Guimaras is best known for its mangoes so it’s only right that they have Manggahan Festival (Mangga is their dialect for mango), which they celebrate in thanksgiving for the year’s harvest and blessings. We were lucky that when we visited Guimaras in the summer of 2014, it’s celebrating this week-long festival (the highlight is a cultural show a la Dinagyang, but we missed it).
One of Manggahan’s highlights is a grand showcase of its products. Most booths sell mangoes, but there were stalls too selling plants, delicacies, and even clothes and toys.
We came here to have lunch so we gave mango stalls like the above a pass and headed straight to the food stalls so we could appease our grumbling stomach. We chose to eat at Lisa’s.
We chose this since it was the most packed and its menu was more varied than others. We ordered Kilawin (Ceviche), Crabs, Shrimp, and Grilled Squid.
When our order arrived, I immediately dug in. The Gambas looked nothing like the photo in the menu, but it was good. The crab wasn’t fat enough, but the kilawin was really good. The squid was soft and tasty.
After our yummy lunch, we went back to the mango stalls to finally try the famous Guimaras mangoes and true enough, they were the sweetest, though to be fair, I had tasted mangoes as sweet as Guimaras mangoes in Aklan and Cebu; but what sets them apart from mangoes anywhere in the country is that Guimaras mangoes are consistent in their excellent quality. That is, on our 3-day stay in the province, each and every mango we had regardless of where we where were sweet (in other parts of the country, getting the sweetest mango is a matter of luck).
While going around the mango stalls, I chanced on one selling Mango Shake so I ordered one for my dessert.
It was yummy and cheap at only Php 30 per order.
Manggahan Festival is held every summer. Check out Guimaras’ official website or Manggahan Festival’s Facebook page for updates.