May 27, 2024

This year’s staging of the Strawberry Festival in La Trinidad, Benguet in March is cancelled.
Mayor Romeo Salda said an indigenous ritual will be performed by the indigenous people’s mandatory representative while religious leaders will hold an ecumenical mass.
An Ibaloy ritual called panod-soran will be performed in March at the municipal grounds to be attended by local officials and few invited guests.
The ritual is a means of communicating to Kabunyan and the deceased town ancestors on why the festival was cancelled.
The same ritual was performed last year in lieu of the cancelled events of the festival when the Department of Health discouraged crowd-drawing events weeks before the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine.
Tourism Officer Valred Olsim said the staging of the 4th Coffee Festival, which is originally set every February, will also be moved to December. 
He said there is a proposal for the amendment of the Coffee Festival ordinance moving it from February to December, the peak season of coffee harvest in the municipality.
“The committee thinks it is better to conduct it during Christmas since it is where we get to drink much coffee because it is cold,” Olsim said. – Ofelia C. Empian