The Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park Festival 2022, dubbed “Halad kay Kang-Laon”, will kick off Aug. 9 with a thanksgiving mass, then the opening ceremony, to be led by Mayor Nicholas Yulo, at Bantayan Park in Bago City, the host local government unit of the festivity.
Officials from Bago as well as the LGUs with jurisdiction over Mt. Kanlaon, including the cities of San Carlos and La Carlota and the towns of La Castellana and Murcia, all in Negros Occidental, as well as Canlaon City in Negros Oriental, are expected to attend the opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the agri-booth competition in front of the Tourism Affairs Office.
The Suta kag Diwata sang Kangla-on will also be presented, while an Earth concert and fellowship night will cap off the activities for Day 1.
On Aug. 10, the series of activities will include an MTB Challenge, a tree-growing activity, a canvas and body-painting contest, the search for Suta kag Diwata sang Kangla-on, and a creative dance contest.
On Aug. 11 – the last and final day of the festival – there will be a half-day farm tour of the Buenos Aires Mountain Resort Hilltop Garden, Lunao Coffee Farm, and the Chris Fadriga Cacao Nursery.
Capping off the Halad kay Kang-Laon are the closing ceremonies, street dance, and festival dance presentation, also at the Bantayan Park activity center, Thursday afternoon.
The 4th edition of the festivity is themed “Pagsanyog sang Kumunidad, Nasandig sa Pag-amlig sang Dunang Manggad”, a press release from Bago said.
Mae Ann Furtos, senior tourism operations officer of Bago, said the annual activity is aimed at promoting ecotourism at the natural park, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Protected Area Management Board, and other stakeholders.
Furtos said the festivity seeks to continue to awaken the consciousness of the community, especially on the protection and conservation of the environment, including the MKNP, that is being considered as the last frontier of the Negros forest.
“Bago City is host to the largest forested area in the entire MKNP,” she said, adding that the festival aims to further strengthen environmental advocacies and cooperation among member-LGUs.
The city is also host to the Bago Watershed and Bago River that provide livelihood to thousands of farmers in the province by providing them water for farm irrigation, she said.
Bago is also part of the Negros Occidental Wetlands, declared as the Seventh Ramsar Site in the Philippines and East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site.
Furtos said the southern Negros Occidental locality is also home to the Irrawaddy dolphin, considered as endangered species.
“Our local environmental programs and other initiatives really have international impact,” she said in the press release, and assured that the city government will continue to protect and conserve the environment while developing its tourism sector. ||