Last Thursday, February 27, 2009 was the culmination of the 2009 Kalilangan Festival and the 70th Foundation Anniversary of General Santos City.  President GMA almost forgot to sign the E.O. declaring it as a Special Non-Working Holiday that the City Mayor’s Office only received the confirmation from Malacanang on February 26, midmorning.

Anyway, everything turned out fine, from the Thanksgiving Mass at the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish attended by all the local government employees, to the Salubong Reenactment at the Pioneer Avenue Junction, to the Opening Ceremony and Flower Offering at the Gen. Paulino Santos Shrine up to the Kadsagayan Street Dancing and Fireworks Display later that night.   Kapuso sexy star Francine Prieto even joined the closing ceremony at the oval plaza stage.

Lipad na, kalapating ligaw! :)

Cultural Affairs Officer Jahal Adat, Festival Director Orman Manansala, former Congresswoman Lu Antonino, Tourism Council Vice Chair Rey Billena, First Lady Dr. Rose Acharon, Vice Mayor Flor Congson, Gen. Santos’ great grandson Ramon Munda & Mayor Jun Acharon

Spotted Senator and Presidentiable Mar Roxas and the former Congresswoman Lualhati Antonino (who is rumored to run against Manny Pacquiao in the post to be vacated by Congressman Erwin Chiongbian in Sarangani) among the visitors.  I also met the Lakbay Aral guests from Cagayan de Oro (35-member strong); Roxas City (18 members) and six members of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines.

The Oval Plaza was so super mega full of people that it could have been the most jampacked Kalilangan Festival Culmination I have ever witnessed. Yet, security was so tight, complete with CCTV cameras on the the 3 entrances/exits, K-9 units and metal detectors that everybody, including moi felt very secured even while inside the carnival where I rode the rickety Roller Coaster.

Here are the pictures taken during the day’s activities.  Please click on each picture to enlarge them.  Captions may be seen by hovering your mouse over each one.

To be continued…..