Guimaras festival more than just mangoes

Guimaras festival ‘more than just mangoes’  

The Manggahan Festival in Guimaras that started on May 3, showcases not just its mangoes but fisheries and other fruits. FILE PHOTO FROM THE GUIMARAS MANGGAHAN FESTIVAL FACEBOOK PAGE

ILOILO CITY — The province of Guimaras commenced its annual Manggahan Festival on Friday, May 3, showcasing more than just its famous mangoes but a whole mix of flora, fauna, and fisheries.

Gov. Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava told the Inquirer that while the main celebration focuses on its most famous fruit, the mango, as well as its provincehood celebration every May 22nd, this iteration of the festival would also seek to boast its other resources.


These include cashews, dragonfruit, coffee, and cacao, as well as marine resources, including fish, crabs, and others.


Nava also cited an “upgrade” of the trade fair, which would feature a culinary activity titled ‘Panabor sa Isla,’ showcasing recipes from local produce to be demonstrated by local chefs as well.

READ: Guimaras mangoes with GI tag will pave way for more PH exports – Angara

“This Manggahan Festival, which we labeled as a premier agri-festival, will also showcase the province’s premium products, like different kinds of seafood, fresh-catch fish, crabs, and other produce by farms, which are showcased through the agri-trade fair,”  Nava said.

Regular features of past festivals have returned, including a grand caravan and opening program along its capital town of Jordan, the Mango Eat-All-You-Can, the Miss Guimaras pageant, and sports competitions.

Also returning is the cultural night, which will see festivals from the province’s five municipalities—Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo, and Sibunag—showcasing their respective festivities through dance performances.

Musical acts will also be a staple during the 19-day celebration, with nine-piece band Ben & Ben as the main act and other known bands such as 6Cyclemind, Moonstar88, Mitoy Yonting and Draybers, and Kreonz Band, as well as other local and Manila-based artists, performing on different nights.


READ: Guimaras brings back mango festival amid pandemic

Various restaurants and resorts will also feature their food specialties, hosting food festivals at the provincial capitol grounds every night.

New additions include a farmers’ and fisherfolks’ day, which will showcase the best farming and fisheries practices from the island and the rest of the Western Visayas region, and a ‘People and Youth Day,’ which will feature forums aimed to educate the public on various topics.

The Manggahan Festival, which started on May 22, 1993, was initiated by then governor Emily Relucio-Lopez to celebrate the first anniversary of Guimaras becoming a separate province via plebiscite, under Section 462 of  the Local Government Code of 1991, after being a sub-province of Iloilo since 1966.

The province had only three towns then, Buenavista, Jordan, and Nueva Valencia, being joined by the new towns of Sibunag and San Lorenzo on May 8, 1995 via Rep. Act Nos. 7896 and 7897, respectively.

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It has been celebrated every year since then, except in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, and was held almost entirely virtually in 2021, returning only to its full-fledged physical celebrations in 2022.

TAGS: Festival, Guimaras mangoes

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