It is interesting to note that the first two months of every year will see GenSan playing host to a couple of major special occasions: one in January to celebrate the patronal fiesta for the parish of one of its major barangays, and the other celebrating the pivotal event that led to the founding of the community that became GenSan. Kalilangan celebrates the landing of the first Luzon settlers led by the city’s namesake Gen. Paulino Santos at the shores of Sarangani Bay, starting the first settlement of what would become GenSan. It also pays tribute to the indigenous peoples who lived in the land long before the settlers arrived.
That event, on February 27, 1939 is especially meaningful for its commemoration this year, in 2019. It means a full eighty years have passed from the arrival of Gen. Santos’ settlers to the continuing growth and development of GenSan the city, today. To drive this point home, according to the GenSan News Online Mag, the festival organizers from the GenSan LGU has developed a brand new logo for use not just with this Kalilangan but all that will follow in the future. Those familiar with past logos may be surprised.
Where before, the Kalilangan name in the festival logo is all done up in a fiesta-themed font, this time around the letters are starkly shaped, with wedges of plain colors between them. In addition, the name of the event has been split in two, “Kali” and “Langan”. Also notable is the new tagline that will be premiering for Kalilangan 2019: “The Celebration of Us”. It is, like the new logo font, a very simple phrase that contains a great deal of meaning for all those residing in GenSan, those who lived in the area before, those descended from the General’s settlers, and those who came to move here ever since.
One more significant alteration to how Generals remember a Kalilangan Festival in GenSan is the duration of the occasion. Normally it runs a week, with the festival day of February 27 somewhere in between or towards the end. For 2019 Kalilangan will start on the 27th itself, lasting all the way to March 3. There has yet been no hint as to what to expect for this Kalilangan that celebrates the 80th anniversary of General Santos’ arrival here, but we can certainly expect the associated events to be amped up to celebrate this milestone. As for now, we will wait until January ends and more information is shared to us.