KIDAPAWAN CITY: About 50,000 locals and visitors flocked to the Capitol grounds on Tuesday as the province celebrated Kalivungan Festival, which also marks the 101st Founding Anniversary of the province.
The celebration ended with an elaborate and colorful performances of six entries in the street dancing competition that was won by Mataman town’s Datu Ambel High School.
The provincial government staged a community Kumbira or feast where people bought a set lunch for only P10 per pack.
Kalivungan is a Manobo term for gathering. This year, the festivities highlighted the longtime harmonious relations and strong unions that bind the indigenous people, Muslim inhabitants and the Christian settlers in the province.
Kalivungan was first held in Kidapawan City on May 8, 1974 but the annual celebration was suspended in 1984 because of lack of funds and was only restaged 12 years after.
“Kalivungan Festival underlines the peaceful and harmonious relationships of the people of North Cotabato,” said North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Mendoza.
“It will also give prominence to the continuing growth and development of the province as well as the achievements of the Cotabateños in many fields,” she said.
Several local entrepreneurs also set up displays inside the Capitol complex that included indigenous products and delicacies.
Mendoza, who supervised the daily activities of the festivity since July 18, thanked her constituents for their all-out support and participation and lauded the security personnel for the orderly and peaceful conduct of the events.
“It is every Cotabateño’s dream to live in peace and co-exist harmoniously with one another despite having different culture, tradition, belief and religion,” the governor said.