FOR 27 years, the island province of Guimaras has constantly created local and international milestones in tourism, culture and investment. In this decades-long journey, Manggahan Festival has imparted a great contribution to the development of the province – it being not only a mere celebration of the bountiful sweet mango harvest, but also serving as a cultural heritage of Guimarasnons.
This year’s version of Manggahan Festival – themed “Matam-is nga Kadalag-an: Manggahan Festival to the World” – puts Guimaras’ sweet victories in the limelight.
Slated from May 11 to 22, the local celebration has a lot in store for revelers not only from the country, but from all around the world.
Among these victories, according to the provincial government, is the promotion of the Guimarasnon showmanship in different parts of the globe. The Manggahan Festival has been showcased in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2016 and in New York City, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, USA, in 2018. It is also scheduled to mark its debut in Guam this July and in Tokyo, Japan this December.
Manggahan Festival is likewise dominating the local scene having placed third in the recently concluded Aliwan Fiesta 2019.
The province’s sweet mangoes have also conquered the world market. Dubbed as the “sweetest in the world,” Guimaras mangoes already reached the United States of America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and Australia.
The province is also poised to stamp its name in Belarus, Germany and Russia this June, the first step toward dominating the Eastern Europe market.
Department of Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol personally relayed the good news to Gov. Samuel Gumarin during the DA MANCOM-wide meeting held at Andana Resort in Barangay Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras last April 22 to 24.
Piñol said Guimaras is indeed staying true to commitment to provide the “best mangoes in the world.”
“Guimaras is living up to its reputation of having the best mangoes in the world. Wherever I go, I take pride in telling the story about an island in the Central Visayas where mangoes are the sweetest. We are going back to Belarus come June 4 to 9 and we will be bringing along with us a lot of Guimaras mango, coconut, and all other product from the Philippines,” Piñol said.
“I was in Belarus a month ago and nakapuslit kami sang Guimaras mango. And our Honorary Consul there got a piece of Guimaras mango from me. Ginpatilaw ko sa iya. You know what he said? After having this, sabi niya: ‘I’m not going to taste other mangoes anymore’,” he added.
The DA is opening opportunities for Philippine agricultural products in 22 countries in Eastern Europe with 180 million consumers.
Meanwhile, a Russian company is ordering a weekly two-ton supply of mangoes from Guimaras. A supermarket chain with 12,500 branches across Eastern Europe also expressed interest to market the banner crop of the province.
Piñol assured that the DA is ready to provide the province of Guimaras the needed post-harvest facilities to meet the growing demand for its mangoes.
“In view of this development, kun ano ang kinahanglan sang Guimaras nga suporta in terms of post-harvest facilities, we will be happy to give you that,” he said.
Guimaras mangoes was also showcased at the Mango Festival of the Department of Agriculture in Manila from May 6 to 10.
Gumarin expressed his gratitude to Piñol and the DA for the assistance in attaining efficient production of its mangoes and other agricultural products.
“Thank you for your sincerest support, for your motivation, your presence and the words of encouragement to the local leaders especially all our 7,931 mango growers to continue to forge a partnership towards keeping the efficient production and attaining increased investment in the industry. We always highlight mangoes as this is our banner crop. We have gone global and this needs to go on,” Gumarin said. (Photos by Ian Paul Cordero/PN)