LALA, Lanao del Norte -- A mountain of steamed crabs stood in the middle of the crowd in this colorful town of Lala to grace the 16th Alimango festival Wednesday, March 22. The free-for-all “Alimango mountain” which weighed about 1.2 tons graced the 68th founding anniversary of the town.
“It is thanksgiving for a peaceful place, the beauty and bountiful gains in harvest of Lala's farmers, fisher folk women in development, the business sector and all walks of life that help promote Lala," said Lala town mayor Allan Lim.
“Lala has been globally known of its Alimango festival and the Department of Tourism Region (DOT)-Northern Mindanao committed to give more support of the event. We will revive next year the alimango rodeo, alimango eating contest, alimango marathon, and alimango recipe cooking competition,” said Lim.
DOT-Northern Mindanao director Marie Elaine Unchuan urged the viewing public who witnessed the event to post the Alimango festival activities in their respective social media accounts as one way of promoting this town’s tourism industry.
It was the first time for Unchuan to experience and witness the famous Alimango festival since she assumed as the new DOT-Northern Mindanao director this year.
"The town of Lala has an estimated 1,800 hectares of fishpond facing the tooth-like shape brakish water Panguil Bay with some 1,783 organized into six organizations of fisher folks in the coastal villages of Darumawang Bucana, Matampay Bucana, Camalan, Pacita, Gumagamot, and Raw-an, said Municipal Agriculture officer Roniel Baroy.
"Lala has been exporting mud crabs. Based on market prize mud crab per kilo ranges from P250 to P1,200 for export purposes depending on sizes. The local government unit of Lala will strengthen the fishery law enforcement and ‘Bantay Dagat’ as guardians of the sea to protect, develop and sustain the marine resources and its habitat," Baroy added.
He urged the farmers in the upland and lowland area not to dispose their chemical and pesticides along rivers and creeks to prevent chemical pollution that may result to fish kill and contamination of brackish waters and fishponds in Panguil Bay.
This town is the rice granary of Lanao del Norte with more than 6,000 hectares of rice production area and 500 hectares of full grown calamanse bearing fruit trees whose fresh fruits harvested daily shipped to Visayas and metro Manila.
Showdown of festival
The contingent of Christ the King high school was adjudged and bagged the first prize during the Alimango festival showdown competition with P100,000 cash prize and a championship trophy.
The province is celebrating the Lanao Week of Peace.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 23, 2017.