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Experience the Best of the Manggahan Festival 2023! (GUIDES, SCHEDULE, EVENTS)

Manggahan Festival 2023

The Philippines is a country famous for its wonderful culture and beautiful natural scenery. It hosts many exciting festivals that highlight Filipino life and traditions. One festival that really shines is the Manggahan Festival. It’s a colorful celebration of culture, food, and traditions. In this article, we’ll take a close look at the Manggahan Festival, learning about its beginnings, history, unique aspects, and the lively atmosphere that makes it so special.

What is the Manggahan Festival?

The Manggahan Festival is an annual festival held in Guimaras, a province in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. The festival is held in May, which is the peak season for mangoes in Guimaras. The festival celebrates the abundance of mangoes in the province and their importance to the local economy.

The name “Manggahan” comes from the Filipino word “mangga,” which means “mango.” The festival is a way for the people of Guimaras to show their appreciation for the mango tree, which is considered to be the “king of fruits” in the Philippines.

This lively celebration pays tribute to the famous sweet mangoes from Guimaras Island in Iloilo. Also, this event is a captivating blend of cultural performances, gastronomic delights, and a showcase of the region’s rich heritage. It is a testament to the Filipinos’ love for their country’s natural bounties and their enthusiasm for preserving age-old traditions. So, if you’re seeking a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable adventure, make sure to add the Manggahan Festival to your bucket list and head to Guimaras Island. When you’re at the Manggahan Festival, get ready for a mango extravaganza like no other!

Manggahan Festival Place of Origin

Guimaras, situated amidst the islands of Panay and Negros, is a compact province within the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Guimaras is known for its mangoes, which are considered to be some of the sweetest in the world. The province produces about 70% of the mangoes grown in the Philippines.

The Manggahan Festival is a celebration of the abundance of mangoes in Guimaras. The festival was first held in 1993, a year after Guimaras was formally recognized as a province. The festival is held in the capital of Guimaras, Jordan, and it usually lasts for about a week.

The Manggahan Festival features a variety of events, including a street parade, a beauty pageant, a cooking contest, a trade fair, and a variety show. The highlight of the festival is the mango-eating contest, where contestants compete to see who can eat the most mangoes in a certain amount of time.

The Manggahan Festival is a popular tourist event that attracts visitors from all over the Philippines and the world. The festival is a great way to experience the culture and cuisine of Guimaras and to sample some of the sweetest mangoes in the world.

The place of origin of the Manggahan Festival is deeply intertwined with the island’s unique culture and history. The mango tree has long been a symbol of prosperity and abundance in Guimaras. The festival is a way for the people of Guimaras to celebrate their rich agricultural heritage and showcase the best of what their province has to offer.

Here are some other interesting facts about the Manggahan Festival:

The festival’s name comes from the Filipino word “mangga,” which means “mango.”
The festival is held every year in May, which is the peak season for mangoes in Guimaras.
The festival is a major economic boost for the province, as it attracts thousands of tourists each year.
The festival has helped to raise awareness of the importance of the mango industry in Guimaras.
The Manggahan Festival is a celebration of the sweet taste of success.

The Manggahan Festival History

After World War II, Guimaras became independent, and the local people worked together to make their society better. They restored the island’s beauty, and now it’s one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines. Plus, Guimaras is famous for having the sweetest mangoes in the world.

To truly appreciate the Manggahan Festival, one must delve into its fascinating history. The Manggahan Festival was first held in 1993, a year after Guimaras was formally recognized as a province. The festival was created to promote the province’s mango industry and to celebrate the abundance of mangoes in the area.

The festival has been held every year since then, and it has grown in popularity over the years. In 2018, the festival was awarded the “Best Tourism Event” by the Department of Tourism.

What started as a small local celebration has now evolved into one of the Philippines’ most anticipated events, drawing visitors from across the archipelago and beyond.

Where is the Manggahan Festival Celebrated?

The Manggahan Festival is celebrated in Guimaras, covering an entire month and taking place in five municipalities: Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo, and Sibunag. Guimaras, a hidden gem in the Philippines, is an ideal summer destination, not only for its virgin beaches but also for its undiscovered natural wonders and captivating history. Over the years, it has been under the rule of various powers, including the Spanish, Americans, and Japanese, all recognizing the uniqueness of this place.

