Kali-kalihan Festival or Kali-kalihan Harvest Festival is an annual festival of the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB), Negros Occidental every month of February.
"Kali", also known as "arnis" or "escrima", is the traditional martial arts of Filipino people since the 7th century. "Kali" was designed for physical training, mental development and spiritual encouragement of the individual practitioner which relatively strengthens the moral foundation of a person.
Kali-kalihan Festival is an observance of traditional and cultural activities of DSB. It is a harvest festival with street dancing showing their cultural heritage of the art of "kali". Another highlights of the event is the Search for the "Diwata sang Kali" where each contestants wear creatively designed costumes made from indigenous materials abundant in the area.
The people in DSB are dominantly Cebuano speaking at around 60%, with the rest as Ilonggo and other dialects.
DSB got its name in honor of the Vice Governor Salvador Benedicto. He was part in setting the Revolutionary Government of Negros Island and Siquijor during the Japanese Aggression during World War II.
DSB coldest months are between December-February. Its temperature ranges from 16 to 27 degrees Celsius. Don Salvador Benedicto is known as the "little Baguio of Negros" and "Summer Capital of Negros" because of its cool temperature and the long strip of pine trees that also gives its fragrance. The cool wind reminds you to slow down and reconnect with nature.
DSB has won awards and recognitions such as "The Cleanest and Greenest Municipality of Negros Occidental" and "The Most Beautiful Highway in the entire Region VI - National Contest of DPWH".
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or hail a cab and asked to be taken to the Bacolod North Bus Terminal.
Don Salvador Benedicto is approximately an hour's drive from Bacolod City by public utility vehicles and about 45 minutes by private car.
photos/source/reference: donsalvadorbenedicto.gov.ph | negrosanon.com
additional photos by Arthur Ang of Camera Club of Negros (CCN)