LARGA FESTIVAL | A Vegetable Fiesta in Sta. Catalina, Ilocos Sur


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"How I wish that after 50 years, this festival will still continue and evolve to be one of the grandest in the country, and after 50 years, this blog entry will still remain."

A very small town west of the city of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur, it is very interesting to know that in spite of the small size of the town, it has managed to evolve as an important portion of the economy of the province. Dubbed as the vegetable bowl of the north, the little town of only 9.68 sq. km. in area is blessed with limited fertile farmlands. For the town, size doesn't matter.

Larga Festival | An Overview

Larga Festival | Sta. Catalina,Ilocos Sur

Sun-Kissed Farmer's Hat


The little town of Sta. Catalina is an agricultural town. But unlike many other agricultural towns, it does not mainly host rice fields. Interestingly, the agricultural lands of Sta. Catalina are planted with cabbages, onions, cauliflowers, and others. The crops I mentioned are just the major produces of the town.

This is the first ever Larga Festival in town with the goal to promote the industries and local products of the municipality especially their vegetable products. However, there are also rice fields and corn fields. So just imagine how diverse the crops grown in this little town.

Larga Festival | Sta. Catalina, Ilocos Sur

Fiesta Crowd


This is so far, the first Larga Festival in the town and I am blessed to have witnessed this celebration dedicated to the vegetable farmers in town.

Yes, the farmers deserve a break and recognition since they serve as the foundation of almost every rural town's economy.

Fiesta scenes in town

Crowd in front of the town hall


Local Products in one stop


Town Plaza crowd


Purple Cabbage, a must-try in Sta. Catalina


It is very uplifting to know that you don't need to be big to dominate. For Sta. Catalina, they own the vegetable trade and market in the province. Their farm products are also sold to other provinces and even to Manila.

It is my first time to see the town so lively and happy. The people were there, anticipating that great things are happening in their small town. I can witness their excitement and fascination. 

One must-try product in Sta. Catalina is the purple cabbage. It is not main stream and yet, the town has been producing it for several years. They say you can eat this raw like lettuce. Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to try it.

Street Dancing

Fiesta Banners


Preparing for the street dancing


And yeah! There was a street dancing. It was the highlight of the celebration. The dancers were little kids from the 7 elementary schools in the municipality.

It was not as grand as the other popular festivals in the Philippines but for a simple quiet town like Sta. Catalina, this must be something worth watching and cherishing for.

I don't know why this event feels like so special to me. I don't live here although some of good friends of mine are from here. Maybe because I have a deep respect to farmers because the way they raise their families as farmers are just greater than anyone else on my point of view.

Now the kids, on which I am sure some of them are children of farmers are dancing on the streets promoting their products with good pride and greatness. That's the essence of this festival! Yes, I might have discovered why it feels so special to me.

It was a pure celebration. The farmers' kids themselves danced gracefully with pride in their gestures. Unlike any other festivals that become so commercialized leading to real competitions (although I am not against with the concept), Larga Festival was more of a passion. The children for sure can't help but to perceive that the town's farmers (their parents, and including them) are real heroes. Without their parents, this festival is meaningless. Indeed, the festival was full of meaning. This is their day!

Caroza in motion


Little vegetable vendors, a simulation


With emphasis on the green necklace made from Sili


Shy little girl


Baskets of vegetables


Kids on street party!


A necklace made from fresh sili


And the real celebration began as the street dancers put on their feet to the streets with colorful costumes and props.

There was only 1 background music used and it played so loud so that the whole poblacion and the people watching along the main street can hear. Imagine how loud should that be and I was just near to one of the speakers.

They wear Abel Iloko, a locally woven fabric.


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Head carry


Yellow


In motion


Eyes closed


Being in sync


Being at the back


Contingent#5


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Graceful!


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

So Colorful!


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Big smile!


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Big moves


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Partners


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Cute little boys in green


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Cute little boys in red


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Waisted


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Bending to the left


Larga Festival | Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Trio



Click the Map to explore more of Sta. Catalina.


How I wish that after 50 years, this festival will still continue and evolve to be one of the grandest in the country, and after 50 years, this blog entry will still remain.

For that, I will be more than glad to say that I was a part of history and will still be and tell the younger generation (if I am still alive that time) that "Hey look at my blog! I was able to document the first ever Larga Festival in your town!"

Please pardon the low-quality photos, but I hope you were able to get the message I wanted to bring out that even the most expensive camera can not deliver.

comment 9 #TownFolks Commented :

Pepper Tan on December 5, 2012 at 7:10 AM said...

This is the first time I've heard of the Larga festival. Looks like a lot of fun. I'd love to be part of that someday :)

lanie on December 5, 2012 at 8:29 AM said...

Very nice festival that’s good for the kids to join the event, anyway I like the purple cabbage.

gagay on December 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM said...

never been to Ilocos and with this festival, it even excites and invites me more to really visit the place...

..great images there, by the way.

jem alvarado on December 5, 2012 at 10:11 AM said...

I love to see large agricultural festival like this where they showcase their beautiful crops with colorful celebration.

Traveling Morion on December 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM said...

Fascinated talaga ako sa mga festivals bro. I am thinking of creating a blog all about festivals in 7107islands. Ganda ng mga photos bro- keep it up and see u early next year:)

Franc Ramon on December 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM said...

It's the simple fiesta like this that you see the spirit of community. I hope that last for 50 years and more.

che on December 6, 2012 at 7:37 AM said...

because of this post, i suddenly craved for royal bibingka (even when it's not in the photos). Anyway, i hope this is a start of a really grand and memorable festival.

Teresa Martinez on December 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM said...

Truth to tell, I am not aware of this festival so it's a good thing you featured it here. Facilitates knowing our country even better.

iam raguindin on October 19, 2013 at 2:13 PM said...

LARGA FESTIVAL again--2013 :)
Marching band & Street dancing

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