It’s almost time for the Mango Festival in Iba Zambales when I got an invite from DOT Region 3 to cover the festival. Zambales is not only known as the home of the Philippines Sweetest Mango, the province is also where the beaches are sublime, the forests and mountains are gorgeous and lush, and the hospitality is world class. And many consider Zambales mangoes to be the very best and sweetest on the entire planet. This means, of course, if you’re going to be attending any mango festivals in your life, you can’t miss this one!
Zambales Mango Festival Float Parade
To taste a Zambales-grown mango is to immediately understand why entire towns came together to celebrate this exceptional fruit and give it a festival. Imagine yourself in the midst of a swirl of exciting colors and sounds with the delicious aroma of wonderful mangoes filling the air.
Mango Fruit Carving Competition
This year, the festival was celebrated from March 6-8, 2014 and during the festivities, everyone’s dancing in the street, people are singing, and there are smiles everywhere. It doesn’t get better than this, it really feels quite legendary because the intoxicating fragrance of newly harvested mangoes permeates the atmosphere and fills the streets with a joyful and contagious aura.
Marching Band in front of Zambales Capitol
Zambales is always wonderful, but when you are there during the Mango Festival, Zambales feels like a deluxe version of itself. Packed with activities, this three-day soiree will give you plenty to do during your visit.
Zambales Mango Festival Opening Ceremony
One highlight is the parade, with incredible costumes and characters, contingents are dancing in the streets wearing Mango inspired costumes. You’ll see gigantic headdresses, detailed pageantry and fanfare of the most spirited kind. Watch giant parade floats glide down the street and shake it to the big booming melodious gusto of the local marching bands.
Trade Fair and Exhibit
In Zambales, “to make beautiful” is called “parayawan” and in the days leading up to the festivities, everyone embodies parayawan by decorating residences and businesses with replicas of mangoes. During the festival you’ll get to try dried mangoes, mango tarts, and even sample some mango candy at the local trade fair and exhibits.
Zambales Mango – Worlds Sweetest Mango
Don’t miss the Mango Wine Mixing and Bartending events, nor should you miss a chance to look at works from the mango carving competition, and root for contestants in the mango eating competition.
Stroll the beach and check out the sand sculpture contest, one of the highlights of the festival, and it won’t be difficult to happen upon one of the many beach parties along the shore. Take a look in the sky as the skydiving competition will also be underway, and if watching people fall out of the sky is too harrowing for you, find the Zambales Sports Complex and lend an ear to the drum and lyre competition.
Dine, dance and celebrate all things mango at the Zambales Mango Festival. See you next year at Zambales Mango Festival 2015!