The Grand Caravan kicked off on Monday morning for this year’s 25thManggahan Festival in Guimaras. We call this island province, known for the sweetest mangoes in the world, home. My lovely asawa and I were present for the event which began at the Provincial Capitol Grounds in San Miguel, Jordan.
The grand caravan passed through the five towns of the province on the morning of April 2 to announce the coming of the festival season. The main event, the actual Manggahan Festival, begins on May 11, 2018 and ends on May 22, 2018.
I was able to have my picture taken with a local Army unit in Guimaras that joined the caravan. The group was a friendly lot and very accommodating.
On Monday afternoon, the “Patilaw sa Manggahan” (“Taste of Mango”) came to Robinson’s Place in Iloilo City to give Ilonggos a taste of what the festival is all about. Activities have been prepared to entice shoppers to participate – among them the agri-trade fair that will feature Guimaras products led by its mangoes; a fashion show of the “Mutya ng Manggahan”; street dance elimination round; mango eat-all-you-can; and mango chandelier-making.
The “Patilaw sa Manggahan” at Robinson’s runs through April 8.
My lovely asawa stands near the staging area for Monday’s caravan. We didn’t join the caravan as we had to attend a recognition ceremony for one of our nieces that day at her school.
According to The Daily Guardian, The “Manggahan sa Kabanwahanan”, a showcase of the various cultures of the towns of Guimaras will kick off on April 7-8 in Sibunag town; April 14-15 in San Lorenzo; April 21-22, Nueva Valencia; April 28-29, Buenavista; and May 5-6, Jordan. However, the highlight of the festival will be on May 21-22 when the towns face one another in a cultural competition. The highlight will also mark the founding anniversary of the province, which used to be a sub-province of Iloilo.
A group of volunteers from the local Red Cross Chapter in Guimaras get ready to board their vehicle for the caravan. I thought it somewhat odd that a group that focuses on safety would ride in the back of a pick-up truck but realize this is a common practice in the Philippines. However, it’s safer than those overloaded jeepneys that race through Guimaras with passengers sitting on top of the public utility vehicles’ roofs.
Here’s a look at some of the vehicles that were participating in the Grand Caravan. The local army unit brought up the rear, no doubt providing security for the parade.