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Sablan, the Fruit Basket of Benguet, is currently celebrating its 4th Fruit Festival with the theme “Celebrating abundance, friendship, and beauty.”

The festival is being celebrated in the month of September when most fruits are in season showing the abundance and industriousness of the community people in tilling the land and maximizing the natural resources in the locality.

The three day celebration will be featuring the towns’ abundant bounty ranging from agricultural produce, talents, and beauty. This will be made possible from the various activities that were laid specially for the celebration.

The celebration kicked off last September 2, followed by a float parade that showcased the various fruits that are being cultivated and produced in the municipality. These are rambutan, pineapple, banana, durian, dragon fruit, santol, citrus, papaya, guava, jackfruit, and pomelo, among others.

The Department of Agriculture-Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey graced the event by serving as the guest speaker. In his message, he encouraged the local farmers and the local government unit (LGU) to take advantage of the services of the DA and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) saying that the DA procures millions of planting materials, including fruit and industrial crops like coffee specifically for the benefit of the local farmers. In addition, the BPI is willing to provide training for those interested to venture in establishing their fruit nurseries.

Honorable Governor Crescencio Pacalso also extended his support and encouragement during the celebration. He congratulated the municipality for a job well done saying that despite the continuous downpour of rain during the previous weeks, they were able to push through with the celebration. He said that the continuous raining had affected the quantity and quality of the fruits produced; nevertheless, the harvest is still enough.

This year’s activity is different as compared to the previous celebration. Aside from the usual agro-industrial trade fair, poster making and wall painting competition, cultural presentations, ground demonstrations and the serving of the largest fruit salad, the inclusion of the no baked fruits and berries cake preparation made the celebration more exciting.

The official mascot of the municipality was also introduced. The said mascot will not only be used during the fruit festival but will also be used to represent the municipality to other occasions such as the Adivay. The mascot stands 6 foot tall. Its headdress consists of assorted fruits while the body is that of a pineapple.//Mary Joy G. Maguide