By KIMBERLIE NGABIT QUITASOL
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Floats from recycled materials and a replica of the Guinness World Record strawberry short cake highlighted the 38th Strawberry Festival of this capital town of Benguet province.
Fourteen floats made from old tarps, used sacks, plastic bottles, plastic cups, old slippers and candy wrappers among other were manually pushed throughout the almost one kilometer parade route.
While the 1.6 ton replica, which was 1.5 meters tall, 1.8 meters wide, 2.5 meters long were be sliced into 12,000 pieces, given free to the first 100 people in line and for P20.00 to the remaining attendees.
Environment and culture
This year, organizers of the grand float parade and street dancing competition focused of environmental protection and Benguet culture respectively.
The non-motorized floats were crafted from recyclable and biodegradable wastes by participants from the public and private sectors.
Mayor Romeo Salda said the float parade aimed to promote care for the environment. He added they opted not to use metered vehicles for the floats to inspire lesser air pollution from vehicle emissions.
The 10 street dancing participants featured traditionally inspired dances. The presentations revolved around the theme: La Trinidad, my pride, my home.
Participants to the street dancing and float parade were from the barangays and schools in the town.
Baker of the of this year’s replica of this capital town’s record breaking strawberry short cake proudly told the media that all ingredients came from the town.
“All ingredients are sourced locally, we need to help our local industry,” Sharon Lorenzo, public relations manager of Valley Bread.
According to her, 600 kilos of sweet Charlie strawberries of La Trinidad, 250 kilos for the puree used to top the cake and 350 kilos for the strawberry preserves baked with the cake, and 3,000 eggs were used.
Lorenzo said they only encountered minor challenges during the preparation. She cited delayed delivery of ingredients as among the challenges.
“It took us a month to prepare and make the cake,” she said.
The cake, which can last up to four days, was sliced at around 11:00 am at the town’s Lednicky Hall where it was displayed. As expected, every slice of was sold.
La Trinidad secured the Guinness World record for the largest strawberry shortcake in 2004 after displaying a 9.6-ton giant cake. The gigantic cake was given to the public for free.
Meanwhile, Department of Tourism Undersecretary Generation Arturo Boncato, Jr. tagged the locally produce strawberries as the “best tasting” in the country.
The undersecretary, who is in-charge of tourism regulation coordination & resource, graced the occasion to deliver the keynote message last week.
He claimed the strawberry farm of La Trinidad is one of the most sought after tourist destination particularly the sweet tasting strawberries being produced here.
Bocato urged La Trinidad to maintain the quality of the product, pointing the need to craft policies and regulation in collaboration with the private sector and the community.
The official also thanked Benguet State University for maintaining and developing strawberry farms in the valley located within the school lands. # nordis.net