KanLAHI Festival

KanLAHI Festival, officially Kanlungan ng Lahi Festival, is the annual cultural festival in the province of Tarlac, Philippines every first week of March. It was conceptualized to celebrate the diversity of its people and promote tourism.

History of KanLAHI Festival

KanLAHI Festival comes from the shortened form of kanlungan ng lahi, which translates to cradle of races. It was first launched under the term of Governor Susan Yap in May 2017 in line with the 144th founding anniversary. In succeeding years, the schedule was moved and the provincial legislative board declared every first week of March as KanLAHI Festival Week.

The festival gives a toast to the people, culture, and tradition of the province. According to the Philippine Statistics Office in 2000, it is considered the ‘melting pot’ of Luzon. Its population is composed of people who moved to the province coming from nearby places such as the Ilocanos, Pampangueños, Pangasinenses, and Tagalogs.

It pushed through its activities in 2020 despite the COVID-19 scare. The next year, much of the activities were streamed online to avoid the gathering of crowds.

History of Tarlac

Tarlac is part of Central Luzon that is comprised of other provinces such as Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales. Its name comes from a weed that the aboriginal people called Matarlac. Its history is tied to a historical area that included Pampanga and Pangasinan in the time of Spanish conquest where a military presence called comandancia was established in 1858 within the term of Governor General Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero. The town of Tarlac that later becomes its capital was founded much earlier in 1686. It was noted for one famous uprising, one that was led by Juan de la Cruz Palaris in 1762.

The territory was sparsely inhabited in those times. That changed with a steady trickle of migration coming from the north, and when the size of its population increased Tarlac was organized into a province on May 28, 1873 and installed Juan Guillen as first governor. Every May 28th is also declared as Araw ng Lalawigang Tarlak (Province of Tarlac Day) by virtue of Proclamation 109 approved on May 10, 1999.

When the Philippine revolution broke out in 1896, it was one of the first provinces that joined. It briefly was the seat of the Philippine Republic in March 1899.

KanLAHI Festival Activities

A few of the activities of the festival start before the official opening. This is true for preliminary events of the Binibining Kanlahi, the prestigious beauty pageant. As one of the highlights, it is search for the female candidate with wit, beauty, and presence. Others are events such as music, parade, art shows, painting contest, Palaro ng Lahi (which is traditional games), street dancing and showdown called Sayawan at Yugyugan, chorale, pet shows, fireworks display, etc. Its schedule also has space for sports such as fun run, basketball, paralympics, motocross, and e-games. Various contests are also held such talent competitions, cook fest, etc. People can also see and buy locally made products in the agri-farm trade.

How to reach Tarlac

Tarlac is a three-hour land trip via bus from Manila. One can also book a flight to Clark International Airport and take a bus to Tarlac.

KanLAHI Festival Summary

NameKanLAHI Festival
DateMarch 12
Duration1 week
EstablishedMay 2017
Official NameKanlungan ng Lahi Festival