SABLAN, Benguet – The local government of Sablan held a thanksgiving mass and a simple program on September 3 to celebrate the 7th Fruit Festival with the theme “Building Resilience through Gratitude.” Mayor Manuel Munar Jr. said the municipality decided push through with the simple celebration with limited attendees among the officials and employees of the local government as a thanksgiving particularly for the good health and safety of the people of Sablan who have been spared of the ill effects of the COVID- 19.
The event was also an avenue to present the situation of the fruit production of the municipality which has been affected by the recent southwest monsoon and typhoons and how it will be addressed to ensure a continued bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables.
The Fruit Festival is an annual celebration of the municipality featuring the bountiful fruits and vegetables produce of the “fruit capital of Benguet.” It has always been a crowd drawing event in the past.
Munar explained that they opted not to invite guests and even locals who usually take part of the various activities and events during the festival to ensure that restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 are followed.
In their virtual messages, ACT-CIS Representative and Benguet Caretaker Cong. Eric Go Yap and Governor Melchor Diclas greeted and thanked the people of Sablan particularly the farmers.
Yap paid tribute to the farmers who continue to produce fruits for the province and other markets despite the pandemic. He also assured support to the farmers to ensure that they continue to plant and produce fruits and live a better life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
For his part, Gov. Diclas said the municipality thru the aspiration of its leaders has been fruitful in its endeavor in making Sablan a productive and resilient town. He said that the celebration theme reflects not only the culture of determination to face challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic but also the humility among the people of the municipality. He also urged the people of Sablan to continue to be resilient as he assured support particularly for the continued production of the different varieties of fruits.
While he encouraged the farmers to continue producing fruits and vegetables, Diclas also encouraged the public to eat more fruits and vegetables not only to help the farmers but also to promote being healthy.
The celebration was capped with the ceremonial planting of fruit bearing trees led by Mayor Munar, Municipal Agriculturist Ramon Anacioco, Municipal Assessor Allan Contero, Election Officer Jeff Rubino and Sablan MPS Chief of Police Lt. Jonathan Pulig.