The provincial government of Guimaras will celebrate its annual Manggahan Festival through a combination of virtual and physical activities from May 20 to 22 this year.
Governor Samuel T. Gumarin, in a letter addressed to Office of Civil Defense-Western Visayas Regional Director and chairperson of the Regional Task Force (RTF) on COVID-19 Jose Roberto Nuñez, said their signature cultural festival would emphasize the promotion of the country’s sweetest mangoes.
Task force spokesperson Cindy Ferrer, in a phone interview on Thursday, said the working committee of the festival would be presenting their list of activities and contingency plan before the RTF on May 4.
“They have simple activities but there are those that are expected to draw crowds such as sports tournaments, fun rides, and trade fair. Other events will be online,” she said.
Ferrer said that since the time calls for adapting to the new normal, then activities such as the festival would be allowed as long as they have a contingency plan and they could ensure proper observance of health protocols.
“If they could not maintain social distancing and the risk is high for transmission, then the RTF will make appropriate recommendations,” she said.
In a list of activities furnished to the task force, on May 20 there will be a provincewide motorcycle fun ride in partnership with the Guimaras Highway Patrol Group and motorcycle associations, a sports festival, the opening of a trade fair and audiovisual presentation, virtual game, and photo- and vlog-making.
On the second day, the proposed events will include bike fun rides, sports fest, audio presentation of past Manggahan festivals, virtual tour of the province’s various destinations, and beach event.
The last day, May 22, will be the continuation of the trade fair, thanksgiving mass, mango eating contest, and the virtual State of the Province Address (SOPA) of the governor.
In his letter, Gumarin said the festival aims to make Guimarasnons "feel and safely celebrate Manggahan Festival and its 29th province-hood anniversary amid the Covid-19 pandemic, adapt to the new normal protocols in the conduct of events, and provide an opportunity for income generation to tourism stakeholders and mango growers”.Perla Lena/PNA