The city government of Taguig has launched its first-ever Melon Festival at the city’s Melon Farm in Barangay Wawa with the hopes of giving due credit to the sweet fruit that symbolizes the hard work of resident farmers.
Among the 68 farmers who contributed to the success of the event is 54-year-old Reynaldo Cruz, who is also the President of the Taguig Farmers Association and has been farming in the city, which prides itself as Metro Manila’s “Probinsyudad” (province-like city) for more than 30 years.
“We are happy for this opportunity to promote our harvest. This will help us greatly in boosting our popularity as the sole Probinsyudad in the Metro that in return will help us in retaining the remaining agricultural hectares in our city,” Cruz said.
The rapidly developing city, home of the Bonifacio Global City and the ARCA South business districts, has managed to retain 202 hectares of agricultural land used for cultivation of melon, rice and high-value crops like kinchay.
In line with this, Taguig continues to support the agricultural sector not just by providing resident farmers equipment but also creating a platform where they can exhibit the significance of the farming community and to promote the city’s homegrown products.
Mayor Laarni Cayetano, along with House Deputy Speaker and Taguig 2nd Dist. Rep. Pia Cayetano, Vice Mayor Ricardo Cruz Jr. and city councilors, joined the event held last May 7.
“This celebration is our way of gratitude to our Lord for providing continuous blessings to Taguig. We want to show everyone that despite our continuous progress as an urbanized city, we do not forget our roots,” Cayetano said during the opening ceremonies.
During the event, families were welcomed by the stunning performances of stilt walkers to the tune of an upbeat music played from drum beaters.
Smiles and laughter filled the summer air as participants joined the various games such as Melon Relay, Melon Eating, Father-and- Son Melon Run, and Shoot That Melon which uses the fruit as an essential part of the game.
The city’s melon festival also offered a variety of melon products and refreshments such as melon pancakes, melon jam, melon doughnuts, melon puto, melon ice candies, and melon juice to quench their thirst and hunger.
Under Cayetano’s administration, the local government through its City Agriculture Office gives technical assistance that includes the provision of Knapsack 4-Stroke Power Sprayers and distribution of free vegetable seeds to farmers in the city.
The City Agriculture Office also conducts lectures, seminars and trainings regarding urban farming and gardening.
In October 2014 and August 2017, Taguig Urban Farms have been established in Tipas Elementary School and Eusebio C. Santos Elementary School, respectively.
The Taguig Integrated Urban Farm, which sits on a 2,500-square meter land beside Lakeshore Hall in Barangay Lower Bicutan was also launched last December 2017. The farm overlooking Laguna Lake integrates different kinds of urban farming setups—from gardens that showcase vertical farming that save space, to wooden rack and pole gardens that wow the eye.