The Manggahan Festival 2014, my favorite annual activity in Guimaras, begins in April. The festival started in 1993 and is a celebration of the island-province’s distinction as a producer of top quality mangoes considered the best tasting in the world. The mango festival is slated to officially to run in San Miguel, Jordan, the capital, from April 20-27.
This year’s festivities will kick off on April 1st with a caravan and will extend until the month of May to encompass the Pagtaltal sa Bala-an Bulid and the province’s Foundation Day celebration.
Guimaras is known for its white sand beaches, beautiful islets, and friendly people and of course, it’s world renowned mangoes, so tasty and delicious that they have been served in the White House and Buckingham Palace.
This will be the fifth year I’ve had the privilege of attending the Manggahan Festival. It is the premier event on the island province and though my friend, The Tom Cat, who helped me celebrate past parties at the festival with a beer or two, has returned to the States, I’ve found some new expat friends on the island to hang out with. They’re Aussies, but they’re some good mates.
Now that my asawa and I have left nearby Iloilo City, we’ll be close to the action once again. I hope to be to attend the mango mash on a daily basis this year, and will report back with loads of pictures and detailed reports. It’s the highlight of the year for me.
I don’t have any specific goals in mind for this year’s Manggahan Festival. I’m a retired geezer with plenty of time on my hands. I just plan to have fun, eat some mangoes and drink a beer or two (or three.) And isn’t that what retirement is all about? Kicking back and enjoying your “golden years.”
It is definitely more fun in the Philippines, as the Tourism Board is fond of saying, and you know something? They’re right! The Manggahan Festival in Guimaras is proof positive of that. Just ask "Fearless Frank from Florida."