Oriental Mindoro

Kalap Festival

Kalap Festival is a cultural festival, charter day, and cityhood celebration in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines every March 21. It remembers the historic transformation of Calapan from a town to a city in 1998 and celebrates its vibrant culture, rich history, and people. The date may be declared a special non working holiday such as Proclamation No. 150 in 2023.


Kalap Festival comes from kalap, which is said to refer to a tree or the act of gathering woods. It is also the origin of the name of the city.

History of Calapan

Calapan began as a settlement that grew around a church. The church was founded by the Spanish missionary and Augustinian Recollect friar Fr. Diego de la Madre de Dios in 1679 as a visita of Baco. The convent was moved to Calapan in 1733, and it was the center of the mission in north of Mindoro.

Its area began as a small piece of land defined by the river and the church. Soon, houses, government buildings, and other infrastructures were built and it gradually developed into a town. Through time, it annexed more territories that its total land area increased significantly.

Calapan became the capital of Mindoro in 1837. Its status was lost on June 23, 1902 when Mindoro was annexed to Marinduque through the passage of Act No. 423. It regained being the capital of the province when the provincial government of Mindoro was organized by virtue of Act No. 500 enacted on November 10, 1902.

Section 4 of the said law stated, “The officers of the province shall be appointed by the Civil Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Philippine Commission, and may be removed by him with the like advice and consent. They shall reside and have their offices in the municipality of Calapan, Island of Mindoro, until suitable accommodations can be constructed at Puerto Galera, which is hereby made the capital of said province. Their successors shall be appointed and removed in the manner as in this section provided.”

On January 4, 1905, Calapan expanded as it annexed the municipality of Puerto Galera through Act No. 1280. Puerto Galera seceded from Calapan by virtue of Act No. 3415 on December 7, 1927.

The cityhood of Calapan was pushed through by Representative Renato V. Leviste who authored House Bill No. 9791. On February 2, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act No. 8475 that converted Calapan from a municipality to a component city. On March 21, 1998, the law was enacted via a plebiscite held by the Commission on Elections. This is the date commemorated every Charter Day celebration in Calapan.

Kalap Festival Activities

The foremost mainstay of Kalap Festival is the street dance which gives a toast to the humble beginning of Calapan as a settlement of people gathering woods for household use (as fuel to cook food for instance).

Its calendar opened in March 15 and culminated in March 21. Its activities include tournaments, sports, concerts, parade, the Kalakalapan Agri Trade Fair, job fair, beauty pageant (Mutya ng Lungsod ng Calapan), socio-civic activities, awarding ceremony (Dangal at Yaman ng Calapan), and fireworks display.

How to reach Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro

From Metro Manila, you can travel to Batangas port and from there take a ferry ride to Oriental Mindoro.


Kalap Festival Summary

NameKalap Festival
CelebrationCharter Day, Cityhood
Contact(043) 288 1623
DateMarch 2
LocationCalapan City, Oriental Mindoro
OrganizerCity Government of Calapan