Native delicacies share stage in Quezon coco fest
LUCENA CITY—Native food and delicacies shared the stage with Quezon province’s coconut industry during the Niyogyugan Festival staged in this capital city last month.
Infanta’s “suman” (glutinous rice cake wrapped in banana leaves) remained the most sought-after food item among visitors.
Other top sellers were “puto bao” (rice cake) from Agdangan town, instant “salabat” (ginger tea) and peanut brittle from Dolores town, “suman sa lihiya” (rice cake) from San Antonio town, and “pancit habhab” (dried noodle) from Lucban town.
Food sales reached P13.1 million, or an average of P1.3 million a day, during the trade exhibition, according to Roberto Gajo, head of the provincial agriculture office.
Infanta earned P1.04 million, mostly from the sale of suman. Anely Calleja, one of six suman makers from the town, said she sold an average of 600 packs of 25 pieces of suman a day. Each pack sells for P85.
“We’re always looking forward to the annual Niyogyugan Festival because of the opportunity to earn big and to promote our native suman,” Calleja said.
Booths were set up by the province’s 37 towns and two cities in front of the provincial capitol building and Perez Park to sold a variety of fresh seafood, organic vegetables, native “buri” (straw) bags, bracelets and necklaces from seashells, herbal medicines and coconut-based products.
The festival’s name was coined from the word “niyog” (coconut) and “yugyog” (move to a fast beat). It started in 2011 from a weeklong Agri-Tourism Trade Exposition, which featured the major products of every town.
In 2012, then Rep. Aleta Suarez transformed the event into the first Niyogyugan Festival, not only to give tribute to the coconut as the so-called tree of life but also to promote tourism and local products.
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