In the Festival Launching and Press Conference of the Kalilangan Festival last February 13, 2023, Mindanao State University-General Santos shows up as co-host of the annual cultural festivity of the City.
The University, priding itself as the leading University in the City in terms of the promotion of Culture and the Arts, takes the challenge of partnering once again with the Local Government Unit of General Santos in hosting the Kalilangan Festival 2023 with the theme, “Living the Cultural Dream.” To reminisce, the partnership of LGU-GenSan and the University in hosting the Kalilangan Festival led to its recognition for Hall of Fame Distinction as Best Tourism Event of the Philippines-Culture and Arts Category by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The event started with an opening salvo led by the University’s cultural theater group, the Kabpapagariya Ensemble (KE). KE took the stage to perform a Tri-People cultural number accompanied by ‘Mag-Kalilangan Na!’, the official theme song of the festivity.
In her opening remarks, Festival Director and City Administrator Ms. Shandee Llido-Pestaño, emphasized that Kalilangan is not just a festival but also a thanksgiving that, after all the trials, Generals can now celebrate Kalilangan Festival in person. She particularly thanked MSU-GenSan for taking up the challenge of co-hosting the festival. Additionally, Ms. Llido- Pestaño is confident that Kalilangan Festival will be worthy of another Department of Tourism’s nomination as Best Tourism Festival.
Chancellor Usman D. Aragasi, JD, MPA, Festival Co-Chairperson, shared in his message the University’s commitment to honing and developing culture and arts to the mainstream and in helping make General Santos City the Culture and Arts Capital of the Southern Philippines. Chancellor Aragasi also thanked the LGU-GenSan for the trust and confidence given to the University in hosting the premier cultural festivity of the City.
After the official launch of the festival, a press conference was facilitated by the City Public Information Office. Live spectators were given the chance to ask questions and they were answered by officials behind the conduct of Kalilangan.
The press conference was also graced by City Officials; City Mayor, Hon. Lorelie Pacquiao represented by City Councilor and Committee Chair on Tourism, Hon. Elizabeth B. Bagonoc, Department Head of City Economic Management and Development Office, Mr. Leonard V. Lores, and Executive Assistant IV for Tourism, Ms. Evelyn Lim-Villaceran. MSU-GenSan’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mishell D. Lawas and SM Mall Manager Engr. Hermon Hernandez also graced the launching.