The Guimaras Manggahan Festival, held from May 11 to 22 in Guimaras province, Western Visayas, is set to be a big boost to the province’s economy and tourism sector.
The province will greatly benefit from the festival’s 12-day celebration and its pre-festival events (held from April 9-May 10), specifically from the proceeds from an agri-trade fair selling everything from mangoes to souvenirs.
The Office of the Provincial Governor is upbeat that this year’s festival will surpass the success of last year’s, which saw more than 7.3 million pesos in sales and some 100,000 tourist arrivals.
With tourism, fruit processing, coconut processing, fish farming, handicrafts, mining, quarrying and lime products as its major industries, Guimaras is basically agricultural with palay, coconut, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry and fishing as its major products.
The region’s mangoes, for example, are reportedly served at the White House and Buckingham Palace. About 50,000 fruit trees cover more than 8,000 hectares across the island.
Guimaras mangoes are considered one of the sweetest in the world and the only mango variety in the country certified as pest-free by the US Department of Agriculture.
Fast emerging as a top tourist destination, Guimaras offers its visitors not only excellent hotels and resorts, but also unspoiled white sand beaches, pristine seas, virgin forests, waterfalls, rivers, streams, springs and off-shore islets.
To make their stay more adventurous and exciting, tour organisers and other groups have organised activities including boating, bird watching, beach volleyball, trekking ,windsurfing, mountain biking, rappelling, paint-balling and island hopping. Part of the tour includes visits to the McArthur’s Wharf, 18th century Guisi Lighthouse, Punta Blanco Target Range, Navalas church and Roca Encandata.
First held on May 22, 1993 to commemorate the first anniversary of Guimaras as a full-pledged province, the festival is spearheaded by Governor Samuel Gumarin, in cooperation with the Provincial Planning and Development Office and the Provincial Tourism Office.