SANTA RITA -- Local theater group, Arti Sta. Rita, is now doubling their rehearsal sessions as they again take the lead in the much awaited 17th Duman Festival this December.
The event will once again bring together Kapampangan food lovers in a night of cultural entertainment and food tripping at the Santa Rita Eco Park. Santa Rita is a pastry town known for its strong culinary tradition.
The festival will feature food stalls and alfresco dining selling native Kapampangan food and delicacies. These include sansrival, masa podridu, mamon, and mamon tostado. The famed duman, being the major highlight, will also be available for sale.
Locals and Kapampangans from abroad usually troop to the town for duman, which is made in the Barangays of Santa Monica and San Agustin.
Duman is relatively expensive. Unlike the regular rice variety, which can be planted and harvested three times a year, it can only be harvested in the cool air of November and December. Otherwise, it will not be a bountiful one. For every hectare, a farmer can produce only a maximum of 4.5 cavans of duman, while a maximum of 300 cavans can be harvested from the regular rice variety.
Traditionally regarded as a Christmas delicacy, duman is eaten with hot chocolate or milk as an additive or accompanying drink.
The Duman Festival is capped by a Kapampangan theater performance that will be held at the town's famed EcoPark area with performances from homegrown Kapampangan artist group, Arti Sta. Rita.
The festival, which started in 2002, originated from the long-standing tradition of pounding and winnowing unripe glutinous rice (lacatan), and turning it into a light pale gold or green delicacy called duman.
The event has attracted a steady following of local and international tourists.
The Duman Festival is, arguably, the only festival of its kind that is held in the evening and features festive dining until the wee hours of the evening. The program for the event is expected to start at 5:00 p.m.
The event is open to food enthusiasts and tourists who would like to sample native Kapampangan food. Different grades of duman will also be sold in the event.