After a three-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zambales Dinamulag Mango Festival is staging a grand comeback on April 22-30, which is touted to be the biggest and most activity-filled festivity in the province’s history.
The nine-day festival has 16 major events which will showcase the pride of the province—the Dinamulag (carabao) mango, which is said to be the world’s sweetest variety of the tropical fruit, which grows abundantly in the province.
“We expect more visitors coming to the festival this year because we have activities that would appeal to a wide range of audience. And Zambales is more than ready for them,” says Governor Hermogenes Ebdane.
He said that in between the events, guests can explore the province’s diverse tourist magnets such as surfing spots, white sand islands, waterfalls, rivers, camping and glamping sites, heritage structures, farm tourism sites, boutique beach resorts, and cozy food and beverage outlets.
The local chief executive noted that the province posted a remarkable growth in the number of home-grown tourism-oriented establishments during the period when community quarantines were in place.
Zambales unveiled late last year the Surf and Glamp Adventure with the help of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to promote the coastal towns of San Felipe, San Narciso, and Botolan.
Festivities fire off with the 1st Gov. Jun Ebdane Cup Fun Shoot slated April 21-23 at the Camp Conrado Yap in the capital town of Iba. The three-day competition coincides with the 72nd death anniversary of Yap, a Philippine Army captain from Candelaria town who became the most decorated Filipino serviceman of the Korean War.
Sporting events roll off on April 24 with the “Pulayo ha Dinamulag Festival” marathon which will run the Iba-Palauig-Iba route, followed by the Mountain Bike Fun Ride in Iba the next day.
Mango lovers can start picking their favorite fruit at various orchards such as Abille Farm (San Felipe), Jess Villamin Farm (Iba), Angel Ignacio Farm (San Marcelino), Ebueng Residence Farm (Candelaria), and Bayto Farm (Sta. Cruz), which will run until May 5.
Pedalers will explore the gorgeous coastal roads from Subic-Sta. Cruz-Iba in the “Lumba Tamo” Road Bike Race on April 27. Also set on the said day is the opening of mango booths and 2023 Binibining Zambales Swimwear Competition at the Festival Grounds in Iba.
The Parayawan Agri-Tourism Showcase and Trade Fair opens on April 28 at the Festival Grounds, which will feature displays on the agricultural resources and farm tourism attractions of the various municipalities.
The day’s other events are the First Philippine Mango Derby Open House at the Batungbacal Farm in Palauig, the Luzon Mango Congress at the Botolan People’s Plaza, and the Mango Eat-All-You-Can buffet at the Festival Grounds.
The Zamba-Liwanag Float Parade and Competition will lighten up the evening with float entries depicting the bountiful mango harvest, tourist attractions, and cultural heritage of the different towns.
Two motoring events roar off on April 29—the Gov. Jun Ebdane 4×4 Off-Road Challenge in Iba and the Gov. Jun Ebdane Motocross Challenge in Botolan, which will position the province as an extreme motorsports hub.
The Zambayle Street Dancing Parade and Showdown, the festival’s crowd-drawing highlight, unfolds at the Zambales Sports Complex. The “Yabin Concierto ha Dinamulag” will keep the audience pumped up with a musical concert at the Festival Grounds.
The weeklong festivity draws to a close with the 2023 Binibining Zambales Grand Coronation Night and the Fireworks Display in the evening.
For more information, log on to www.tourism.zambales.gov.ph or follow the province’s Facebook page Zambales Tourism.