Ka’ Liga Tu Sur Festival is the festival of all festivals and founding anniversary celebration in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. It was first launched from June 15 to 19, 2019 by the provincial government within the tenure of Governor Manuel Alameda, Sr., and it comes from the indigenous rite of thanksgiving to the gods for a bountiful harvest.
The fest is marked with the activities that commemorate the establishment of Surigao del Sur as well as a gathering of cultural festivals of each locality that make up the province. It is also organized in order to bolster tourism and a platform to highlight the rich culture of its people.
Activities included parade, street dancing, and grand showdown. Among the awards were the Festival Queen, musicality, street dancing, and costume.
One Surigao Founding Anniversary
Previously, the province used to be observe the One Surigao Founding Anniversary every May 15. In 2017, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel was invited as its guest of honor and the following year, Proclamation No. 478 was issued that declared a special non-working holiday in the province.
History of Surigao del Sur
Antonio Pigafetta, the chronicler of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, stated that they met Rajah Siawi who was the ruler of Butuan and Calagan in 1521. Calagan or Caraga referred to the northeastern portion of Mindanao and it was likewise the name given to its fearsome inhabitants thought to have descended from the union of Visayan migrants indigenous peoples.
The word Surigao has roots in water; its etymology may mean spring or water flow/current.
The following years after the Magellan expedition, the Europeans visited Surigao. In 1538, Francisco de Castro arrived and converted the natives to Christianity. Later in 1543, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos set foot in its lands during his unsuccessful bid to colonize the archipelago on behalf of the Spanish crown.
Six years after the arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565, Pedro Navarro and Garcia Sierras Chacon were the encomienderos of Surigao and Cantillan. Butuan was given to Guido de Lavezares in 1573.
Later, Jesuit friar Valerio de Ledesma and his companion arrived in Caraga in 1596. Afterwards a church in Butuan was blessed on September 8, 1597. The Jesuits however left for lack of manpower, the rising threats of sea raids, and resistance of the native population.
With the increasing and intensifying Moro raids, the Spanish colonizers launched their fleet in 1609 and a stronghold was built in Tandag. The Augustinian Recollects took over the responsibility in managing the Christian mission in Caraga in 1622.
In the succeeding decades Moro raids grew in frequency and viciousness, and one of the most destructive were the attacks carried out against Siargao and Surigao in 1752. In 1860 Mindanao was divided into several districts, one of which was Surigao together with Agusan.
During the American conquest, it became a province by virtue of Act No. 127 on May 15, 1901. (This is the date that One Surigao Founding Anniversary commemorated.) Later, Agusan separated and became an independent province on on August 20, 1907 through Act No. 1693.
Finally, Surigao was divided into Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur through Republic Act 2786 on June 19, 1960, and this is the date that Ka’ Liga Tu Sur Festival celebrates every year.
How to reach Surigao del Sur
Book a flight bound for Surigao Airport, Butuan Airport, or Davao Airport. From there, you can take a bus trip to the province.
- Mascariñas, Erwin M. Surigao del Sur’s Festival of festivals kicks-off in Tandag. Mindanao Gold Star. June 18, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2022
- Mascariñas, Erwin M. Sursur’s festival of festivals culminates with street dancing tilt. Mindanao Gold Star. June 24, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2022
- Act No. 1693, August 20, 1907. Supreme Court of the Philippines E-Library. Retrieved October 9, 2022
- Act No. 127, May 15, 1901. Supreme Court of the Philippines E-Library. Retrieved October 9, 2022
- Republic Act No. 2786, June 19, 1960. Supreme Court of the Philippines E-Library. Retrieved October 9, 2022
- Proclamation No. 478. Official Gazette. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
- Antonio Pigafetta, translated by Lord Stanley of Alderley. The First Voyage Round the World/Pigafetta’s Account of Magellan’s Voyage. Wikisource. Retrieved April 24, 2023
- Census of the Philippine Islands taken under the direction of the Philippine Legislature in the year 1918. University of Connecticut Libraries. Archive.org. Retrieved April 25, 2023
- Peter Schreurs, MSC. Caraga Antigua 1521-1910: The Hispanization and Christianization of Agusan, Surigao and East Davao. Retrieved April 28, 2023
- Koko unveils Federalism proposal in 116th Founding Anniversary of One Surigao. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved April 28, 2023