This festival is a vibrant celebration of Guimaras’ culture and its renowned mangoes. Originally a one-week event, it has grown into a month-long extravaganza, transforming the town into a symbolic event with lively decorations and a festive ambiance that surrounds the entire community. The festival venues include public plazas, parks, and cultural centers, hosting a variety of events and performances.

What is the Main Highlight of Manggahan Festival?

The main highlight of the Manggahan Festival is the Mango Parade. This colorful and festive parade features floats, dancers, and performers all decked out in mango-inspired costumes. The parade is a celebration of the island’s mangoes and its rich culture.

Here are some other highlights of the Manggahan Festival: 

Mango-eating contest: This is a challenge for true mango lovers. Participants must eat as many mangoes as they can in a set amount of time.

Mango cooking contest: This is a competition for the best mango recipes. Participants must create a dish that showcases the unique flavor of the Guimaras mango.

Mango trade fair: This is a chance to sample and buy all sorts of mango products, from fresh mangoes to mango jams and candies.
Cultural shows: These performances showcase the rich culture of Guimaras, from its traditional dances to its folk songs.
Sports events: These events include the Amazing Guimarace, a 5K obstacle race, and the Tour de Guimaras, a cycling race.

The Manggahan Festival is a celebration of the best that Guimaras has to offer: its mangoes, its culture, and its people. If you’re a fan of mangoes or if you’re looking for a unique and exciting festival experience, then the Manggahan Festival is definitely worth a visit.

Manggahan Festival Costumes

The elaborate and colorful costumes worn during the festival are a sight to behold. Crafted with intricate details, these costumes reflect the island’s cultural diversity and history. Dancers and participants don attire inspired by local folklore, with each piece carefully designed to convey stories and traditions passed down through generations.

What is the Symbol of the Manggahan Festival?

The symbol of the Manggahan Festival in Guimaras is the mango, particularly the Guimaras mango variety, which is recognized for its exceptional taste and quality. The festival revolves around celebrating this delicious fruit and its significance to the local culture and economy. Mango-themed decorations, activities, and events are a prominent part of the festival, showcasing the mango as its central symbol.

Guimaras stands as one of the leading mango producers within the nation, annually delivering over 12,000 metric tons of this delectable fruit.

Among the mango varieties officially recognized by the National Seed Industry Council, the Guimaras Super, also known as Galila, reigns supreme in terms of sweetness, as indicated by an industry roadmap published by the Department of Agriculture. This exceptional sweetness is attributed to the island’s distinctive soil composition and abundant months of sunshine. Additionally, Guimaras mango trees and their fruits remain unscathed by common agricultural pests like the pulp and seed weevil. Their exceptional quality has propelled them into the global market as export commodities, with their reputation extending as far as the United States of America and Australia.

Manggahan Festival Travel Tips

For travelers planning to immerse themselves in the Manggahan Festival experience, here are some essential travel tips: 

  1. Plan Ahead: The festival dates typically fall in May, so plan your trip well in advance to secure accommodation and transportation.
  2. Taste the Mango Delights: Don’t miss the chance to savor the island’s delectable mangoes and mango-based dishes during the festival.
  3. Capture the Moments: The Manggahan Festival offers numerous photo opportunities, so ensure you have your camera or smartphone ready to capture the colorful festivities.
  4. Embrace the Culture: Engage with locals and learn about their traditions and folklore. It’s a fantastic way to connect with the heart and soul of Guimaras.

If you’re traveling with your children, be sure to bring them to a public area where they can play and interact with the Manggahan Festival’s official mascot, Mango Man. It’s a wonderful family-friendly activity. While you partake in the grown-up festivities, your little ones can have a blast with Mango Man and other kids.

For art enthusiasts, you should definitely check out the exhibit fair at the plaza. Here, you can peruse and purchase handmade and indigenous products, and, naturally, you can also indulge in some mango shopping at this fair.

