Camiguin marks Lanzones Festival, uses tech to boost harvest
CAMIGUIN, Philippines – Thousands lined up at the ferry terminal to cross this pearl-shaped island northeast of Cagayan de Oro to witness the 39th Lanzones Festival here.
At the Balingoan ferry terminal, people lined up overnight to get their tickets while hundreds of vehicles parked outside the terminal.
The Lanzones Festival is one of Mindanao's longest-running festivals celebrating the island's main export – their sweet lanzones.
Mambajao Mayor Jesus Jurdin Romualdo said that this year will mark the "branding" of their lanzones.
"Each lanzones that goes out of the island will be in a box that bears the Camiguin Island brand. This is to make our lanzones stand out of the rest," Romualdo said.
Leading to the festival, truckloads of lanzones were exported to the rest of the country inside a yellow 10-kg and 21-kg box showing the silhouette of the island with the word "Camiguin lanzones."
In the street dancing, the contingent showcased the Lanzones as blessed by 4 "diwata" (fairies), which in Camiguin folklore protected the fruit.
Thousands of tourists and locals watched on the street as the students danced to the beat, while the fairies guarded the lanzones.
Romualdo said that they have been marketing their lanzones "to maximize its market potential, also to separate our lanzones from the rest."
Romualdo added that the decision to mark its lanzones followed after the provincial government decided to increase its production output through macrosomatic cloning done by the provincial agricultural office.
The provincial government were also successful in crossbreeding its own CamLong (Camiguin and Longkong) variety which now the island is promoting.
Island were able to produce 810 metric tons of lanzones each year but is expecting more yield as more plants are being planted.
Over than 2,000 hectares of land are cultivated for lanzones and the government is expecting more expansion.
"We will be expecting more fruits of this seasonal fruit as the macrosomatic technology is being employed, which cut the production and propagation of the lanzones to just 4 months instead of one year," Romualdo said. – Rappler.com
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