SAGADA, Mountain Province – The municipal government is inclined to aggressively promote strawberry picking in some identified areas in this mystical town to help boost the gradual and safe revival of the heavily impacted tourism industry.
Mayor Felicito Dula, Jr. stated that the local government is working on the development and expansion of a 1,000-square meter strawberry production area that will serve as the site for strawberry picking for interested residents and visitors alike that will add up to the existing tourist attractions that are being frequented by visitors.
He added that strawberry picking will surely be an added attraction in the municipality although the production area will be limited unlike in La Trinidad, Benguet where the strawberry farms are much wider and could accommodate a significant number of strawberry pickers at a single time.
The local chief executive claimed that once strawberry picking with be successful in the proposed production area, many farmers will be convinced to plant the same and allow their farms to be part of the strawberry picking areas that will be readily available for the increasing number of visitors already frequenting the municipality.
Sagada is one of the famous tourist destinations in Northern Luzon because of its existing natural attractions such as the caves and other nature destinations that serve as a natural pull for tourists to visit the mystical town.
Local officials expressed hope that the proposed strawberry picking in the municipality will draw the interest of foreign and domestic tourists frequenting the municipality for them to appreciate the strawberries that are produced in the locality.
Strawberry picking is one of the major activities of tourists visiting the capital town of La Trinidad, Benguet where the hundreds of hectares of strawberry plantation serve as a venue for the same, especially during the peak season of the fruit which runs from November to March yearly.
The local government claimed that because of the successful strawberry picking in La Trinidad that will be replicated in the municipality, there will be added strawberry farms that will emerge considering that the weather is suitable in the production of the fruit.
Aside from La Trinidad, strawberries are also being produced in Bauko, Mountain Province. Madaymen, Kibungan, Benguet; Atok, Benguet; Tuba, Benguet and even some barangays of Baguio city.
With the added attraction being proposed for the town’s tourism industry, concerned stakeholders believe that strawberry picking will surely provide the needed boost for the ongoing gradual and safe revival of the local tourism industry that was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 2 years.
According to them, the emergence of the other variants of the deadly virus should not be a deterrent to the desire of the people to be resilient as it has already been proven that the populace can co-exist with the virus provided that they simply adhere to the ongoing implementation of the minimum public health standards such as the wearing of face masks, observance of physical distancing and the regular practice of personal hygiene and disinfection.
Photo by RJ CAYABYAB