On May 8, 1997 Mt. Kanla-on was made into a Natural Park through Presidential Proclamation No. 1005 that covers a total land area of 24,557.60 hectares with rain forest and verdant vegetation. However, on August 11, 2001 it was made into Law by Republic Act (RA) 9154 otherwise known as Mt. Kanla-on Natural Park Law, which is a site specific law for Mount Kanla-on slicing the political boundaries of the cities of Bago, La Carlota, San Carlos and Canlaon and the municipalities of Murcia and La Castellana in Negros Occidental, Philippines.
Sixteen years after (August 11, 2017) the Law was enacted, the First “Halad kang Kanla-on Festival” was celebrated in Barangay Ara-al, La Carlota City, Negros Occidental. Halad or offering is given to Mt. Kanla-on as a way of thanks to the bountiful resources the mountain provides, the festival highlighted the agricultural products of the Cities and Towns that is within the jurisdiction of the park, the festival also held a canvass and body painting contest that depicted the modern challenges the mountain is facing; a culinary battle contest of the tastiest local cuisine and delicacies was also part of the activity and a Fun Run was also held, and all of these, were participated by all the Cities and Towns that is part of the Natural Park.
A good friend of mine, Mr. Dim Jorsan Tesiorna, was among the member of the panel of judges for the canvass and body painting competition, it was for this reason that I and another two friends were ,to say the least, “accidentally” invited or in layman’s term we were just tagging along 🙂
Music, Dance and Culture was also around to give that festive mood on the air; it wouldn’t be called a festival without those elements, right? One of the major goals of the Halad Festival is to showcase the individual festivals of the participating Local Government Units (LGU) namely: Bago City – Babaylan Festival, La Carlota City – Pasalamat Festival, La Castellana – Bailes de Luses, Canlaon City – Pasayaw Festival, San Carlos City – Pinta Flores Festival and Murcia –Mudpack Festival.
La Carlota City was given the honor to be the host of the First ever Halad kang Kanla-on Festival, next year’s host will be the Municipality of La Castellana on the same date the law, that would forever protect the magnificent Mount Kanla-on, was enacted – August 11; I hope that this festival will open awareness to the conservation and protection of our natural resources. See you Next Year!!! … And I’m crossing my fingers to get “accidentally” invited again 🙂
We didn’t let go of the opportunity to trek the lower portion of Mt. Kanlaon for waterfalls hopping in Barangay Ara-al, Sitio Guintubdan, La Carlota City. It was perhaps the best waterfalls hopping I ever did. The area was lush green, despite being near a village, and the waterfalls?… WOW! Rampaging Crystal Clear and what made it more astonishing is that the wild natural state of the rivers and streams were preserved. Unfortunately, Due to lack of time we were only able to hopped three waterfalls and according to our local guide there are still many more to see, I guess those “still unseen” waterfalls are for our next visit and I’m looking forward to it.