Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Strawberries Remain Top La Trinidad Tourist Magnet


Strawberries Remain Top La Trinidad Tourist Magnet


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The strawberries produced in this capital town serve as top reasons why tourists visit.

While there are several agri-tourism attractions in the capital town, the strawberry farm in Barangay Betag is a magnet, bringing in thousands.

“We have declared that the OTOP (one town, one product) of La Trinidad is strawberry. So, iyon po ang palaging tinitingnan ng local and foreign tourists natin (We have declared that the OTOP of La Trinidad is strawberry. So, it is what local and foreign tourists look forward to), to have a chance to pick strawberries,” Mayor Romeo Salda said during the serving of around 12,000 strawberry cupcakes at the municipal gym on Sunday, one of the highlights of the Strawberry Festival.

Salda there are about 1,020 farmers that continuously produce strawberries in La Trinidad.

Aside from the farmers, several others have ventured into processing the strawberries into different products like jam, preserves, dried, tarts, cookies and pastries, wine, vinegar, and even soap.

Valred Olsim, municipal tourism officer, said in an earlier interview that around 700,000 visited La Trinidad in 2023.

Baguio City visitors normally also go to La Trinidad for the strawberry-picking experience.

Strawberry season starts in November and lasts until June, but with new technologies and the use of green houses, they are produced year round for tourism purposes.

During peak tourism season, a kilo of strawberry is sold between PHP400 and PHP500 a kilo in markets and the stalls outside the gardens, but a kilo of personally picked strawberries range from PHP700 to PHP1,000.

After the town notched a Guinness World Record for baking the world’s largest strawberry shortcake in 2004, the ceremonial slicing of the giant strawberry cake has also became a sought-after event during Strawberry Festival every March.

Guinness data indicated the shortcake weighed 21,213.40 pounds (9,622.23 kilos).

For this year’s celebrations, scheduled March 3 to 24, festival organizers decided not to bake a giant cake and instead had five bakeshops prepare 12,000 cupcakes sold for PHP40 each.

Myanne Salda, municipal administrator and head of the committee that handled the strawberry cupcake event, said the cake-slicing event will return next year using the kayabang design, or local handmade basket.

“Kayabang symbolizes abundant strawberry harvest through the coming years. The cakes on top of the kayabang symbolize that La Trinidad will still be known as the strawberry capital of the Philippines through the coming years — abundantly producing the berries for the livelihood of the people and the enjoyment of the public,” she said. (PNA)