The Province of Guimaras is home to the world’s sweetest mangoes, likewise dubbed as the mango capital of Philippines. Guimaras is a very small island , almost like a tiny dot in the map. Nonetheless, for the Guimarasnons, size doesn’t matter because this miniature island is a place to be reckoned with; excelling in agri-tourism with its white sand beaches, adventure treks, rich natural resources and produce. It is an island that will fit your taste.
Guimaras has been a massive go-to for national and international tourists. And what kept these visitors coming back for more is the island’s famous sweet mangoes. These past years, the province had given the spotlight on these delicious fruits by commencing an annual festival to celebrate a feast of thanksgiving – for having bestowed a land rich with scrumptious mangoes as well as tasty cashew nuts, sweet coconuts and other crops that grow on the island, now called The Manggahan Festival. The festival used to be just a week-long celebration of Guimaras as an independent province since May 22, 1992. Through the years with all the progress and achievement that the province attained, the festival developed into a more vibrant and fun-filled month-long activity.
One of the many activities that was introduced was the Manggahan sa Kabanwahanan under the leadership of Gov. Samuel T. Gumarin in 2013. This activity is hosted by the five municipalities namely: Jordan, Buenavista, Nueva Valencia, Sibunag and San Lorezo. The objective is for each town to showcase their local tourism and produced with their own thanksgiving festivity which runs for a week and paves the way to the most awaited festival highlights in the island’s capital.
Manggahan Festival is a very special event that brings out the basket in many ways. It brings out – literally – the basket of mangoes, a basket of creativity, a basket of unity among the locals, a basket filled adventure and a basket of pure fun and excitement for both tourists and Guimarasnons alike. It’s an anticipated occasion of the year that one must really try to experience to see and know why it’s been gravitating interests from all over the globe.
The mangoes sold during the festival had been taken good care for three months before they were carefully hand-picked to perfection and with passion because a basket full of luscious mangoes is equal to a basket full of happiness for the Guimarasnons. From these fresh sweet mangoes are goodies like dried mangoes, mango piyaya, mango jam, biscocho in mango flavour, mango tart, mango-scotch mango polvoron, mango ketchup and many more that could delight any Guimaras visitors’ discriminating palate.
With an aim to become Region VI’s capital for agri-tourism, Guimaras’ Manggahan Festival offers more than its yummy magoes, for it has become a basket of creativity, mixing the different cultural aspects from the province and the neighbouring islands. The festival unites Guimarasnons into a tight bond with their heritage and reminds them who they are while proudly showcasing themselves to the rest of the world. Guimaras visitors during the festival will be able to gain new experiences, knowledge, friends and memories to bring back home at the end of the event.
A basket filled with adventure also awaits thrill-loving souls in the Manggahan Festival with activities like Mango Man Triathlon, Manggazumba and Bike Fest. And it’s part of the fun and excitement to try the outstanding Mango-Eat-All-You-Can contest, for a chance of winning more mangoes and a Manggahan Festiaval t-shirt. Totally mango-tastic!
Primed to the neck with amazing festival activities, this year’s theme, The Journey that is Guimaras: Subong. Sadto. Kag sa Masanag nga Palaabuton (Today. Yesterday. And to a Brighter Future) is not like any other. It’s two-week celebration will start on May 11th up to the 22nd of May at the Guimaras Capitol Grounds. On the other hand, the celebration of the Manggahan sa Kabanwahanan officially began last April 8-9 for San Lorenzo, April 16-17 for Jordan, April 23-24 for Nueva Valencia, April 27-30 for Buenavista and May 6-7 for Sibunag.
So, mark your calendar because the legendary, Manggahan Festival 2017 will be BIGGER, GREATER and SWEETER as Guimaras will also be celebrating its 25th Anniversary as a province.
Come and experience Manggahan Festival and bring your own basket of joy back home.
(Guimaras Tourism Office/PR)