Manggahan Festival is a yearly cultural, agricultural, and food festival held in the province of Guimaras, Philippines every May. Also called Guimaras Mango Festival, it is a celebration of the mango fruit and agriculture that are the key drivers of its local economy aside from tourism. Due to the signature sweetness and export-quality of its mango variety, Guimaras is hailed as the mango capital of the Philippines.
It is also the founding anniversary celebration of the province as the timing of the festival also simultaneously makes it a celebration of the yearly anniversary when the island was granted the status of a province.
History of Manggahan Festival
Manggahan Festival comes from the word mangga, which means mango. The festival was conceptualized as a way to celebrate the mango industry and as a commemoration of the founding of Guimaras. The province includes the main island and the surrounding islets.
The first Manggahan Festival was held the next year, May 22, 1993, as a founding anniversary.
Manggahan Festival was cancelled in 2020 amidst the increasing cases of COVID-19 infections. In the next year, the schedule was filled with both physical and virtual events.
Guimaras is one of the biggest producers of mango in the country, supplying in excess of 12,000 metric tons annually.
Among the varieties registered with the National Seed Industry Council, its Guimaras Super, also called Galila, topped the sweetness factor according to an industry roadmap released by Department of Agriculture. Such sweetness is credited to the unique soil composition of the island and months-long sunshine. Moreover, its mango trees and fruits are free from common agricultural pests such as the pulp and seed weevil. Their quality is such that that they are export products to the global market and their fame far-reaching that they are sold in the United States of America and Australia.
History of Guimaras
The province was established as a mission frontier with a priest regularly visiting to administer religious sacraments during Spanish colonial times. In 1581, the colonial government organized the villages of the island. The churches in Nayup (patron: St. Peter the Apostle) and Igang (patroness: St. Anne) were established.
Finally on May 22, 1992, it became an independent province following a plebiscite held in accordance to Section 462 of Republic Act 7160.
Manggahan Festival Schedule of Activities
Manggahan Festival is full of exciting activities for those who would want to visit the island as well as for industry insiders who would want to learn more about the agricultural techniques in cultivating the fruit and its many derived products. Some of the activities are job fairs, industry forums, tourism fairs, exhibits, conferences, and eco-bazaars. Competitions are also held in sports (biking, basketball, e-sports such as Mobile Legend), photography, music, arts, pet shows dance, and cuisine. Fun and entertainment can also be had through live band performances, fun rides, cultural and variety shows, music acts, and acoustic nights.
Here are some of the highlights.
Agri-trade fair is an annual event. It hosts dozens of exhibitors that display products from different sectors including agriculture, processed products, and home style and other wearable items. It is an avenue where people can buy unique products that the island can offer.
Anniversary Parade is one of the closing activities of the entire festival. It happens in the major thoroughfares of the province. Included activities are thanksgiving mass and a program and the street dancing showdown.
Mango eat-all-you-can is an annual offer of organizers. Visitors can have their fill of mangoes for a minimum price within a limited time period, usually half an hour. Its usual venue is the Guimaras Provincial Capitol grounds located in municipality of Jordan, the province’s capital. It is without fail a tourist attraction, as people get to indulge in eating the fruit for a reasonable price.
Street Dancing and Cultural Competition
Street Dancing and Cultural Competition is the grand showcase of cultural festivals that are held annually by five component municipalities of Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo, and Sibunag.
Mr. Guimaras is a beauty pageant for males. Established in 2009, it is organized by Mr. Guimaras Charities Inc. It seeks the best male candidate who not only possesses appealing personality but also a heart to serve the needs of the community. Winner of the competition becomes the representative of the province for various social causes and events.
Mutya ng Guimaras
Mutya ng Guimaras is a beauty pageant for females. As one of the highlights of the festival, it is a search for the best female candidate who can become the province’s representative to various exhibits, trade fairs, etc.
Where to go
Activities occur in Provincial Capitol grounds, Food Court Area,
Capitol Gym, Jordan Terminal Market, indoor venues, and other municipalities.
How to reach Guimaras
Guimaras can be reached via air and sea trips. It has a private air strip that is located in Inampologan island in the town of Sibunag. Regular ferry and boat schedules are available from Iloilo and Negros Occidental.
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