Mambajao, Camiguin Island—Thousands lined up at the ferry terminal to cross this pearl-shaped island northeast of Cagayan de Oro to witness the 39th Lanzones Festival here.
At the Balingoan ferry terminal, people lined-up overnight to get their tickets while hundreds of vehicles parked outside the pier.
The Lanzones Festival is one of Mindanao’s longest-running festivals celebrating the island’s main export, their sweet lanzones fruit.
Mambajao Mayor Jesus Jurdin Romualdo said this year will mark the “branding” of their lanzones.
“Each lanzones that goes out of the island will be in a box that bears the Camiguin Island brand, this is to make our lanzones stand out from the rest,” Romualdo said.
Leading to the festival, truckloads of lanzones were exported to the rest of the country inside yellow 10kg and 21kg boxes showing the silhouette of the island with the word “Camiguin Lanzones.”
At the street dancing event, the contingent showcased the lanzones as blessed by four “diwata” (fairies) which in Camiguin folklore protected the fruit.
Thousands tourists and locals watched on the street as the students danced to the beat, while the “fairies” watched over the lanzones.
Romualdo said they have been marketing their lanzones “to maximize its market potential and to separate our lanzones from the rest.”
This followed the provincial government’s decision to increase its lanzones production through macrosomatic cloning done by the Provincial Agricultural Office.
The provincial government was also successful in crossbreeding its own CamLong (Camiguin and Longkong) variety, which the island is now promoting.
Camiguin is able to produce 810 metric tons of lanzones each year but is expecting a bigger yield as more trees are being planted.
Over 2,000 hectares of land are being cultivated for lanzones, and the government is expecting more expansion from its farms.
“We will be expecting more batches of this seasonal fruit, as the macrosomatic technology is being employed, which cut the production and propagation of lanzones to just four months instead of one year,” Romualdo said.
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