Celebrate the sweet side of life, quite literally, in the charming island province of Camiguin as it revels in the Lanzones Festival this week, one of the country’s longest-running cultural festivities.
Named after the tropical seasonal fruit which is reputed to be the sweetest of its kind in the archipelago, this year’s 44th edition of the festival is among the longest with the wide array of special events to lure tourists again in the post-pandemic season.
Camiguin Governor Xavier Jesus Romualdo said that this year’s event is themed “Kinaiyahan Atong Ampingan, Kalambuan Para sa Tanan” (Caring for the Environment, Progress for All). The fest will showcase the rich culture, vibrant community spirit, and natural wonders of the tropical island paradise.
He said that beyond the sweetness of the fruit and the frenzied dancing, the festivity will highlight the economic and development strides the province has attained for the past 55 years when it became an independent province.
Revelry kicked off last October 15 with a grand parade, Ugmad Agro-Industrial-Tourism Trade Fair, music and kabog showdown, grand opening night and inter-agency competition.
Promoting environmental care, organizers are introducing the Trashure (Trash to Treasure)-making competition and the Paksoy-Inspired Attire Making Competition and Showdown.
Highlights include the Lanzones Festival King and Queen and the Mutya sa Buahanan on October 20, and the inter-agency street dance competition on October 21. Swaying to the drumbeats and the indigenous kulintang, participants will perform the Sajaw Kinamigin which infuses ethnic music from lumad indigenous peoples such as the Manobo, Bagobo, Subanen and Tboli tribes who have made Mindanao their home.
Other fringe events are Lanzones Festival Extravaganza on October 21, which will showcase the fruit’s versatility as a delicacy. This saccharine-tasting fruit is due to generous amounts of rainfall and sunshine, the island’s volcanic nature, and the unique inter-cropping system of coconut and lanzones trees.
There will also be sectoral and socio-civic events, entertainment shows and concerts, Buahanan docufest, and handicraft exhibits to spice up the festival, which runs until October 28.
Romualdo noted that this will be the first festival to be held under the “Camiguin Isle be There” rebranding which the province launched last summer, along with its Clean Camiguin QR Code and Smart Tourism digitalization program to ensure safe stay of visitors in the island.
He added that the fest is an opportunity to showcase its tourist attractions such as White Island Sandbar, Ardent Hibok Hibok Springs, Sto. Nino Cold Spring, Katibawasan and Kawasan Falls, Sunken Cemetery, Taguines Lagoon, and the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross.
Not to be missed are Bonbon Church ruins complex which was declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure, and Mantigue Island Nature Park which is recognized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as a scuba diving spot in Mindanao.
Extreme adventurers can scale the twin peaks of Mounts Hibok Hibok and Timpopong which were declared as an Asean Heritage Park.
First-time visitors to the province can get their QR code at www.cleancamiguinqr.com to input basic information, valid ID and vaccination record, for ease of entry.