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GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – Hundreds gathered to feast on tons of tropical fruits laid out on tables, stretching about a kilometer along a main road in Kidapawan City, on Friday, August 18.
The fruit-eating event, the highlight of the week-long Timpupo Festival (fruit-picking festival), was conceived by the local government to treat residents and visitors to a bonanza of fruits while supporting local fruit farmers.
Kidapawan, often referred to as the fruit basket of the Soccsksargen region, hosted the event.
Kidapawan Mayor Jose Paolo Evangelista of said they bought over P1 million worth of fruits from local farmers for everyone to enjoy freely during celebration.
He said, “It’s our way of assisting fruit farmers in selling their produce while everyone relishes in it.”
The approach helps farmers avoid concerns about excess harvests that may otherwise go to waste if not sold, according to City Agriculturist Marissa Aton.
The city government allocated approximately P1.3 million for more than 12 tons of various fruits, including durian, marang, mangosteen, lanzones, and rambutan, which were sourced from local fruit farmers.
Fruit farmer Joselito Ortega said the annual festival as a means to “prevent harvest surplus and allow everyone to enjoy the fruits of our labor.”
The opportunity to freely indulge in an array of fruits was only available on Friday. In the following days, visitors can still savor an assortment of fruits from a generous tray for a nominal fee of P150, said the local Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
The festival, which started on August 12, showcased various entertaining activities that attracted crowds from across the region.
A rare pyro-musical competition took center stage, illuminating Kidapawan’s night sky with bursts of pyrotechnic displays synchronized to the rhythm of competing bands. – Rappler.com