April 18, 2024

The red and white varieties of the strawberry fruit were showcased during the Strawberry Festival highlights in La Trinidad, Benguet on March 16 and 17. 

In the street dance, drum and lyre, and mini float parade on March 16, the 16 barangays of the municipality and participating schools from these barangays paraded at the whole stretch of the valley floor at Km. 6 to Km. 5 to the delight of the residents and guests.  

Barangay Lubas has emerged as the champion in the pro-environment category of the mini-float competition where it showed the red and white strawberries atop the float – the red strawberries made out of rubber slippers while the white strawberries were made of plastic bottles, and the rest of the float were decorated with recyclable materials.  

Also,the Lubas Elementary School which was hailed as champion for the drum and lyre competition with its colorful props of red and white strawberry, and synchronized dancers dancing to the beat of Cordilleran and modern songs.

Their pupils’ performance ended with a bang portraying the harvest of strawberries placed in kayabang or the local basket which symbolizes a bountiful harvest.

Other winners for the drum and lyre competitions are La Trinidad Central School as first runner-up and Puguis Elementary School as second runner-up. The judges also lauded the “rising stars” of the competition: Buyagan Elementary School, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, and Pico Elementary School.    

Ruling the valley of colors mini float category (floral float) is Barangay Bineng, with its depiction of the original red Sweet Charlie variety, sitting atop the float while large flowers adorned it, making use of various colors of chrysanthemum flowers and other ornamental plants. 

For the valley of colors mini float category: Beckel placed second followed by Bahong while in the pro-environment category, runners-up in order were Poblacion, Shilan, and Puguis.

Meanwhile on March 17, the public tasted the 12,000 strawberry cupcakes served at the municipal gym. The first 100 cupcakes were given away for free while the rest were sold at P40 each. 

Revelers viewed the strawberry shortcake replicas from 2002 to 2023, which were baked by the Association of Bakers in La Trinidad using 240 kilos of strawberries.

Mayor Romeo Salda said the festival aims to showcase and bolster the municipality as the strawberry capital of the Philippines. He said the municipality is also helping out farmers and entrepreneurs to continue producing strawberry and its by-products. – Ofelia C. Empian