Camaligan celebrates 2 festivals to honor 'Cortadores'

Town was home to pre-colonial settlers more than 200 years ago
Floats depicting the “kamalig”, pre-Hispanic dwellings of the Bicolanos built at the banks o-f the Bicol river were gathered at the compound of the 18th century church in Camaligan, Camarines Sur during the Grand Kamalig Festival Float Competition held la

Camaligan Camarines Sur (June 8 2011) — A week-long celebration of two festivals has started in this small town of 13 villages located barely two- kilometers from Naga City - giving tribute to the cortadores, the pre-colonial settlers of the lands along the Bicol river.

The cortadores built native dwellings called kamalig that were noted in large numbers by the earliest Spanish colonizers who are believed to have named the place Camaligan, the Bikol term for a place where kamaligs abound.

Camaligan town Mayor Emmanuel T. Prado said that the town, founded in 1795, is now 216 years old.

This year’s fiesta is highlighted by the traditional Kamalig Festival that parades reproduction of original kamaligs and a newly organized festivity called Darahiro Festival that features products made from water lily (water hyacinth) that abundantly grows in the town's river banks.

Last Saturday and Sunday (June 4-5), Mayor Prado welcomed guests to this town during the unveiling of the new boundary marker between barangay Abella, Naga City and barangay San Roque, Camaligan and the inauguration of 4 streets in this town.

Last Sunday, the town staged the Grand Kamalig Float Competition Day, featuring a parade of colorful floats made by village officials from indigenous materials depicting the early dwellings and wooden boats.

This coming Sunday, June 12, during the Independence Day Civic Parade, the municipality shall stage the Darahiro street dancing competition depicting the ortadores pre-Spanish wood-cutters who built the kamaligs along the Bicol river for purpose of storing cut woods and boats made of hewed timber.

Competing dance groups in colourful costumes from 13 barangays shall dance to the beats and tunes of traditional river songs.

Other activities during the town fiesta include the Imuklat Regatta Dragon Boat Exhibition and the Balik-Bayan Awards Night to be held on June 13 to give citations to the cleanest and greenest village and to give awards for good housekeeping in Barangay Local Governance.

According to Mayor Prado, they shall also launch the One-Town, One Product (OTOP) program. Products derived from water lily, including fuel briquettes and fertilizer from composted lilies among others, are the the town's contribution to the OTOP, Mayor Prado said.(SONNY SALES).