Part of the town’s 73rd founding anniversary celebration

KANANGA KAANYAG FESTIVAL. In colorful costumes and upbeat cultural music, students from different schools of Kananga in Leyte dance their way during the first-ever Kananga Kaanyag Festival held on June 11, one of the highlights of the town’s 73rd founding anniversary on June 17. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)

KANANGA, Leyte– This town, home to the country’s biggest geothermal power, is turning 75 years old on June 17 has just launched its first ever cultural festival on Saturday (June 11).

Students from elementary and secondary public schools across the town joined the ‘Kananga Kaanyag Festival’ with prizes at stake.

The cultural festival showcases the history and culture of the town, where the Tongonan geothermal power is located and help power the Visayas and parts of Luzon, through dances and ritual presentations.

Mayor Manuel Vicente Torres said that with the launching of the Kananga Kaanyag Festival, he hopes that this will not only result for the young generations to know and appreciate the history and culture of their town but also pave the way for more tourists to visit Kananga, a town of more than 80,000 people.

“Kaanyag does not only refer here as physical beauty but also mean the beauty of the town itself. So, for me, today is historical because we will be launching the first ever (cultural) festival of Kananga,” he said Saturday.

For this endeavor, the municipal government sought support from the National Historical Commission for Culture and the Arts as well as from the regional office of the Department of Tourism.

For the initial presentation of the Kananga Kaanyag Festival, the municipal government has allocated a ‘modest amount’ of P1.5 million, Torres said.

The festival will now be conducted as one of the highlights of the town’s founding anniversary on June 17 of every year.

Karina Rosa Tiopes, the DOT regional director, said that she is happy that the town has now its own official cultural festival.

“Festivals are reflections of our tradition and culture and way of life. That is why, we at the DOT help promote festivals. But these festivals must be based on a research and not just a mere playground demonstration,” she said.