‘MANGGAHAN SEASON’: Guimaras prepares 20 tons of mangoes for ‘Eat-All-You-Can’ feast

LOILO CITY (PIA) — This year’s celebration of the highly-anticipated Manggahan Festival of Guimaras province promises tourists a full taste of its sweetest mangoes through the popular eat-all-you-can treat.

Gov. JC Rahman Nava, in a press conference recently, said that the province prepared around 20 tons of mangoes for this year’s Eat-All-You-Can feast, noting that they extended the event to 12 days from only four days in 2023 to accommodate the expected increase in visitors.

The opening, or the “Imbukada” of the celebration on May 3 saw the ceremonial start of the Mango Eat-All-You Can event, where revelers immediately enjoyed the experience of eating unlimited mangoes with a time limit of 30 minutes for only P100.

Jake Balanay, one of the visitors from Iligan City, shared that they first attended a convention in Iloilo City before heading to the Manggahan Festival to try the Guimaras’ sweet mangoes.

“It’s so fresh and sweet. Its sweetness stays in your mouth for a while and that makes it so good,” Balanay said.

The provincial government also assured local and foreign tourists of the quality of mangoes as farmers follow certain standards for spraying, harvesting, and the post-production process of mangoes, citing that they are not allowed to harvest mangoes below 115 days to assure the quality of the fruit.

Gov. JC Rahman Nava (second from left), in a press conference, said that the tourists would enjoy the things they prepared for this year’s Manggahan Festival. (JNH/PIA Iloilo photo)

Aside from its export-quality mangoes,

Gov. JC Rahman Nava (second from left), in a press conference, said that the tourists would enjoy the things they prepared for this year’s Manggahan Festival. (JNH/PIA Iloilo photo)

the celebration likewise promises to offer other local products and different fun-filled activities to over 100,000 tourists expected to visit the island.

Nava stressed that the festivity would be grander, hoping for the festival’s impact on boosting the local economy and promoting the island’s diverse offerings.

He expressed optimism that the “premier agri-festival”, which would run until May 22, 2024, would generate significant returns, possibly doubling the province’s estimated P35 million funding for the festival.

Some of the creatively displayed mangoes at the Manggahan Agri-Trade fair in front of the Capitol building. (JNH/PIA Iloilo photo)

“This year, we will not only be presenting mangoes, but also showcasing other products that Guimaras has to offer, such as cashews, dragonfruit, and cacao, as well as other marine resources, like crabs, lobsters, and shellfish,” Nava added.

The celebration aims to highlight the province’s gastronomic excellence through a culinary activity titled ‘Panabor sa Isla’ that will be held alongside the usual trade fair in front of the Capitol building.

The Manggahan will also feature the Miss Guimaras pageant, cultural and sports events, street dancing competitions, and performances by top musicians and celebrities, including Ben&Ben, Yeng Constantino, Moonstar88, 6Cyclemind, Sunkissed LOLA, and Silent Sanctuary, among others.

Some of the new additions to this year’s celebration include the farmers’ and fisherfolks’ day which will highlight Guimaras’ best practices in farming and fisheries; and a ‘People and Youth Day,’ a forum aimed at educating the public on various topics.

Meanwhile, the provincial government assured the safety and security of both locals and foreign visitors during the entire festivity, as the Guimaras Police Provincial Office (GPPO) already enforced a gun ban effective throughout May.

A total of 420 personnel, including those from the Philippine National Police (PNP), force multipliers, and other government forces, were also deployed to ensure public safety throughout the 20-day festival.

The provincial government also requested the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) for the extension of operating hours for pump boats and ro-ro vessels, as they are anticipating that tourists will flock to the island. The extended trips from Iloilo City to Guimaras and vice versa will apply on May 3-6, 12-15, and 19-23. (AAL/JNH/PIA Iloilo)

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