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Banana Bonanza!

Banana Festival – a humble thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest turned into one of the liveliest festivals in the Philippines. Join this festivity and surely, you'll go bananas with lots of bananas!

by Rosevie Decio on May 26, 2012

The Philippines is rich in fruits and crops that give a lot of benefits to the human body. One of this is our nation’s pride – the banana, which is also a usual appetizer, dessert, or standalone food among Filipino families during their daily meals.

Furthermore, banana is one of the top exported products in the country and it elevates the economic value of the society. It is very remarkable on the account of its taste and the different vitamins and minerals it gives, one of which is potassium.

Therefore, people in Oriental Mindoro never fail to celebrate their annual Banana Festival every 18th-19th of March at Baco, the oldest town in the province. This is their way of giving thanks for a bountiful banana harvest. At the day of the festival, different events featuring bananas are held. Some of them are:

♦ A streetdance competition showcasing performers wearing clothes and accessories made of banana fruits and leaves.

Cooking contests featuring original banana recipes.

A beauty pageant with stunning ladies parading their banana gowns.

A banana sculpture competition.

The thanksgiving ritual.

Different games and culminating activities where everyone can join and have fun.


The streets are filled with dancers who stomp, jump, and pulsate at the beat of drums and music. Any spectator will be encouraged to at least tap their feet in this festive mood. Local and foreign tourists will not be able to help themselves but dance along the streets. The glittery and colorful banana costumes are so inviting, plus the townspeople are very friendly, so the outsiders and mere watchers won't feel out of place.

The houses are decorated with bananas, bananas, and more bananas! Some families even invite spectators to watch how they cook or prepare banana dishes and desserts, stressing out the nutrients that can be gained from eating this ownderful fruit. Bananas are also medicinal plants and they can serve as homemade remedies for common ailments.

There are also different trade expos where tourists can buy souvenirs, handicrafts, and delicacies. Bananas are considered the lifeblood of most of the locals, and they need every support people can give. Now, they don't only get their income from planting and selling bananas but also from the huge benefits of tourism in their place.

Amidst the noise and loud music is a simple prayer of gratitude for a plentiful banana harvest. The banana festival is truly a great way of celebrating and thanking the Great Provider and Mother Nature for the bounties they give to the people of Oriental Mindoro.

How to get there

You can take a bus (Jam Liner, Alps, Tritran, Green Star, RRCG, or N. Dela Rosa) from Manila going to Sta. Clara Port in Batangas City or in Calapan city which has a bigger port. From Calapan City you can take a ride in a jeep or on a bus going to different municipality of Oriental Mindoro.



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