How to Get to the Manggahan Festival

The Manggahan Festival is an annual celebration held in Guimaras, Philippines. To get to the Manggahan Festival, you have a couple of transportation options, including via airplane and ferry:

Via Airplane:

Step 1: Book a flight to Iloilo International Airport (ILO). You can find flights to Iloilo from major airports in the Philippines and some international destinations.

Step 2: Upon arriving at Iloilo International Airport, you can take a taxi or a shuttle to Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City. This is where you can catch a ferry to Guimaras Island.

Via Ferry:

Step 1: If you’re already in the Philippines, you can travel to Iloilo City by bus or other means. Iloilo City serves as the gateway to Guimaras Island.

Step 2: Once you’re in Iloilo City, head to Ortiz Wharf or Parola Wharf, both of which have regular ferry services to Guimaras Island.

From Guimaras Island, you can then make your way to the specific location of the Manggahan Festival, which may vary from year to year. Be sure to check the festival’s official website or contact local authorities for precise directions and event details as they may change from year to year.

Exploring Guimaras: Beyond the Manggahan Festival

While the Manggahan Festival is undoubtedly the crown jewel of Guimaras, this enchanting island has much more to offer to intrepid travelers seeking an immersive experience. Let’s take a journey beyond the festival grounds and explore some of the island’s other notable attractions and activities.

Guimaras’ Natural Beauty beyond Manggahan Festival

Guimaras is renowned for its unspoiled natural beauty, and there’s no shortage of scenic spots to explore. Here are a few must-visit destinations:

1. Alubihod Beach: A pristine stretch of powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters, Alubihod Beach is a paradise for beach lovers. It’s the perfect location for indulging in swimming, snorkeling, and basking in the sunshine.

2. Guisi Lighthouse: A historic lighthouse perched on a hill, the Guisi Lighthouse offers panoramic views of the surrounding seascape. It’s a great place for a leisurely hike and a stunning sunset photo opportunity.

3. Ave Maria Islet: A tiny, heart-shaped island located just off the coast of Guimaras, Ave Maria Islet is a romantic spot that’s perfect for a relaxing boat ride or a picnic.

4. Trappist Monastery: Guimaras is home to the only Trappist monastery in the Philippines. Visitors can explore the serene grounds, purchase locally made products like jams and sweets, and attend mass if desired.

Culinary Delights beyond Manggahan Festival

Guimaras is not only famous for its mangoes but also for its delectable cuisine. Here are some dishes and delicacies you should try during your visit:

1. Mango Pizza: A unique creation that blends the sweetness of mangoes with savory pizza, this dish is a must-try for food enthusiasts.

2. Seafood Galore: Given its coastal location, Guimaras boasts an abundance of fresh seafood. Try dishes like “sinigang na lapu-lapu” (grouper fish in sour soup) and “talaba” (oysters).

3. Kalamay: A sweet rice cake made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar, kalamay is a delightful dessert that showcases local flavors.

Adventure and Outdoor Activities beyond Manggahan Festival

For those seeking adventure, Guimaras offers exciting activities to get your adrenaline pumping:

1. Island-Hopping: Explore the neighboring islands and islets by hopping on a boat. You can snorkel, swim, and enjoy the beauty of Guimaras from the water.

2. Mountain Biking: Guimaras has numerous trails for mountain biking enthusiasts. Rent a bike and explore the island’s rugged terrain and lush landscapes.

3. Mango Plantation Tours: Go beyond the festival to learn about mango cultivation. Guided tours of mango plantations provide insights into the island’s most famous export.

Immersing in Local Culture

To truly appreciate Guimaras, take time to interact with the locals and immerse yourself in their culture. Attend local festivals, participate in traditional crafts workshops, and visit historical sites like the Navalas Church.

While the Manggahan Festival shines as Guimaras’ primary attraction, this captivating island boasts an array of other delights. From its breathtaking natural beauty and mouthwatering cuisine to thrilling adventures and cultural immersion, Guimaras guarantees an unforgettable and enriching experience. So, when you prepare to attend the Manggahan Festival, be sure to allocate some additional time to uncover the countless treasures this enchanting island has in store for you.


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