WITH the start of Cagayan de Oro City's Higalaay festivities, the iconic Gaston Park is filed with the city's freshest and greenest produce. The Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show has officially opened to showcase Cagayan de Oro's gardeners and planters and their products.
A bigger participation from various barangays met this year's Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show. With about 13 participants from Barangays Tablon, Mambuaya, Iponan, Baingon, Pagatpat, Canitoan, Balubal, Tignapoloan, San Simon, Dansolihon, and Gusa. Planters from as far as Davao City and Bukidnon also chipped in their products in the agri-show.
"Nalipay tag dako nga daghan daghan jud ang misalmot karon sa Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show. Ato jud ning padayuna ang atong programa ug manghinaot ta na ang kahusay ug kalipay ay naa jud sa atong palibot karon. (We are very happy that many participated today in the Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show. We will continue this program and we should make sure that the excellence and the happiness is everywhere around us now.)," said Amy Daba, chairperson for the city committee on agriculture.
For many years, the Higalaay Agri Fair and Garden Show has been instrumental in the highlighting of the produce coming from the barangays here in the city. Most barangays which participated in the event are hinterland barangays whose planters have prepared for the event months before.
Yvette Samsona, a planter from Barangay Dansolihon said that her family had been taking care of their crops months before the Agri Fair. With all the tourists pouring in the Higalaay Festival, their efforts are surely reciprocated in each of the years that they have been participating in the event.
"Ug magkaduol na gani ang Agosto ug mag Higalaay na pud, kami didto sa Dansolihon magprepara na jud para sa Agri fair. Nakabantay man jud mi nga daghan daghan jud ang mupalit sa amo man. Mabawi jud ang aming kahago. (When the month of August comes near and it's time for the Higalaay Festival, we there at Dansolihon prepare for the Agri Fair. We noticed that many would buy from us. Our hard work really pays off.)," she said.
Much like her neighboring stalls, Samsona boasts of her barangay's vegetables, fruits, and other local products. Everywhere, there is a display of green, leafy vegetables and plump fruits such as bananas and mangoes. Others choose to present their dried fish or fruits products and rice cake delicacies.
On the other hand, Romnick Compadre of Barangay Pagatpat sits in the middle of his flower display in a corner of the Gaston Park. He said that in the three years that he's been participating in the Higalaay Garden Show, people have been coming back mostly for his succulents.
"Kani jud and akong maihambog diri. Ang akong mga cactus labi na tong mga gagmay. Daghan mupalit para sa ilang mga balay or mga office. Mao nang ma enjoy jud ko nga magpresent diri sa Higalaay every year. (These are what I really boast about here. My cacti specially the small ones. Many buy for their homes or offices. This is why I really enjoy presenting here at the Higalaay every year)," Compadre said.
The planters will display their products for the entirety of the month of August as one of the core events of the Higalaay Festival.