QUEZON, Philippines – For the locals of Quezon, it's that time of the year again.
Since 2013, the Quezon provincial government has celebrated the Niyogyugan Festival, a feast held every August as thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest of coconuts, the province's main product.
The festival aims to unite all municipalities of Quezon and promote the coconut industry as well as other local delicacies and products. This year, the festival runs from August 9 to August 20.
Among the highlights of the festival were the booths of the cities and municipalities, all of which were decorated using coconut:
Quezon's supervising agriculturist Redem Querubin said that total sales from the expo have reached P17 million ($318,919.42)* as of August 16.
Querubin said that Infanta's suman (rice cake) was the top selling product, followed by General Naka's calamansi, Buenavista's danggit, and Real's crabs. Lucban City's famous longganisa and Pancit Habhab were also among the top-selling food.
"Last year, our record was at P20 million. By this time, with a few days remaining, we think we can top that earning. We average P2 million daily sales this year," Querubin said on Saturday, August 18.
The festival grounds are packed with visitors during the day, but more people come at night, when the booths are lit up in colorful lights.
According to Alberto Bay Jr, the acting provincial tourism chief, an average of 60,000 people from all over Quezon and nearby provinces visited the festival daily.
"We invited all the barangays, cities, and municipalities around Quezon. If you ask them, there is a level of awareness in terms of their products," Bay said.
"This year, the booths really 'leveled up' in terms of their designs. Their products are better presented now as well. You see, the benefit of holding this festival is that they learn how to present their products better," he added.
On Sunday, August 19, the province will also celebrate the 140th birthday of the late president Manuel L. Quezon.
The Grand Float Parade will happen on Sunday at 3 pm, and a street dancing competition will happen simultaneously as they march on the streets. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P53.31