Guimaras brings back mango festival amid pandemic
ILOILO CITY — After a two-year hiatus, Manggahan Festival in Guimaras resumed in time for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the island’s conversion into a separate province on May 22.
The mango eat-all-you-can feast started on May 14 and will end on May 22 with a similar enthusiasm witnessed before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020.
For P100, festival attendees can consume all the sweet mangoes they can for a maximum of 30 minutes at the provincial capitol grounds in the capital town of Jordan. Participants should eat with bare hands or bring their own eating utensils. The mangoes should also be consumed at the event site.
Participants should observe physical distancing and wear face masks except when eating.
Aside from the mango eat-all-you-can feast, at least 50 exhibitors are showcasing products of the island, including processed fruits and nuts, wearable items and home accessories.
Other events include a bike fun ride, cultural showcase, e-games and jobs fair.
The mango eat-all-you-can feast has been the top tourist-drawer of the island province known for its pristine beaches and sweet mangoes.
Impact on economy
Guimaras, a subprovince of Iloilo until it became a separate province on May 22, 1992, is dependent on its agricultural products and tourism as its main income earner.
For the past two years, its economy has been severely affected by travel and quarantine restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The holding of in-person activities this year was seen to help the island recover from the pandemic impact.
From around 6 million tourists who visited Western Visayas in 2019, tourist arrivals plummeted to around a million in 2020. Tourism revenues also dropped from P131.1 billion in 2019 to P22.8 billion in 2020, government records showed. —NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.