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#RichBatangas: The CALACAtchara Festival

The Calaca Batangas Festival is one of the most vibrant festivals in the Philippines. Calaca (the host town) and atchara (the festival) are combined in the name (a trademark delicacy native to Calaca). Atchara is a popular snack made of pickled raw pawpaw that is a must-try when visiting Calaca.

Calacatchara Festival - Philippine Primer

Details on the Calaca Batangas Festival

The Calaca Batangas Festival lasts a week, with events culminating in an annual celebration on October 24. The street dance competition, which attracts participants worldwide, has to be the center of activities during this festival.


Keep an eye out for the dancers’ brightly colorful outfits, as well as the gorgeous props that serve to complement the frenetic performances. For those who want to put their vocal cords to the test, the singing competition is the place to be.


Children’s activities, a culinary festival, a yearly industrial show, and a job fair are among the other highlights of the Calaca Batangas Festival. The enormous display of fireworks that fill the sky in various hues, making for an unforgettable experience, is unavoidable when attending this festival. Attend the performance in honor of Calacas’ Mayor if you want a peep inside the City’s affairs.

Calacatchara Festival – HelloTravel

History of the Calaca Batangas Festival

Calaca is a word that originated in Mexico or was coined by Mexicans. A skeleton is what it means. However, the word itself has distinct meanings in other nations, such as in Guatemala, where it is used to describe death or anything related to it.

That’s why, despite having the exact origin, Calaca in Batangas, Philippines, has a different meaning. It is a festival or a local celebration in Batangas that was created to attract tourists from all around the country and foreign and international visitors.

CalacAtchara or CALACAtchara is the full name of the festival. The capitalization of some letters indicates that they were created or derived from the terms “Calaca” and “Atchara.” For those unfamiliar with Atchara, it is a delicious side dish made from pickled raw papaya with other ingredients such as bell pepper or carrot to make it more vivid and flavorful.

This is a late festival in the Philippines. In the year 2004, it first opened its doors. Compared to other national celebrations, which are over 50 years old, this one is only about 15 years old.

Former Mayor Sofronia “Nas” Ona Jr. recommended that the festival be held to display and promote the City’s pride recipe, “Atcharang Calaca.” The concept behind the creation was that the famed City’s recipe was becoming unpopular and outmoded due to various stakeholders in town neglecting to promote their product.

As a result of the Mayor’s recommendation and implementation, the event has gained a new lease on life and has earned its rightful and proud place in the market. The side dish or appetizer is now well-known throughout the world. People who visit the area for any reason, not just for the festival, buy “Atcharang Calaca” as a present or “pasalubong” for friends and families when they return home.

The Calaca Batangas festival lasts about ten days and includes a wide range of activities and events. The final day, October 24, coincides with the annual town fiesta commemorating St. Rafael. During these ten days, you’ll watch pageants, concerts, dance, singing, and other competitions as determined by the town.


The main event will be a dance competition that will bring together students from elementary and secondary schools from both private and public schools to showcase their talents with dances that represent or depict the Batangas Native Culture and other forms of dance and props that represent the Calaca Culture.

Calacatchara Festival – Severa Mandanas

The CALACAtchara celebration shows Batangas’ rich culture and deep origins. At the same time, it highlights aspects of Batanguenos other than their bold manner. Furthermore, the celebrations underline the town’s unique product, which is a symbol of Filipino persistence.


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