students are on vacation that time. The government is planning to move it on the month of August.

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How to celebrate Ana Kalang Festival?

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 municipality of Nagcarlan, headed by Mayor Hon. Nelson M. Osuna, prepares various activities for different ages.

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Kalang Kalang Making Contest

The different barangays of Nagcarlan showcase their creativity by making Kalang Kalang, a giant statue that is ten feet high and made of various fruits, vegetables and indigenous materials.

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Bihis Kalang Kalang (Doll Dressing Contest)

Representatives from different schools and universities dress up some Ana Kalang dolls using indigenous materials.

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Arko Tekto Park

There are booths made of indigenous materials in front of the town hall. They represent the famous churches in the Philippines. Inside them, you can see different local products in their Agro-trade fair.

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On the Spot Body Painting Exhibition

At first, I thought it’s a contest. Apparently, some artists just want to interpret the essence of the festival using the body paintings!

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Judging of Nagcarlan Tourism Video

I was one of the people who got access in the judging of Nagcarlan Tourism Video. In the many decades of Ana Kalang Festival, it’s their first time to have a contest like this. I watched all the eight entries, and they are all so good!

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Night Shows: People’s Night, Ginoong Nagcarlan, Binibining Ana Kalang

In the whole week celebration, every night is interesting. They have Tanghalang Ilaw (Tanglaw) cultural night, Pageants for men and women, People’s night (a variety show), Tatak Nagcarlan Awards (TANAW) for outstanding Nagcarlangins, and even Ana Kalang’s Got Talent.

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That’s my Horse, Juego de Anillo & Carrera De Caballos

I was not there during the That’s my horse contest but I’ve seen the winning entries in the parade during the last day of the festival.

Juego de Anillo is a traditional Filipino game where you have to get a ribbon on a ring (anillo) using a stick while the horse is moving. On the other hand, Carrera de Caballos is horse racing.


Nagcarlan Dogfest

It’s my first time to see a lot of cute dogs in just one place. If you’re a dog lover, you’ll probably lose your mind in taking pictures of the adorable dogs.

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Paigkasan & Parada ng Bayan

The street dance parade is one of the highlights of Ana Kalang Festival. All the barangays, government, and non government organizations, dressed up and danced on the streets!



Did you enjoy reading my blog post about Ana Kalang Festival?

My next blog post will be about the different places you should visit in Nagcarlan.

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  1. This is the first time I am hearing about the Ana Kalang festival and it seems like a must visit event, Karla! I will make sure to make some plans and visit this festival this April. Is it easy to find accommodation during the festival?

  2. Very well rounded festival with body painting, dress contests, video contests and more! It sure is to please people of various interests and artistic talents. I see you’ve cut your hair, it looks great Karla!

  3. I enjoyed reading this, and watching your videos. It seems like you go on adventures often and get up to all kinds of fun activities. I liked the photo of you on a horse, and also the video clip of all the men getting painted. Very nice presentation of this festival.

  4. This festival sounds like so much fun. Festivals are definitely one of my favorite ways to learn more about a culture. This one looks so colorful and fun too.. my kind of event. ^^

  5. The Kalang Kalang Making Contest and Bihis Kalang Kalang both sound really fascinating (along with all the other things!). I am curious how they incorporate fruit and vegetables into making the Kalang Kalang!

  6. I’ve always enjoyed learning about how places got their names, etc. This festival looks like it is a lot of fun. Those dresses are amazing.

  7. This festival looks so fun!! I really love the doll dress contest! How neat!

  8. It really looks like this festival does a little bit of everything ???? and It does sound like a good idea for them to move it so more kids can participate in the festival.

  9. This is the first time I’m hearing about this festival and it sounds so much fun. I love the vibrancy of celebrations. Also, the story of Ana Kalang is quite fascinating especially ‘the virgin who took out the poison of the Lanzones fruit to make it edible’. Quite interesting! 🙂

  10. What a fun festival. I love the doll dressing and the body painting. All such original ways to celebrate.

    1. It’s a great experience indeed. I really wish I had a chance to try one of those dresses!

  11. I love how colorful and joyful our festivities are. I just can’t dig all these pageants. Wherever there are Filipinos, there are pageants. But I love those Ana Kalang giant statues and their dresses and the cute dolls. All made of indigenous materials. The creativity is amazing and is all over town. Love this post! ok, except the pageant, hahaha!

    1. I guess small pageants is the reason why Philippines often gets the crown in major beauty pageants. The beauty queens start young. Hehehe

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