Showing Eggplant Pride for the 3rd Talong Festival

Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin

Barangay Oyungan, Miagao, Iloilo will celebrate the town’s greatest vegetable festival; visitors will enjoy. It is a three full days of a uniquely original Ilonggo experience that celebrates the joy of eggplant, the food it flavors, and the music and art that it inspires on March 19-21, 2019.

With a spirit of hospitality and inclusiveness that is intrinsic to this little barangay, the quiet community of Oyungan awakens with the gathering of eggplant lovers, foodies and gardeners from throughout Miagao. Series of events are in store for the people of Oyungan on its 3rd Talong Festival celebration this year. March 19 (Tuesday) Mass in honor of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker at 7 a.m., Caravan, Opening Program. A symposium follows in the afternoon and the SK, Farmers and Oyungan OFWs Night will be at 6 p.m. Committee in-charge for the opening day are the SK officials, Ubos-Tacas Irrigators Association and Oyungan OFWs.

March 20 (Wednesday) Boat Racing spearheaded by the Fisherfolk Association and Cavalcade of Dances in the morning sponsored by Oyungan Elementary School and Oyungan Day Care Center, Seniors Night 2019 sponsored by the Oyungan Senior Citizens Association in the evening; March 21 (Thursday) Cooking Contest for Women and Family in the morning, Boodle Fight at lunchtime, Games in the afternoon and the Search for Lin-ay Kang Tarong 2019 in the evening.

There is something very special about Talong Festival, and the barangay of Oyungan with its natural beauty and rich farming history, provides the perfect backdrop for the celebration. The barangay cultivates some of the best quality eggplant in Iloilo, its good temperate climate, good soils, clean air and water provides the perfect conditions for the cultivation of delicious, healthy eggplant and for numerous passionate professional and amateur eggplant growers to thrive.

The barangay hall is spruced and adorned, a nearly giant eggplant is erected and the grounds prepared for three days of great celebration. Certainly at the festival, homage is paid to the eggplant, celebrated for its undeniable health and economic benefit to the barangay. And above all else its contribution to culinary history both past and present.

Local government officials along with Barangay officials headed by Barangay Captain RomyGaduyon enter into the spirit of the festival with enthusiastic presentations and experts in the field of eggplant growing give informative talks to those who aspire to better results in their crops.

Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of plants and are used in many different local dishes. Although often considered a vegetable, they are technically a fruit, as they grow from a flowering plant and contain seeds. Most common are eggplants with a deep purple skin but, they can be red, green or even black.

In addition to bringing a unique texture and mild flavor to our recipes, eggplant brings a host of potential health benefits: (a) Eggplants contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in few calories; (b) Eggplants boast a high number of antioxidants that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful substances known as free radicals; (c) studies suggest that eggplants may help reduce the risk of heart disease; (d) adding eggplants to your diet may help keep your blood sugar in check, and; (e) eggplants are high in fiber and low in calories, making them an excellent addition to any weight loss regimen.

The annual Talong Festival organization is a community, not-for-profit, volunteer organization. The core purpose is to benefit the whole community focusing to act as an annual community event to bring the community together and to promote Miagao.

Barangay Oyungan is situated six kilometers away from the poblacion on the way to the next municipality. To get there, one can take a Miagao or San Joaquin jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, at the market situated at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo. For more information, please contact Punong Barangay Romy Gaduyon at 09302316094.