As one of the country’s economic powerhouses and cultural gems, Laguna Province is home for expansive manufacturing hubs and hundreds of industries.
It culminates into a single celebration, the Anilag Festival which highlights the gains of the 30 cities and municipalities in the province after a two-year delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mother of all festivals
Shortened for ‘Ani ng Laguna’, Anilag Festival is the most awaited celebration in the province. It gives visitors and residents a glimpse of Laguna’s rich culture, history, and industries which seamlessly combines into one unique fabric.
Gaining its moniker as the ‘Mother of All Festivals’, the weeklong celebration of Anilag showcases the unique cultural, historical, and gastronomical assets distinctive of its 27 municipalities and three cities. Each attraction was curated to represent Laguna as one of the country’s most popular tourism destinations.
Backed by the newly launched Love, Laguna campaign, this year’s Anilag Festival grew into a trade show of sorts, showcasing the province’s tourist spots, activities, products, and people.
“We all know that the tourism industry was the most affected during the pandemic. Kaya naman this year, talagang pinaghandaan namin ang Anilag Festival. Naniniwala tayo na ang yaman at lakas ng ating lalawigan ay ang ating mga mamamayan kaya dapat lamang na bida sila dito sa Anilag Festival.” Laguna Second District and Love, Laguna campaign proponent, Ruth Mariano-Hernandez said.
‘Love, Laguna’ is part of the Provincial Government’s strengthened tourism campaign which highlights its people as the driving force behind the province’s growth.
“Naniniwala tayo na ang yaman at lakas ng ating lalawigan ay ang ating mga mamamayan kaya dapat lamang na bida sila sa Anilag Festival.”
Mariano-Hernandez, who is also the Southern Tagalog Development chairperson in the House of Representatives, said the Love, Laguna campaign aims to boost the local tourism industry through its Love for Food, Love for Culture, Love for Nature, Love for People, and Love for Adventure components.
It also promotes inclusivity among its people, as the Anilag returns with activities catering to various sectors including women, senior citizens, and the LGBTQ+ community.
The Covid-19 pandemic created a domino effect in the Laguna province, which relies on its industries and tourism sectors for its economic activities.
Among these results was the postponement of Anilag which severely affected local micro, small, and medium enterprises, as well as local government units who rely on the tourism sector for its income. After two years and stringent preparations, the provincial government led by the Laguna Tourism, Culture and Arts Office (LTCATO) relaunched the Anilag Festival, now coupled with a strong tourism program in hopes of driving more investment and tourism arrivals after the pandemic.
“The tourism industry is our way to recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope our micro, small, and medium enterprises will take this opportunity, which the provincial government supports in improving the quality of life of our people. We will make use of this tool, and we should tap our resources to help our entrepreneurs provide a better life sa ating mga mamamayan.”
The provincial government of Laguna presents the Anilag Festival and the Love, Laguna campaign as an opportunity for local MSMEs to showcase their products and attract more investors. More than a celebration of its feats after battling a pandemic, it creates an opportunity to rebuild for the province where industries, and the people and their culture go hand in hand to bring inclusive growth.