April 8, 2011
IBA, Zambales, Philippines – “The best mangoes in the country are found in Zambales,” said Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
He said this as his kick-off remarks during the opening ceremony of the Zambales Mango Festival 2011 recently held at the Provincial Capitol the other day.
The senator led the ribbon-cutting ceremony along with Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and other government officials in front of the Capitol building here.
Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, graced the occasion together with regional directors Blesila Lantayona of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Ronaldo Tiotuico of the Department of Tourism (DoT), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 3 Director Alfredo Tolentino, and Chief Superintendent Allan Purisima of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 3.
Representatives from the Region 3 office of PhilHealth also joined at the event.
According to Ebdane, Zambaleños should be proud that their mangoes are conceived as the sweetest in the Philippines.
He said that mango farmers and producers should continue to ensure the quality of mangoes harvested in the province.
“We don’t want mangoes to be sold because of a moniker, we want to sell mangoes that people from all over the country would enjoy and would make them keep coming back for more,” Ebdane said.
The opening day of the annual celebration featured a photo competition and art exhibits, ultimate dance craze program, and the regular street parade and street dancing competitions.
New programs added include the ZAMBA Boxing competition, Search for Talentadong Empleyado (Talented Employees) 2011, Huli Mo Biik Mo!, Agri-Karera ng Kalabaw (Agri-Carabao Race), and a dog show, along with a mango forum and PINAKA-LGU booth competition.
Mainstays such as mango carving and mango eating contests, and “PINAKA” competition will be featured on the third day, along with the battle of the bands and the judging of the photo contest.
Newbies Zambales Song Writing Competition, and Ginoo at Binibining Zambales (Mr. and Ms. Zambales) 2011 Grand Pageant Night are the lead programs on the final day, along with the awarding ceremony for the photo contest.
The annual event is a joint program of the Zambales Mango Development Council and the provincial government to boost the mango industry of the province.
For his parting words, Pangilinan joked, “Wala nang mas sasarap pa sa mangga ng Zambales bukod sa pagmamahal ng asawa ko.”
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