Guimaras will use its mangoes, dubbed as the sweetest in the world, as an anchor to promote other attractions in the province as it celebrates its 2023 Manggahan Festival with the theme, “Mangoes and More.”
Governor JC Rahman Nava, in a press conference Monday, acknowledged that the mango is the main commodity of the province.
“We will capitalize on that and eventually expand and showcase some other products. That’s what we are doing right now,” he said.
Since mangoes are a showcase of their agricultural produce, they created a festival, adding value to the product.
“Tourism transcends all sectors. It involves everybody. Tourism is the best value adding to the economy of Guimaras,” the governor said.
The Manggahan Festival kicked off on April 29 with the opening of the Agri-Fishery and Eco-Tourism Expo at the provincial capital grounds, followed by a series of events leading to the four-day highlights on May 19-22.
Starting May 19, there will be the Mango-Eat-All-You-Can where for a fee of PHP150, one can feast on the product for 30 minutes and enjoy entertainment from nightly live bands, the coronation of Miss Guimaras, street dance and cultural competition and a program commemorating the 31st provincehood of Guimaras on May 22.
This year, the Provincial Economic Development Office has introduced a fast lane for those who wanted a hassle-free comfortable and seamless Manggahan experience through its “VIP” packages.
Perks and privileges like a free ride between Iloilo and Guimaras, express lane at the Mango-Eat-All-You-Can and refreshing freebies come with the purchase of Manggahan Gold, Manggahan Premium, and Manggahan Group tickets.
Meanwhile, the governor said the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex will cater to four-wheel private and public no-cargo vehicles that will board the FF Cruz Shipping Corporation roll on, roll off vessels due to the projected large influx of travelers and visitors to Guimaras during the duration of the festival.
Fiber boats have been allowed to ply the Jordan to Iloilo City and vice versa routes until 2 a.m. while roll on, roll off vessels will have special trips to cater to guests even during nighttime.
Guimaras Vice Governor John Edward Gando said Republic Act 11118 declared May 22 as a special non-working holiday in the province. (PNA)