By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Tandag City — Surigao del Sur’s largest cultural celebration dubbed Ka’ Liga Tu Sur Festival of Festivals culminated with the largest street dancing and grand showdown competition the province has ever seen last Wednesday.
From the indigenous people which means a gathering of tribes to give thanks and to appease to gods and goddesses for their bountiful harvest, good health and abundance of blessings transformed into the celebration dubbed as Ka’ Liga Tu Sur.
“Ka’ liga tu Sur is a gathering and convergence of all local festival of the 17 towns and two components cities of Surigao del Sur depicting the rich heritage of its place through a montage of songs, rituals dances and live music,” said Mary Vil Cruz Chan, provincial tourism officer of Surigao del Sur.
Chan further explained that “the event is a showcase of different cultural expression and indigenous heritage promoting one common objective with one vision for people’s peaceful coexistence in Surigao del Sur and Mindanao as a whole and affirmation of the rich culture of a progressive province, the festival of festivals in one setting.”
Governor Manuel Alameda, Sr expressed his optimism for the event and as to why the province decided to launch the celebration.
“On this same day, 59 years ago the province of Surigao del Sur formally separated from the mother province of Surigao. This year’s founding anniversary we are staging the first ever Ka’ Liga Tu Sur festival of festivals, maybe it worth to note that each of our towns has their respective peculiarities which most often the not central themes of the festival,” said Alameda.
“Each of the town including our two cities, showcase their festivals with cultural prophecies in dances and beats needed to be appreciated and shown to the world to increase awareness our unique Surigaonon cultural identity and heritage,” he said.
The street dancing competition started at around 8:00 in the morning with team from the municipality of Tago presenting the town’s Kasubaan Festival, then Carrascal with their Pahinungod Festival, municipality of Cagwait with Kaliguan Festival, Tagbina with Ta’ephag Festival, then Tandag City with their Sangkaan festival, Madrid with Magdadaro Festival, the Surfing Festival of Lanuza, municipality of San Miguel’s Humayanon Festival, Barobo with Sarapang Festival, the Abaca Festival of Marihatag, Carmen’s Makong Kaumahan Festival, San Agustin with Kalumonan Festival, Bayabas with their Gakit Festival, Lingig’s Sedong festival, Lianga with Inatú Festival, and Bislig City’s Sayaw sa Tinuy-an festival.
Grand champion went to the performers representing Bislig City with Php 500,000 prize money, 1st runner-up from the municipality of Carmen with Php 450,000 and the town of Lianga won the 2ndrunner-up with Php 400,000.
The award for Festival Queen went to Lianga, Best in Costume went to Lanuza and Bislig City got two additional awards with Best in Musicality and Best in Street Dancing.