ILOILO CITY – While COVID-19 is still a threat, the island province of Guimaras is planning to have low-key festivities that celebrate sweet mangoes, its most famous product.
“This year’s Manggahan Festival will just have a few physical events,” said Liberty Ferrer, Guimaras provincial tourism officer.
With the theme “E-Manggahan: Enjoy, Engage, and Experience Manggahan,” this year’s Manggahan Festival is a mixture of actual events and online events.
Ferrer told Manila Bulletin that there will be an agri-trade fair but there won’t be the very popular eat-all-you-can mango event.
“We planned to do it this year, but we decided not to because it will be very hard to control the number of people if we really implement strict health protocols,” Ferrer explained.
The rest of the events will be shown online, including documentaries of the previous year’s celebrations.
This year’s low-key celebration is meant to help revive Guimaras’ local economy, which used to be dependent on mango and tourism but took a slump during the pandemic.
The Manggahan Festival is also celebrated to coincide with the 29th founding anniversary of Guimaras on May 22. Prior to 1992, Guimaras used to be a sub-province of Iloilo.