Going nuts for coconuts


Posted at Jan 11 2011 01:36 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2011 09:38 PM

Festival in San Pablo City pays tribute to 'tree of life'

MANILA, Philippines - San Pablo City lives and breathes coconuts.

The city in Laguna, just a 2-hour drive from Manila, is known for its wide array of coconut products. Aside from the usual bunot (coconut husk used to clean the floor) and coconut oil, San Pablo boasts of coco-based delicacies such as leche flan con macapuno, halo-halo with pure coconut milk, and, of course, the ubiquitous pasalubong -- buko pie.

Going nuts for coconuts 1

There's also San Pablo's coconut-infused dishes like adobo sa gata, pancit buko and tinola con buko.

Fashion finds are also abundant in the city -- from purses and ornaments to clothes. Chico Estiva, a famous local designer, has even come up with a "coconut gown" for special occasions and gatherings.

Going nuts for coconuts 2

It was because of its thriving coconut industry that San Pablo was officially declared as a city, according to city tourism coordinator Donnalyn Brinas Eseo.

To pay tribute to the city's main source of income, San Pablo has been holding annual coconut festivals for the past 16 years. The 8-day celebration includes fireworks displays, parades, fairs and contests, among others.

This year's coconut festival commenced last January 8 and is set to end on Saturday, January 15.

Loreto Amante, city administrator and Cocofest overall committee chairman, encouraged the public to take part in this week's festivities to see the many things that San Pablo has to offer.

It may, after all, be the perfect spot to learn more about -- and develop a love for -- coconuts and other Philippine made products. -- Nikki delos Santos, abs-cbnNEWS.com