Boholanos speak huge about ubi. The people of Bohol speak ubi with pride, fondness, and familiarity. A variety of the ubi is even mentioned in the provincial hymn. That is how venerated the ubi is to Bohol.
This Tuesday, Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) will once again recognize the efforts of the Boholano Ubi growers who will showcase the different varieties of Ubi especially the Kinampay they harvested during the 18th Ubi Festival slated from Tuesday to Thursday where activities of selling the products will center at Plaza Rizal.
The festival will kick off with the ribbon cutting and opening of exhibits at the Plaza Rizal at 12:20 p.m. to be led by Gov. Edgar M. Chatto and Regional Executive Director Leo P. Cañeda, Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 7 to be assisted by Mayor Maria Puresa V. Chatto, the acting Vice-Gov. Venzencio C. Arcamo, and all members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan with Dr. Dioscoro A. Avergonzado, Bohol Island State University (BISU) System president.
Right after the ribbon cutting and opening of exhibits, themotorcade will follow from Plaza Rizal which is the assembly area to the facade of the Old Capitol Building- CPG North Avenue-Ma. Clara St.-Gallares St.- J.A. Clarin St.- and then to the Island City Mall wherein the opening program will be held.
Chatto and Cañeda are expected to deliver their respective messages while the officer-in-charge at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) Dr. Larry M. Pamugas will acknowledge the participants and Arcamo will deliver the welcome address.
The biggest Ubi tuber harvested in each variety in Pinaka (biggest), Literary Musical Contests, Ubi and other Endemic Crops Production Technology Fora and other contests will highlight the three-day Ubi Fest 2018.
The Pinaka Contest will be conducted on Wednesday, 1 p.m. at the Plaza Rizal while the literacy Musical Contests composed of the Ubi Balak (farmer and student categories), Ubi Kuradang (farmer and student categories), Ubi Kuradang (farmer and student), Ubi Rap/Jingle, Bugno sa Rondalya, and Farmer Yoyoy Villame Voice alike to start at 8 a.m. on the same day will be held at the ICM.
The Ubi and other Endemic Crops Production Technology Fora will be facilitated at the Panda Tea Garden Suite by Amancia Medellin an Ubi expert at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Other contests to add savor of the festival on Tuesday, 3 p.m. at the ICM are the Benignit Eating and Ubi Challenge Eating Contests simultaneous with the Best Ubi Booth/Ubi Exhibit and Indigenous/Endemic Crops Production Technology contests which will be held at the Plaza Rizal.
Big prizes are to be given to the winners of the different contests.
The Bohol Ubi Growers Association (BUGA) through their president Floriano Gamay agreed to put up a booth and to sell their Ubi tubers with the uniformed prices: Kinampay at P60/kilo; Baligonhon, Kabus-ok, Tam-isan, Binato, Iniling, Binanay, Binugas, Gimnay and other white varieties are priced at P50/kilo.
The closing and the awarding program will be on Thursday, 2 p.m. at the Plaza Rizal of which Chatto to be assisted by Arcamo, all Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, and Dr. Larry M. Pamugas will give the awards.
The governor and Board Member Abeleon R. Damalerio, chair-SP Committee on Agriculture will deliver their messages.
Eleno L. Evangelista, the Ubifest focal person, said the provincial government expects the participation of 23 towns in the province who are potential areas for Ubi plantation namely; Tagbilaran City, Baclayon, Dauis, Panglao, Albur, Lila, Dimiao, Jagna, Duero, Alicia, Ubay, Talibon, Calape, Antequera, Maribojoc, Cortes, Balilihan, Carmen, Mabini, Corella, Sevilla, and San Isidro.
THE HEART FOR THE UBI
The ubi is perhaps near “sacred” in Bohol. There has been thetalk of the tradition of giving reverence and respect to the ubi among Boholanos. When the topic of ubi has been opened to a Boholano, there is bound to be a tale needed to be told about the produce.
There was a legend when a time Bohol was struck with famine and a family was in constant search for food. The family members saw a tuber growing from the ground. The family together with other persons in the community cooked the tuber and found it to be delicious and nutritious. The unknown tuber saved not just the hungry family members, but also the community.
During hard times, the Boholanos have been turning to Ubi for nourishment and sustenance. The Boholanos see the crop as the saving grace in times of trouble. Aside from being an abundant crop, the Ubi is considered as a staple of some residents. In honor and to acknowledge the importance of the crop, the Ubi Festival is held with various activities. (DSA with reports from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist)