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After flowerfest, tourists drawn to Strawberry Fest in Benguet capital.

As this year's Baguio Flower Festival winds down, tourists have been drawn to its Benguet neighbor, La Trinidad town, which began celebrating the 38th Strawberry Festival last week.

On Friday (Mar. 8), strawberry gardeners displayed their harvests, competing for the title of heaviest and sweetest berries.

The town is also counting down to March 23, when it recreates a giant strawberry cake. Baked in 2004, the 9.6-ton dessert earned La Trinidad the Guinness World Record for the largest strawberry shortcake.

La Trinidad, the Benguet capital town, is the provincial center and is where vegetables grown in mountain-side gardens are traded.

The first-class municipality is also where tourists go to visit vast strawberry fields, where they can pick berries for a fee.

There are over 700 strawberry farmers in La Trinidad alone, many of them concentrated in the villages of Betag, Balili, Poblacion, Tawang, Puguis, Pico and Wangal.

In 2018, 49 hectares of the town's strawberry farms produced over a thousand metric tons of berries.

This year, strawberry farmer Jason Edwas produced the heaviest berries, after a set of ten berries weighing 540 grams beat last year's heaviest berries which weighed 350 grams, in the annual contest's open category.

Edwas said he uses organic fertilizer composed of chicken droppings and lime.

Farmer Martha Bulangan grew this year's sweetest strawberries, in the winter dawn category.

The first Strawberry Festival was staged in 1981.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:5TRIN
Date:Mar 9, 2019
Words:288
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