Strawberry fest gets boost

LA TRINIDAD’S Strawberry Festival got a much needed boost from a fellow Cordilleran in Malacañang.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Asec. Anamarie Banaag joined the celebration of the festival after the civic parade.

"We sit in the sub-committe on culture and the arts with NEDA, NCCA, NCIP, CHED, DOT and other agencies on Monday. We actually have been deciding on how to go about with festival caravan to promote the culture of places like the Strawberry Festival and other places in the south which are most likely not visited just like of Panagbenga and Ati-atihan," Banaag said.

The PCOO officer said the Strawberry Fest is not only a food festival but a part of celebration of culture and traditions celebrating the Owik tan Tayaw, Dongba ni Kavajo and indigenous games.

Banaag also emphasized the contribution of strawberry farmers in La Trinidad.

"In Strawberry Festival, we saw how these farmers increased the strawberries, it’s part of what tourist do when they come in La Trinidad. Without strawberries in La Trinidad, there will be no curiosity for tourists to come and of course we owe that to the strawberry farmers," Banaag added.

Banaag also encouraged farmers to protect their farm lands with the growing commercialization of La Trinidad adding the target to bring in tourist must be done slowly for the community to adjust.

"It is like Sagada. Sagada is not so rushed to have plenty and plenty of tourist because communities have to adjust to tourists. Now, we wanted the Strawberry Festival to grow because there is an industry that we wanted to protect and grow. We have farmers and entrepreneurs who wanted to grow because of the product that they have and with that, of course, we have to train the neighborhood for safer tourist and also for the local government to step up with whatever the needs in the demands of time," Banaag said.

On Friday, more than a thousand attended the parade from local government units, persons with disabilities, senior citizen, cultural groups, barangay officials and staffs, BPATs, youth, teachers, health workers, provincial government, line agencies national and regional, academes, civil service organizations, and private sector.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda acknowledged the past administrations for starting and continuing the festival, and thanked the committees in the different events.

The mayor also urged highland vegetable, cutflowers, strawberries and coffee farmers to sustain their production.

Highlights of the festival will be the two category float parade and the drum and lyre competition.
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