Nothing can stop Filipinos from celebrating festivals. It has become an essential part of the Filipino identity to rejoice over achievements by gathering together as one big family. But what makes every festival worth looking forward for is the sumptuous food prepared during this long-awaited agape. While most festivals are dominated with lechon, adobo, humba, menudo, crispy pata, and many other greasy and fatty dishes, there’s one town in Cebu that celebrates it the green way – Dalaguete.
Perfectly situated at the highlands of Cebu, Dalagute is considered as the “Vegetable Basket” of the province. Its weather and geographical location makes it suitable for planting cabbage, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, and many other vegetables in the area. These crops are highly valuable for trading and economic stability not only of the municipality, but also of the neighboring cities that depend on Dalaguete for sustenance.
As thanksgiving for a year of bounteous harvest, Dalaguete celebrates Utanon Festival every February 9 and 10 in honor of their patron saint, San Guillermo de Aquitania, whom they believed to have blessed the town. The term “Utanon” was coined from the local term meaning “vegetables”. This celebration is highlighted through street dance and showdown competition to market the vegetable industry of the municipality.
With more tourists coming to Dalaguete to visit Osmena Peak and its neighboring summits, may people become aware of how rich and diverse is the agricultural setup of our country. May Filipinos take part in the promotion of agriculture as it sustains the backbone of our economy.