La Trinidad, Benguet, March 16, 2003 -- A cake worth P110,000?

Yes, if it is a giant strawberry cake whipped up out of 1,200 kilograms of fresh strawberry fruits.

Two giant strawberry cakes will be the centerpieces of the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival 2003 until March 23, Mayor Nestor Fongwan announced.

This is the second year that a giant strawberry cake will be baked and sold to local residents, visitors and tourists as part of La Trinidad’s efforts to institutionalize its strawberry industry.

Only one cake about seven feet tall and five feet in diameter was prepared during the first La Trinidad Strawberry Festival.

A total of P98,000 was spent to make the giant cake. At P10 per slice (3.5 by 2.5 inches) sold to the public, the cake fetched P110,000, or a net income of P12,000.

Last year’s cake was baked by Eric Espadero. Of the 1,200 kilograms of strawberry fruits used, farmers donated 500 kilograms, and the local government paid for the rest.

This year, two giant strawberry cakes will be baked by Espadero and three other chefs Joy Chamas, George Leaño and Nanette Fontanilla.

One will be as big as last year’s and the other is smaller, Fongwan said.

The partaking of the two cakes will be held on March 22, starting at 10 a.m. at the municipal hall of La Trinidad, which is Benguet’s capital.

Actually, the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival 2003 began last March 1 and will run until March 23.

The first-day activity was a Woodcarvers’ Festival. On March 12, the main event was the search for the biggest strawberry fruit.

From March 12 to 18, the search for the "Most Unique Product with a Touch of Strawberry" goes on.

An Agro-Industrial Technology Trade Fair and Strawberry Lane Food Festival are also among the main attractions until March 23.

Other activities include the First Strawberry Mountain Bike Challenge, country music band competition, the La Trinidad Strawberry Scrabble Tournament and the La Trinidad Open Chess Championship, vegetable fun run, health fair, cultural shows, amateur boxing tournament, a farmers’ congress, flower arrangement competition, strawberry picking competition, and strawberry festival marathon.

Fongwan said strawberries and cutflowers are the two main crops of this town of about 71,000 people just north of Baguio City.

He said 90 percent of strawberries are produced in La Trinidad, and the rest in Tuba and Baguio City.

This town also produces cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potato and onion. Half of its 8,080-hectare land area is devoted to agriculture, churning out 29,7000 dozens of cutflowers and 29,420 tons of vegetables annually. (Rudy Fernandez, Star)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved