May 23, 2024

As the country’s strawberry capital, the local government of La Trinidad, Benguet showed there’s more to its premiere product, strawberry, in its string of activities last week. 

First off is the salad making competition on March 4, where students from the six barangays competed for the best salad maker plum at the Kings College of the Philippines (KCP) in Barangay Pico. 

Ivanric Cayat, a senior high student of the Benguet National High School, is the winner in the event, featuring his strawberry and mix greens with strawberry etag vinaigrette. 

Cayat bested five other contestants hailing from the Hotel Management College of the KCP.  

On the same day, the strawberry lane opened at the municipal park where fresh strawberry and other food and non-food products from the micro, small, and medium enterprises were presented. 

Fresh strawberries of the different varieties including the Sweet Charlie and newly introduced Snow White varietywere on display. 

Other products are the strawberry mochi ice cream by the Department of Agriculture-assisted team, the Young Farmers Challenge group; the   strawberry alamang (fish dip); and the array of strawberry cakes baked in different ways. The strawberry lane is open daily until March 31.

On March 8, the town showcased its fresh strawberries, where 57 farmers coming from the different barangays competed for the heaviest and sweetest produce.    

Hailed as the farmer with the heaviest Sweet Charlie strawberry is Jimmy Belingan of Betag with his produce at 59.33 grams average weight while the winner in the heaviest strawberry, other varieties is Pedro Galacyan from Pico with his produce garnering 46.66 grams. 

The big winner in the sweetest Sweet Charlie category is Divine Pagoli of Betag while the produce of Jocelyn Baniaga also of Betag is hailed the sweetest strawberry with her Snow White variety. 

Municipal Agriculture Ofice Head Nida Organo said the quality of strawberry produce now has improved because farmers are adapting to various farming technologies. 

Organo said more farmers are now planting strawberries in elevated containers than the usual planting on the ground. – Ofelia C. Empian