Showing posts with label 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019. Show all posts

Monday, May 27, 2019

Dimiao celebrates 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019

Farmers in Dimiao town displayed their watermelon of different varieties last Saturday, May 25, for the 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019. 

The festival aims to boost the tourism industry and to further address the importance of watermelon as the primary product of the town.

At least 62 farmers in Barangay Balbalan grow watermelons for extra income for the family while the extreme heat due to the weak El Nino was drying up the land.

The 2nd Pamakwan Festival 2019 was held
on Saturday, May 25, 2019, in Dimiao, Bohol
where farmers grow the sweetest and juiciest
watermelons in the province for extra income for
 the family while the drought is drying up the land.  Photos by Leo Udtohan
Balbalan, known as Bohol’s “watermelon country,” is producing the one of the country’s sweetest and juiciest watermelons, according to municipal agriculturist Jayrell Adanza.

Their hardwork paid off as they showcased during the festival at least  different variety of watermelons---Sweet 16, buffalo, Diana, cantaloupe, black panther, red and yellow delight,  and honey dew--- they vary widely in taste, texture, and color.

Watermelon season starts from April and ends in late June or July in the country, a period when extreme hot weather persists in parts of the country.

Adanza attributed the distinct sweetness to the farmers’ use of saline water  to irrigate the plants and the juiciness to alluvial soil.

“It’s near the coastal area,” said Adanza who initiated the Pamakwan Festival last year upon the approval of Dimiao Mayor Danilo Guivencan.

Guivencan said the festival is to give recognition among watermelon growers in the town. He hopes an ordinance will be passed by the new administration to give full support to the farmers.

Watermelon planting begins in the Balbalan village on the first week of March after harvesting their palay . They immediately prepared a total of 60 hectares of rice fields to plant watermelons.
Some farmers started planting in April when they have enough funds to buy farm inputs.

Seed germination to harvest usually takes two and a half months.

Watermelon farming here began in 1986 when a few farmers started planting pakwan in Barangay Balbalan. It was stopped for many years since nobody was interested to buy their products.

Farmers came back to watermelon planting in 2000 when the demand was high.

 Many health conscious people buy watermelons. Health experts say that sufficient intake of watermelon is a perfect remedy for a dehydrated body as it contains essential vitamins and minerals.

When other farmers made money from watermelons, others followed, according to Carlito Galleto, president of Dimiao Watemelon Growers Association.

Herasmo Galleto, 62, planted watermelons in early March in his 600-square-meter farm and expected to harvest the fruits in the first week of May. His wife, Eleuteria, 61, and their only son Jeffrey, 18, help in the farm.

Eleuteria said she liked planting watermelons during summer because the waiting time to make a profit was shorter.

Although watermelons thrive on warm weather, she said these still need to be watered twice a day.

Generally, the fruits are ready for harvest after 70 to 80 days. One vine can produce three to five fruits.

She said to know if the fruits are ripe, farmers usually thump the fruits to determine ripeness.  She said a hollow sound indicate that it is right for picking.

Eleuteria and other farmers sell the watermelons under small sheds along the highway for P30 to P35 per kilo for Sweet 16 variety and P50 for Diana variety.  A sliced-cold watermelon put inside a Styrofoam is sold at P10 per slice.

On a slow day, she could earn P5,000 the least.  When sales were brisk, her sales could go as high as P20,000 a day.

Most of the customers are motorists who stop at the shed. Sometimes, vendors buy in bulk and sell the fruits in public markets in the capital city of Tagbilaran.

So far, Eleuteria said it has been financially rewarding.

“Dako gyud  ikatabang, nakapausob sabalay, nakapalit og mga gamit, ug makabayad sab sa mga utang. Basta magkugi naa jud ((It is a big help. We improved our house, buy new things and paid our debts. It’s just hardwork),” she said.

Carlito, 41, said he spent P30,000 in farm inputs this planting season, including watermelon seeds, fertilizers and chemical spray.

Luckily, he has a sales of P200,000 before May ends.

“Bawi na kaayo mao nga nagpasalamat mi sa Ginoo sa iyang kayo (I recovered from my investment and I thank the Lord for his mercy),” said Carlito who started planting watermelons in 2012. 

Neighboring Lila town and even Sierra Bullones, Talibon and Ubay are also growing watermelons, but they can’t match the number of varieties and the quality produced here, Adanza said.

Saturday’s Pamakwan Festival was attended by the farmers, municipal officials and partners from the provincial agriculture, private seed companies and the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center 7 (ATI-RTC 7).

It started with field tour that visitors and melon growers visit the farms. Visitors can directly buy their own choice of melons from the farmers.

Dr. Carolyn May Daquio, center director of ATI-RTC 7, said agriculture plays a  big role in the community especially that Bohol is a booming tourist destination.

 She further encouraged and challenged the youth to venture into agriculture.

“Who will feed us for the next 10 years kung  walay mutikad sa atong kaumahan,”  said Daquio.