Berry spectacular! La Trinidad’s float parade shines at 42nd Strawberry Festival

Mia Magdalena Fokno

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Berry spectacular! La Trinidad’s float parade shines at 42nd Strawberry Festival

STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL. La Trinidad hosts its 42nd edition of the Strawberry Festival.

Mia Magdalena Fokno/Rappler

Streets turn into a berry-themed runway and strawberries are paraded at La Trinidad's annual 42nd Strawberry Festival

BAGUIO, Philippines – The streets of La Trinidad in Benguet turned into a berry-themed runway, where strawberries weren’t just picked – they paraded.

The valley’s 42nd Strawberry Festival is in full swing this March, with the float parade emerging as an undisputed highlight of this year’s festivities.

This annual extravaganza not only puts a spotlight on the region’s agricultural feats but also serves as a colorful testament to its community’s unity and ingenuity. Renowned as the Strawberry Capital of the Philippines, La Trinidad is showcasing an array of events highlighting its rich cultural heritage and pivotal role in the country’s strawberry industry.

A festival of culture, unity, sustainability

Mayor Romeo Salda encapsulated the essence of the festival, saying, “The festival serves to promote our strawberries and by-products while bringing our community together through a variety of meaningful activities.”

This year’s theme, “La Trinidad: The Strawberry Capital of the Philippines (‘Sirum ni Duting’),” celebrates the town’s agricultural prowess and reclaims its status as the pioneer in promoting strawberries as its primary commodity.

La Trinidad’s tourism chief, Valred Olsim, emphasized the significance of the event as a reaffirmation of the town’s identity.

BARANGAY ALAPANG. Photo by Mia Magdalena Fokno/Rappler

“It’s actually a reestablishment of our identity as the strawberry capital of the country. There are other towns promoting strawberries, and we would like to reclaim that we are the first town that promoted strawberries as our one town-one product,” Olsim said.

Highlight of the festival

The float parade is a major highlight, featuring contributions from various barangays, each telling a unique story of their culture, livelihood, and unity. Every float rolled out the red carpet, spotlighting La Trinidad’s famous sweet strawberries and their delicious derivatives, from wine to jam, and even the Guinness World Record-holding giant strawberry shortcake.

BARANGAY AMBIONG. Photo by Mia Magdalena Fokno/Rappler

From Barangay Pico’s celebration of agriculture and beauty to Barangay Beckel’s symbolism of unity and heritage, each float was a narrative crafted with love, creativity, and a deep sense of community.

BARANGAY SHILAN. Photo by Mia Magdalena Fokno/Rappler

Barangay Ambiong’s float, with symbols like the dove and the rainbow, celebrated peace, unity, and the town’s record-breaking strawberry shortcake. Meanwhile, Barangay Wangal’s entry was a lush representation of life and purity, with a stunning display of flowers and strawberries.

BARANGAY BAHONG. Photo by Mia Magdalena Fokno/Rappler

The floats from Bineng, Betag, and Bahong each brought to life the essence of their respective barangays, from the homage to renewable energy and agricultural produce in Bineng to the symbol of hope in Betag, and Bahong’s proud title as the “Rose Capital of the Philippines.”

BARANGAY BINENG. Photo by Mia Magdalena Fokno/Rappler

Barangay Balili, although not competing, presented an innovative float made entirely with recycled materials, emphasizing the community’s commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness.

In addition to the float parade, the festival featured drum and lyre competitions, street dances, and cultural presentations, showcasing the talents and traditions of the local community.

Each element of the festival, from the grand floats to the lively performances, underscored La Trinidad’s dedication to preserving its cultural heritage while promoting environmental sustainability. – Rappler.com

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