This year’s Manggahan Festival held in Guimaras went viral this May as residents and tourists feasted on unlimited mangoes. Those who missed the festival or who could not afford to go to the island province got to have the same experience through an unlimited mango event held at Market! Market! in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig.
The event, held on June 11, 2022, was organized by Rural Rising Philippines, a social enterprise that buys produce at farmgate prices from farmers-in–need. The organization partnered with Ayala Land’s community engagement arm, which has been lending out spaces in their malls for Rural Rising’s activities.
For P200, participants got to eat all the mangos they could consume in 20 minutes. Participants were given one plate of four mangoes as a start and were free to take more plates. Some only ate two mangoes to support the event, but others took advantage and ate up to six mangoes.
Mangoes at the event were not only sourced from Guimaras, but also from farmers at Zambales, Davao, Iloilo Norte, and Pangasinan.
“Guimaras was our inspiration for the idea, but we did not hijack the Guimaras Mango Festival. We get mangoes from all sources around the Philippines. The mangoes have variety. Matitikman mo iba-iba, may malalaki, may maliit, may dilaw, may green (We have mangoes that are large, small, yellow, and green),” Ace Estrada, co-founder of Rural Rising, said to Agriculture Online.
Mango farmers from around the country had reached out to Rural Rising, which came to buy their produce. “They message us on Rural Rising Philippines [Facebook page]. Nagpapadala ng pictures (they send pictures), they send videos. Then we choose according to number one, our availability to help,” Ace said.
Rural Rising prepared 1.4 tons of mangoes for the event. The remaining mangoes were distributed to the employees of the Market! Market!
The organization also conducted an event on July 12 where participants paid P699 to collect all the fruits and vegetables they could fit in a box within 10 minutes. The organization buys the crops from farmers in their network and regularly conducts these so-called box-all-you-can events so the crops can be sold to urban consumers.
More box-all-you-can events will be held in the following venues:
- Solenad Mall (Santa Rosa, Laguna) on June 25-26
- MarQuee Mall (Angeles, Pampanga) on July 2-3
- Alabang Town Center (Muntinlupa) on July 9-10
- Glorietta (Makati) on July 16-17
Photos by Jerome Sagcal