Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sandiyahan sa Katagman

April 28 marks the 8th year of Sandiya Festival in Oton, Iloilo celebrated this year alongside Katagman Festival as Sandiya Growers Day at 2 p.m. at the Oton Amphitheater Green. The annual event is based on the idea of honouring the watermelon farmers, meeting new friends and sharing in a natural environment, the best watermelon in Iloilo.

Watermelons have been grown in the area for several years. Ogtonganons live closer to nature blessed with abundant farm produce. They wanted to share nature’s bounty with the rest of the community so with the help of the municipal government, the Oton Watermelon Grower’s Association (OWGA) and East-West Seed Company Incorporated organized a festival centered on watermelon, and meeting in a natural setting.

Ogtonganons come together under the umbrella of watermelon which they provide Ilonggos, along with so much more. With our need for tasty, fresh fruit satisfied, plus movement and play, warmth and sunshine, connection and much more, we can relish in the opportunities to dive in and get to know ourselves and others on a deeper, more fulfilling level.

The celebration serves as a platform for watermelon growers to talk and share their best practice on watermelon farming and to discuss with the local government how they can increase consumer demand for watermelon for promotion, research and a possible education program.

Best known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits, the watermelon is related to the cantaloupe, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, and gourd that grow on vines on the ground. Watermelons can be round, oblong, or spherical in shape and feature thick green rinds that are often spotted or striped. Watermelons range in size from a few pounds to upward of ninety pounds. There are between 600–1,200 different varieties of watermelon existing worldwide, but all of these varieties belong to the same scientific genus and species of plant, called Citrullis lanatus.

China is by far the largest watermelon-producing country and accounts for over half of all world production. The European Union countries, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, and the United States are the next largest watermelon producers, but each produces less than 5% of the world total.

As an opening event for Katagman Festival, the watermelons at this time are at its best, when they are everywhere, where farmers find the best quality watermelon in the farm, and when they are really of high quality and bursting with flavour that they speak for themselves. And special watermelon activities offered too!

Under the leadership of Mayor Vicente Flores, the annual festival has showcased watermelon as a healthy, refreshing, versatile fruit. Thanks in part to organizers effort, watermelon is not only for picnics anymore, but has won a regular place in every Ilonggo’s lists enjoyed year-round either in slices or added to desserts, drinks, and other interesting recipes.

So, stop wondering, come enjoy the best watermelon from Oton with plenty of fun under the sun and meeting new friends.

Oton is a First Class municipality. Approximately 10.2 kilometers away from Iloilo City, the town is bordered in the east by the district of Arevalo in Iloilo City; west by the municipality of Tigbauan: north by San Miguel; and the southern portion by a stretch of shoreline of the Sulu Sea. Made up of 37 barangays, the town has a total land area of 8,456 hectares. For more information, please contact Mrs. Irene Otero – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09479954730 or at (033) 3351014.

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