Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Philippine Farm Tourism Showcased at the ‘Niyogyugan’

Photos are taken by Gene Rose Imphang unless stated otherwise.

The holiday spirit has set in as over 500,000 people gathered at the Quezon provincial capital of Lucena City for the 2017 Niyogyugan Festival, signaling the coming of the so-called “Ber-months.”

The week-long agri-tourism spectacle featured massive display of diverse coconut products, as well as other farm and sea produce from the province’s two cities and 39 municipalities, turning the capitol grounds into a "mega-agricultural shopping mall."

Exhibitors reportedly earned some PhP15 million in profits for products derived from coconut, including virgin coconut oil, lambanog, skimmed milk, buko water drink, coco vinegar, flour, chips, sugar, cheese, yogurt cream, and sauce.

In addition to the coco food products, there were coco furniture, handicrafts, house décor, fiber and geonet used in landscaping.

Niyogyugan’s holiday spirit was pepped up by day and night musical concerts, beauty contest, culminating into cultural parade, street dancing and dance showdown last Sunday.

As part of the month-long commemoration of President Manuel L. Quezon’s birthday on Aug. 19, 1878, the Niyogyugan showcase mainly featured the province’s coconut products and highlighted the vital role of the coconut industry.

 “We applaud the local government units headed by the office of Governor David ‘Jay-Jay’ Suarez for successfully presenting farm tourism at its best,” said Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Teo echoed Suarez’s message that Niyogyugan is also a fitting tribute to both the coconut, known as “tree of life” and the Filipino farmers not only in Quezon Province but throughout the country.

 “The annual festival is a celebration of life, and a kaleidoscope of Filipino cultural diversity, our resiliency and our virtue of hard work,” said Suarez.

Photo from DOT

Provincial tourism office head Alberto Bay said thousands of visitors came from all over the world, who got the chance to see Quezon’s world-class destinations like Mt. Banahaw, Cagbalete Island, Villa Escudero, Balesin Island and Putting Buhangin.

“Niyogyugan, which is a brainchild of Congresswoman Aleta Suarez, is our contribution to our tourism industry and our special way of ushering the Christmas season,” Bay said.

Photo from DOT

Quezon Province rivals three Davao provinces as the country’s top coconut producer with a total coconut plantation of 391,196 hectares, representing 78 percent of its agricultural land, with 78 million coconut trees.

Each of the 203,000 farmers in the province tills an average of nearly two hectares of coconut plantation.

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