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Laguna’s ANILAG Festival aims to preserve culture, boost economy

Strategically located south of Metro Manila, the province of Laguna has historically welcomed tourists of all ages and nationalities with its breathtaking views and colorful culture of arts, music, and literature.

This year, the provincial government of Laguna plans to highlight the wonders of Laguna through the celebration of the Ani ng Laguna Festival, better known as the ANILAG Festival.

Organizers tout that ANILAG, being the ‘Mother of All Festivals’ in Laguna, will be more festive, colorful, and grand with new events and activities for its 8-day run from March 10 to 17, 2024.

This year, an arts and music festival with a hot air balloon exhibition and pyro-musical competition is set to be held where famous local bands Mayonnaise, Sud, Autotelic, Mojofly, and other local artists will join the vibrant display of love for music and captivating views of the province.

Cultural presentations are also set to dominate ANILAG, with street dancing, trade fair booths, land float parade, cheerdance competition, landscape demonstrations, among others.

Events showcasing the talents and beauty of Lagunenses also take the spotlight this year with events like male, female, and LGBTQ+ pageants, singing and songwriting competition, tattoo arts competition, hair and make-up competition, fruits and vegetables carving competition, photography contest, and many others.

For Laguna 2nd District Representative Ruth Mariano-Hernandez, it is important to integrate programs aimed at economic prosperity and to highlight the talents of the locals who have made their mark in the local and international scene.

FILE PHOTO. Trade fair booth of Paete, Laguna during ANILAG Festival 2023 showcased the wood carvings the town is known for. (Christopher Hedreyda/PIA-Laguna)

“[The provincial government] invited local businesses to showcase their products to trade fair exhibits organized outside Laguna. And there, they were able to promote our products. They went to Paris and Milan to showcase their local products, and here in the Philippines we also do that. We take pride in their main products and handicrafts here in the province of Laguna. The slippers and footwear of Liliw, bags, wooden products, embroidery products, and many more,” Hernandez said.

Provincial Administrator Atty. Dulce Rebanal said that the trade mission of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Laguna Provincial Office and the provincial government in Paris, France, and Milan, Italy last year has since earned a total of P280 million in direct sales and investments.

Cities and municipalities that will participate in the ANILAG Festival will also be given the opportunity to sell and showcase the products and crafts of their MSMEs through the intricate trade fair exhibits. Booths will be adorned with scenery and unique iconography of their towns in a bid to invite local tourists to visit their area.

FILE PHOTO. Cities and municipalities that will participate in Anilag Festival will also be given an opportunity to sell and showcase the products and crafts of their MSMEs through the intricate trade fair exhibits. (Christopher Hedreyda/PIA-Laguna)

Governor Ramil Hernandez expects the provincial government’s investment and efforts for the festival will bear fruit in terms of returned income and progress for local businesses and industries.

“We always include our local businesses when we promote tourism. If more tourists visit our province, more will benefit from the boost to our economy. When they patronize the products of Laguna, the accommodation [businesses], and when they visit our tourist spots, they already contribute to the economy of Laguna,” the governor said.

To further make room for productivity and business confidence, a jobs fair, an event wedding expo, and a business summit will also be part of the events for the festival.

What started in 2004 as an homage to the fruitful agricultural harvests for Laguna, the ANILAG Festival has since evolved into a showcase of the economic and cultural prowess that the province offers for local and foreign visitors.

As a highly industrialized and developed province, Laguna finds itself at a crossroads on how it will effectively balance its long-term goals and vision of promoting the deeply-rooted culture and history of the province with the ushering of a promising and booming economic outlook for its industries. Through the Ani ng Laguna or ANILAG Festival, Lagunenses hopes that they will continue to reap growing harvests in both aspects. (CH/PIA-Laguna)

About the Author

Christopher Hedreyda

Region 4A

Provincial Information Center Manager, PIA Laguna

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