Kalilangan festival is a commemoration done in the city of General Santos. It is the second biggest festival in the city and has been celebrated for almost two decades.
Kalilangan is from the root word ‘Kalilang’, a Maguindanaon word, meaning celebration or commemoration.
The commemoration festivity recalls the arrival of General Paulino Santos, who is the city’s organizer, together with the primary pioneers from Luzon. They arrived at the shores of Sarangani Bay on the 27th of February 1939.
General Paulino Santos led a relocation of 62 Christian settlers from Luzon to the shores of Sarangani Bay, boarding the steam ship “Basilan”. This mission was headed by the president, Manuel L. Quezon. The first settlers in the city of General Santos were a group of people called B’laan and they called the place “Dadiangas”. It is now called “General Santos” as a tribute to the great pioneer.
This festival displays unique ethnic rites, traditions, rituals, and other forms of social, economic, and political activities. This fiesta also caters to different events like sports competition, dancing competition, singing competition, and other forms of entertainment.
Kalilangan festival is an exceptional tradition, it is a form of entertainment and art that provides information while still being creative. It gives people an opportunity to learn the city’s culture, and history while showing it in an artistic way. This tradition was nurtured by their rich cultural heritage that has proven itself to stand strong through time and remain thriving with its people.