ISABELA town in Negros Occidental celebrated its 13th Tigkalalag Festival from October 31 to November 2.

Themed “Renewing the unique culture of Tigkalalag Festival,” Isabeleños showcased their talents, craftsmanship and creativity, with a twist in concepts innovated to suit the message of reconciliation and grace of God through dances.

On November 2, seven groups competed in this year’s Tigkalalag Street Dance contest.

Cluster 6 composed of Barangays 5, 6, Rumirang, and Makilignit bagged the first prize, receiving a trophy and P120,000 cash.

Cluster 5, comprised of villages of Tinongan, 1, San Agusting, Maytubig, and Camp Clark, was in second place with a trophy and P80,000 cash.

Cluster 2’s Barangays 3, Bulad, Panaquiao, Bungahin, and 4 won third place and received a trophy and P60,000 cash.

Other participants were Cluster 1 – Barangays Banog-Banog, Sebucauan, Lima-Lima, and Guintubhan; Cluster 3 – Barangays 7, Libas, Auin, Cabcab, and Riverside; Cluster 4 – Barangays 8, 9, Mansablay, Cansalungon, and Camang-Camang; and Sikatuna Extension High School.

On November 1, Kristine Khin Than was crowned Tigkalalag Queen.

The winners in the street dance competition and the pageant will represent the town in the 2018 Panaad sa Negros Festival.

The festivity was shelved for the past three years due to a change in the local leadership.

Due to the clamor of the people, Mayor Joselito Malabor relaunched the festival that has become a trademark of the town after it won several times in the Panaad festival dance competition, during the time of the late Mayor Renato Malabor, the current mayor’s elder brother.

Malabor said he is planning to institutionalize the festival through an ordinance.

The mayor said he wants the people to see the culture of the Filipinos through the festivity as tourism brand to promote the town as the holy municipality of Negros Island.

Malabor said the three-day activity was a thanksgiving celebration for all the blessings that God has given to the town and its people.

“We do not just commemorate our departed loved ones but also the living,” he added.

Malabor said that through the festivity, he would also want to inculcate good values and traditions to the people of Isabela.

About 5,000 people witnessed the three-day festivity.

The mayor thanked everyone for their support and efforts in making the festival very successful.