RP’s Strawberry Capital has enough reasons to celebrate. After landing in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005 for the “Biggest Strawberry Cake,” La Trinidad would be unveiling its “House of Strawberry” when it kicks off its Strawberry Festival on March 19. The festival would include street dancing and float parades.
BY ACE ALEGRE
Contributed to Bulatlat
La Trinidad, Benguet (250 kms. north of Manila) Philippines’s Strawberry Capital has enough reasons to celebrate.
After landing in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005 for the “Biggest Strawberry Cake,” La Trinidad would be unveiling its “House of Strawberry” when it kicks off its Strawberry Festival on March 19. The festival would include street dancing and float parades.
Guests, including President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, wiould partake of a smaller version of the record-holding strawberry shortcake when they join the revelries.
The biggest strawberry shortcake in the world produced by the country’s strawberry capital three years ago weighed 9,600 kilos and measured 12.31 feet long, 8.68 feet wide; and nine feet in diameter with a total volume of 547.32 cubic feet. The official dimension of the record-holding cake was certified by the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers-Baguio City.
Around 2,350 kilos of fresh strawberries (imported from Argentina), 537.5 kilos of butter and 967.5 kilos of strawberry preserve were used in making the cake. A total of 2,150 pans of cake were produced. It was able to feed 42,080 tourists, residents and guests. It costed about a million pesos, it was learned.
The official recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records was received by La Trinidad in May 31, last year.
This year, however, no cake as large as the record holder is going to be baked. But the local government of La Trinidad promised that there would be enough strawberry cake for everyone. Mayor Nestor Fongwan is very optimistic that the different activities lined up for the festival would lure local and foreign tourists.
House of Strawberry
A “strawberry house” near the municipal hall would be unveiled. It exhibits the town’s different strawberry products, the authentic certificate of La Trinidad as the 2004 Guinness World Record holder for the largest strawberry cake ever baked, and a video documentation on the making of the said cake.
The town hall’s grounds would be teeming with bakers, processors, and sellers of various strawberry cakes and products.
The town agriculturist Fely Ticbaan said that the local government is cooperating with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Bureau of Food and Drugs for the screening of products and registration of the participants. “If the products pass their standards, these would be accredited and labeled with the OneTown, One Product (Otop) seal,” she said.
“The production of strawberry is high. There would be enough fruits for the festival,” Ticbaan said.
To maintain good strawberry production, the local government has implemented a strategy wherein planting stocks would be changed every three years, in an effort to avert pests and eventually, reduce the use of chemicals.
A processing center where different agricultural products would undergo processes such as trimming, cleansing, washing and drying is also being planned by the local government.
Literally on the ground during the festival, Fongwan said agricultural lots for strawberries and other agricultural products would also be sustained.
Last year, the “sweet Charlie” strawberry variety distributed to farmers ensured good harvest in time for this year’s festival.
La Trinidad started baking the giant strawberry cake in March 2002 to promote the town as the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines,” it being the premier producer of strawberries in the country. Ace Alegre/(Bulatlat.com)