Kaliga Festival’s scene-stealing characters

By RJS

A big salute to the indigenous people and organizers of Gingoog City Charter Day celebration’s Kaliga Festival (July 23) with its colorful street-dancing and grand showdown made even more colorful with innovative scene-stealing lead characters.

A jumping giant frog, a protective loving mother hen, a proud Philippine Eagle with wings outreached, a playful monkey, a behave shrimp (some say overcooked) and tall tribal datu and his lady, generated attention and a smile.

Even more so as many took chance for “photo-ops”  to show off to friends and relatives to let them know “we’re having fun,” overheard students and young professionals elbowing others overcrowding the street leading to the city’s grandstand.

Kaliga is derived from a Higaonon word which means time to celebrate and offer thanks to the gods for good harvest and solidarity.

The Higaonons believe, honor and respect other creatures of the forests and the sea which reflect the imagination, creativity and acceptance of today’s Gingoognons.

The festival, as understood by guests and visitors has become an expression, though indirectly, for environmental protection and recognition as practiced through spiritual belief by the Higaonon and neighboring tribal groups.

“This is a modern-day ritual with a twist and relevance,” observed a passing-by visitor who planed in from Cagayan de Oro from Manila on her way to Davao City.

She said she enjoyed thoroughly the characters given life and admired its environmental- concern dimension. “It’s fun and thought provoking.”

Photos courtesy of Gingoog City Tourism Office

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