The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Monday said the four consecutive festivals celebrated in this province this month will give residents a huge economic windfall.
Marites Castro, director of the DOT-Region 4A (Calabarzon), told reporters during the Pahiyas Festival in this town, that the series of “fiestas” gives small entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell their products, which, is expected to give the local economy a much-needed boost.
“Our local livelihood will benefit from the four major festivals in Quezon because 65 percent of tourists came from Metro Manila and they of course, buy local products,” said Castro.
The province’s close proximity to Metro Manila plays an important role in the success of the festivals, she added.
This month’s festivals, apart from “Pahiyas,” are the Agawan Festival of Sariaya town, Mayohan Festival of Tayabas City and the Araña’t Baluarte of Gumaca, all of which are either celebrated on the 15th of May or culminate on this date and honor St. Isidore Labrador, the patron saint of farmers.
For the Pahiyas, residents decorated their homes with colorful agricultural produce including vegetables and fruits and the most elaborately designed house or building stands to win cash amounting to PHP200,000.
In Sariaya, all sorts of locally-grown produce are given out to the townsfolk following a religious procession.
Meanwhile, in Tayabas City, about 12,000 “suman” (rice cakes cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in buri leaves) were thrown from the balconies of buildings and the city hall for the people to catch.
Tayabas City Tourism Officer Roselle Villaverde said “local residents catch the suman with a sack, believing the more suman they catch, the more blessings they will receive.”
In Gumaca town, all villages took part in the “Araña’t Baluarte” (Arch and Chandelier) contest.
The “araña” is made out of local farm products including bananas, vegetables and fruits hung in the town’s “baluarte”.
Gumaca Municipal Tourism Officer Russel Ner said during a media briefing on Monday afternoon that the town’s 59 villages were clustered into 17, with each cluster putting up its arch entry.
He said the “Pinakamagarang Baluarte” (grandest arch) stood to receive a PHP50,000 grand prize. (PNA)