August has been a very busy month for me and this time the Department of Tourism invited me to the Niyogyugan Festival. I was excited because my mom is from Quezon Province and this will be my first time to blog about the place.
August is a time for celebration in Quezon Province, as it is the birth month of its famous native and namesake, former President Manuel Luis Quezon. Primarily agricultural, Quezon owes of its economy and livelihood to the coconut. The aptly dubbed “Tree of Life” is considered a blessing from God. More than a product, it is an identity-defining aspect of Quezonian culture in equal footing with President Quezon. Launched last 2011, a celebration was conceptualized in line with these in mind.
Derived from the fanciful interplay of the words “Niyog” (coconut) and “Yugyog” (to dance), Niyogyugan Festival celebrates the rich culture of Quezon and the ecstatic energy of the locals. The week-long festivity features colorful parade floats, street dancing competitions, and an elegant beauty pageant – all required to feature Quezon’s unique characteristics and the bounty of the coconut. It is also an opportunity for participating municipalities to showcase local products.
The Niyogyugan Festival has been successful since its inception. It reached a record number of 1,001,039 tourists, with its booths making net sales of Php 27,691,118.17. Some products are now already being sold in Manila and international markets.
I was amazed at the turn out. There were so many beautiful booths and it will be hard for the judges to pick a winner. The winner takes home 3 Million pesos and there are consolation prices as well. Since my mom is from Tayabas, I had to support and give it up for Tayabas, where my mom side the family comes from.
Lambanog is a traditional Filipino distilled palm liquor made from tuba that has been aged for at least several months. On the said booth, the tagayan ritual will take place, which is a common tradition in Quezon Province wherein each member of a group takes turn at drinking lambanog from a single shot glass which is then refilled by the tanggero. The said ritual aims to build friendship and show the hospitality of Quezonians through the warmth of lambanog.
I would hate to be a judge here since every booth is beautiful and even I would have a hard time picking out the winner. I guess I can understand why there are (4) winners to choose from. Either way, it was such a great experience and I can’t wait for Niyogyugan Festival 2020!