Sometime last March of this year Promote CDO Foundation, Inc. (admirably yes, there is actually such an organization) initiated a contest for a “catchword” to brand a Cagayan de Oro Fiesta Signature Event with the primary objective of creating a festival name that will carve a spot for Cagayan de Oro in the tourism sector, and ultimately put the city in the Philippine calendar of major festivals.
The Promote CDO Foundation, Inc. has been granted by the City Government the exclusive right to manage and operate the fiesta events starting August 2007 pursuant to City Ordinance No. 10514-2007.
The likes of “Sinulog” of Cebu, “Dinagyang” of Iloilo, “Kadayawan” of Davao or the “Kaamulan” of Malaybalay, Bukidnon have become synonymous with their respective places and are also notable crowd-drawers. The organizers of the contest saw the need for Cagayan de Oro to come up with such branded event/festival to serve as one of the highlights of the city’s annual Fiesta celebration every August.
And so went the search for “BRANDING CDO FIESTA” with the following criteria: Uniqueness (distinctly CDO), Catchy (memory recall), Inspiring (projects positive image) and Timeless (lasting appeal). The contest rules added that the submitted term “may relate to culture, history, people or products of CDO.”
At the closing date for submissions, around 30 individuals — wearing Php 10,000 grand excitement, reportedly submitted entries. Eight terms were chosen by a select panel of judges as finalists and eventually two (yes, not one – this despite Rule #9 stating: “Only one (1) entry will be declared winner of the competition.”) were “almost unanimously” judged winners: “Kalandrakas” and “Kagay-an” — thus the signature fiesta event of CDO will be called “Kalandrakas Kagay-an”.
Ruckus over ‘Kalandrakas’
Recall: uniqueness, catchy, inspiring and timeless — and so we have “Kalandrakas” fitting closely to those descriptions. The announcement of the results was released with this justification:
“As a festival name, “Kalandrakas” celebrates our diverse abilities and collective aspirations as a people who have chosen to live in peace with one another, as one community. “Kalandrakas” also celebrates the way we have thrived in Mindanao, working together to make this Land of Promise bear fruit and sustain our way of living…” With Kalandrakas we celebrate the distinctiveness of Cagayan de Oro and the variety of festivities in our coming fiesta.”
As would any contest, the judges’ decision is deemed final.
But not until people started to raise quizzical eyebrows — and guffaws in between, not to mention a bit of antagonism.
Where were you nit-pickers? No loud open forum or some public statement surfaced, if only for the ‘love for CDO’.
We at CDOKAY caught ourselves eavesdropping to some hush objections (For one, we can dare mention the disapproval from the creative folks of Red Lambago Arts Collective). Wanting everything to be ‘okay’, we did a little research and were quite glad with what we found out.
Even, we are writing this one as an ‘official statement’ of CDOKAY — counting among the many voices that simmered in the whole commotion. For the record, we are not finding fault with the other winning term “Kagay-an”, for obvious reasons.
With “Kalandrakas”, we have quite a blabber here:
“Kalandrakas” plays on colloquialism (or slang) and does not weigh much relevance on the historical and socio-cultural aspects of Cagayan de Oro. The likes of “Sinulog” of Cebu, “Dinagyang” of Iloilo, “Kadayawan” of Davao, “Kaamulan” of Bukidnon and “Lanzones” of Camiguin are truly reflective of the said places’ respective cultures. “Kalandrakas” or any semblance of it is nowhere in the historical possessions of Cagayan de Oro.
We contend that “Kalandrakas” is not ‘diversity’ as explained by the entrant. In fact, at first impression, it is closer in meaning to “topsy-turvy,” “chaotic,” “disorder,” “disarray” and its ilk. As observed, the street lingo has even brought a new meaning to “Kalandrakas” to mean “violence” or the shades of it. What, in defiance with our “golden friendship” slogan?
One website has even labeled “Kalandrakas” as an irreverent word – in the likes of “tulibagbag,” and “kuwanggol” – you go find more inane terms HERE, please see item #24. Other than that, a web search for a definition of “Kalandrakas” cannot offer you much.
Playing soothsayers, we can see how the people can make fun out of “Kalandrakas”, much so in a Festival setting where concepts and choreography are highly expected to be ingenious and ‘well thought-out’. If things don’t turn out well, which can actually happen in live shows, “Kalandrakas” can be dragged to one jester’s stupid remark: “Nag-kalandrakas!”.
‘Kalandralas’ no more
CDOKAY sent the same ‘concerned’ statements to Promote CDO Foundation, Inc. And one fine day, in a letter dated 08 May 2007, we got this sigh-of-a-response:
“The new catchword is still being reviewed by the Board of the Foundation due to the adverse comments that we have been receiving. Rest assured, the Board will consider the helpful inputs that you have pointed out to us.
Thank you for your concern and let us all unite and work together to develop and promote our beloved Cagayan de Oro!”
Sans “Kalandrakas” and still with no “catchword” in our consciousness, we go back and say that all is not wasted. The effort of the Foundation to come up with the contest is significant and admirable. Cheers!!!
For some reason, it was an eye-opener: Are we really hard-up on festival calling? Or do we go for something more relevant this time — of which seemingly we are yet to conceive, collectively.
Whew! Our history books almost got mired. We were on the brink of promoting CDO as a “city gone funny.” Meanwhile, we all look forward to a “Happy Fiesta” — like there is more to look forward to for CDO — because “City of Golden Friendship Gud, Okay Gyud!”
———————— Related News ————————-
Promote CDO to launch “Kagay-an Festival”
Strengthening government and private sector collaboration in the city, the Promote CDO Foundation, Inc. is set to launch the 2007 “Kagay-an Festival” on Saturday, June 23..
Rudolfo Meñes, president of the Promote CDO Foundation said that the launch of the fiesta celebration on Saturday will be held at the Kiosko-Kagawasan at 5:00 p.m.
Ruben Vegafria, chair of the fiesta management committee and member of the said organization said that henceforth, the city fiesta celebration will be dubbed as “Kagay-an Festival.”
During the launching, the fiesta organizers will unveil to the public the five core events of the annual fiesta celebration, namely: street dancing competition, float parade competition, agro-industrial trade fair, river activities (dragon boat race, fluvial parade, river rafting and kayaking) and Miss Kagay-an Tourism 2007.
Promote CDO Foundation, Inc. will also unveil other accredited fiesta activities such as horse race, airsoft competition, and live-band competition, among others.
(City Information Office)