After a three-year halt due to the pandemic, the Marang Festival of Sagay City is back as it opened its celebration featuring about 3,000 kilos of Marang fruit on display in Brgy. Colonia Divina, Sept. 12.

This is the fifth year of the festival with the theme “Balik Marang Festival, Balik Pasalamat kag Sinadya” which highlights the return of the festival and the bounty harvest of Marang in the upland barangay.

The opening was highlighted with a program led by Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Sagay City Mayor Narciso Javelosa Jr., and a Marang eat-all-you-can activity where guests, visitors, and festival goers had the chance to eat an array of Marang fruit at the festival grounds.

In his speech, Gov. Lacson said that it is just fitting to celebrate the festival in the barangay where almost 100,00 of Marang trees bear tons of Marang fruits during harvest season.

He also hopes that the people and the city government will continue to cooperate to make Brgy. Colonia Divina as “Marang Capital of the Philippines”.

The governor also urged the Marang farmers to create more value-added products to the fruit to elevate their livelihood and generate more income.

He emphasized that the city government can coordinate with the province’s Technology and Livelihood Development Center to learn more about making more products from Marang and how to market it.

Mayor Javelosa also vowed to continue on improving agriculture to make Brgy. Divina Colonia an agri-tourism destination of Sagay.

Other officials who graced the event were Councilors Arthur Christopher Marañon, Perfecto Marañon, Rodnel de los Reyes, and Sherwin Sy, and DepEd-Sagay City Division Superintendent Marsette Sabbaluca.

Punong Barangay Johnny Buhayan said the harvest is much more abundant compared to last year as he estimated a daily harvest of 3,000 kilos since it started the first week of August.

According to the recollection of former Punong Barangay Nicasio Buhayan Sr. the trinitarian religion, Alaph Divine led by Dr. Roberto Mahilum gathered his followers from the different places in the archipelago (esp. Hamindan, Carles, Sigma, Guimaras, Cebu, Negros, and other parts of Panay Island) and settled in the upland part of Sagay in 1957 which he called “divine colony”.

They brought along with them fruit tree seedlings and among the fruit tree seedlings is Marang.

City Agriculturist Julie Delima said notable factors why Marang is sweeter in the area is because of its red fertile soil, cold weather, and because bats in the area abound thereby adding more nutrients to the soil coming from their droppings or guano. (PR)