Editorial: Kalag-kalag festival-A A +A
Thursday, November 1, 2012
OFFICIALS of Barangay Calamba are not known for their creative ways, thus their hatching of an activity that seeks to exploit the presence of a sizeable crowd visiting the Calamba cemetery during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day comes as a surprise. Even their silence in the midst of questions regarding the holding of the event, called “Kalag-kalag Festival,” is suspicious.
Any activity of this magnitude is always preceded by a publicity blitz, with organizers proudly explaining its details for maximum exposure and success. Not with this festival. Instead, barangay officials “sought” the help of Councilors Augustus Pe Jr. and Margarita Osmeña, who promptly filed a resolution supporting it.
That doesn’t quell the rumor that this activity was originally intended as a vehicle for the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) to get maximum exposure on Nov. 1 and 2. Pe and Osmeña are BOPK stalwarts.
The reaction of Mayor Michael Rama can also be a giveaway. Despite the city council resolution supporting the Barangay Calamba “initiative,” Rama ordered the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) to suppress any attempt to use the V. Rama Ave. as among the venues for the festival.
Accusations that politics is behind the activity are, however, unfair to Calamba barangay officials—-that is if they are really honest in their intentions. But even granting that no unseen hand is behind the planning of the activity, they should have sought opinion from various sectors before proceeding with its launching.
The “Kalag-kalag Festival,” judging from the information included in the Pe-Osmeña resolution, is obviously a product of a lack of understanding of the ritual that Catholics have been practicing for decades already. And the lack of research and preparation shows.
Consider the activities lined up, which include Halloween group dance and best in Halloween competition (a Western ritual) mixed with “nitso” decoration and mananabtan/pangadye competition (by the way, how will this be judged?). And what the hell is “inter-funeral parlor cadaver competition”?
Reading the events lined up, the potential of this festival turning out to be a comic and irreverent spectacle is there. That Pe and Osmeña are endorsing the activity without looking deeply into it speaks volumes of the kind of leadership they have.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.