JOYOUS and colorful Kaliga Festival has shaped the booming city of Gingoog, as it celebrated anew its 59th charter day on July 23.
Thousands of spectators flocked to the “City of Good Luck and Waterfalls” to witness the street dancing competition participated by the different schools in the city and from the neighboring towns of Medina and Magsaysay.
Gingoog City Mayor Erick Canosa said “Kaliga” is a thanksgiving festivity of the Higaonons, denoting "to thank God" for bountiful harvest, health and success.
He also said the festival is celebrated annually to preserve the culture and traditions of the Higaonon tribe.
Garbed in colorful costumes and huge props representing the Higaonon's in Gingoog City, the contingents came from the towns of Magsaysay and Medina, namely: LGU Medina, Anakan National High School, Bal-ason National High School, Pundasan National High School, Gingoog Christian College, Magsaysay College, Lunao National High School and Gingoog City Comprehensive High School.
The eight groups were screened and were champions in their respective areas to qualify for this year’s Kaliga Street Dancing.
The groups were adjudged for choreography, execution, instrumentation and musicality, costumes and props as well as overall impact.
At least eleven judges have been called to select thoroughly the best performers for this year.
The overall champion received a cash prize worth P250,000, while the first runner-up got P150,000 and the second runner-up, P100,000.
Losing contingents received P70,000 each as consolation prizes.
Declared as this year's grand champion for the Kaliga Festival was Magsaysay College, followed by Gingoog Christian College and LGU Medina.
Aside from the street dancing, there was also a ground cultural presentation of different dances and characters, including rituals of Inamo, Kaba-kaba, Baki, and Binaog character which were performed by the eight contingents.
Meanwhile, Pundasan National High School was adjudged as the champion for the Kaba-Kaba Character, Magsaysay College for the Binanog Character, LGU Medina for the Baki Character and Gingoog City Comprehensive National High School for the Amo Character.
Apart from the competitions, various booths which feature the products of the Higaonons’ of the city, such as fruits, vegetables and the "one town, one product" of the town as well as local delicacies and agri-products of the city were installed at the Rizal Park, Gingoog City.
The 40th Kaliga festival is getting bigger every year with more participants and events giving life to the city such as Mural Painting Contest, Live Band, Foam Party, Fantasy Float Parade, Trail Run Challenge, Kaliga Drag Race, Motocross competition, Kaliga musical festival, Miss Gingoog Tourism 2019, Agro Fair 2019, Road Bike Challenge, The Voice of East Musicale, and Kaliga Street dancing Parade and Tableau Competition 2019.
Canosa said the City Government spent P1.7 million for the entire celebration.
However, he vowed to allocate more budget for Kaliga Festival in the succeeding years and make the festivity a tourist attraction to further promote tourism industry of Gingoog.
"Ato pang ipalambo ang Kaliga Festival ubos sa atong administrasyon aron mas maila pa ang Gingoog City," Canosa said.