Revelry in a Dragon Fruit Wine Festival

By Anthony A. Araos

Every year since 2010, I’ve heard of t

“ A historic Dragon Fruit Wine Festival in Alfonso Lista shall undeniably add more zest in celebrating the town’s history, customs and traditions.”

he wonders of Dragon Fruit Wine. This year offered a new twist. At the recent ALista Mini-Food Fair at the municipal hall covered-court, I came across a bottle of Dragon Fruit Wine. It sells something like PhP120 at the three-day program. Participants anxiously took free samples of the Dragon Fruit Wine. That was the first time I sampled one in the country.
Compared to foreign wines in Quezon City or Makati (such as Demazel Bordeuaux Moelleux from France and priced at Php239, Carlo Rossi Moscato pegged at PhP255, Gossips Cabernet Sauvignon White Wine from Australia, yours at PhP396 or Threesome Sweet Egri Csitlagok Red Wine, also from France, catching a price of PhP279), I see no reason why it is not hard to sell Alfonso Lista’s famed Dragon Fruit Wine.
The town’s tradition of dragon fruit wine production is promising and offers its ways to attract buyers here and from many other places in Northern Luzon. It boils down to determination and perseverance.
However, the best way to create opportunities in trade and commerce is positive thinking and the need to deepen one’s relationship with nature. Plant, harvest and wine-making steps have certainly fine-tuned the entire process and provided direction so that even in the hustle and bustle of today’s world, those with little time and patience for all of these can work and think toward the deeper connection of the dragon fruit wine production.
A first-ever Dragon Fruit Wine Festival in Alfonso Lista is not impossible. In fact, it’s holding late this year or next year is possible. If realized, a Dragon Fruit Wine Festival should be a big treat to both the old and young generations. To a certain extent, a Dragon Fruit Wine Festival is a great Christmas gift to Alfonso Lista folks from the municipal government. One could almost feel the spirit of oneness these dragon fruit sparkles must have to make a bottle indeed a big hit and a Dragon Fruit Wine Festival a success. So it is not too late in the day to consider it.
A historic Dragon Fruit Wine Festival in Alfonso Lista shall undeniably add more zest in celebrating the town’s history customs and traditions.
More importantly, the dragon fruit wine itself shall play a decisive role in the economic development of Alfonso Lista. There is hardly any doubt that higher dragon fruit yield shall work to the advantage of poor Alfonso Lista farmers. For short, this is a way of raising the dragon fruit self-sufficiency level a notch higher.
A bumper harvest is the best way to undercut underdevelopment in the town. Socio-economic interventions are required to reach out to poor farmers. These cash-starved farmers should maximize the use of their lands for dragon fruit ventures as a means of addressing poverty in their communities.
A bountiful harvest and increased production of dragon fruits offer bright hopes for the people and invariably contribute to the town’s economy’s upswing.
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I see the eventual rise of Alfonso Lista town as the next “destination” of Ifugao in the next ten years if tourism industry stakeholders work together in crafting a new tourism blueprint. In other words, it entails the modernization of the town’s infrastructure system. It calls for unified and coherent action by all the stakeholders at all times.
By 2030, Alfonso Lista shall be among the top 5 major destinations of this upland Cordillera province.
Luckily, Alfonso Lista’s tourism industry is largely inspired by Ifugao’s lush environment. If realized, various sites here shall invite local and foreign tourists to a fresh and tranquil stay, while discovering in a day or four the undisputed beauty of the town’s villages.
At this point of time, I’m honored to be asked to help the municipal government in pursuing this noteworthy goal.
It is definitely a worthy endeavor and let me further point out that I’m very amazed and impressed with the landscape of the town. The local officials and the head and personnel of the Tourism Office are dedicated men and women who are integral to the plan. They should be excellent partners and working with them in due time then is a great pleasure by all means.
Tourism Officer Lorena Dulnuan and Councilor Virginia Dinagtuan, along with the town’s two highest officials, would play a crucial role in attaining this task. They are the ones who could effectively educate the people on the benefits of a revitalized tourism program.
The green tropical paradise of Alfonso Lista should offer a lot to travelers. The future is looking bright for Alfonso Lista- under the leadership of Mayor Edralin Alipio and Vice Mayor Agapito Dominguez Jr., and for the tourism industry as a whole.
Definitely, there will be more tourists in Alfonso Lista in the years to come and the municipal government and the Tourism Office will be there to respond to the challenge.
The daily challenges are enormous. Mayor Alipio, Vice Mayor Dominguez, Councilor Dinagtuan and Tourism Officer Dulnuan are firm advocates of the tourism industry and I strongly believe that they are doing their best to ensure the betterment of the conditions of the men and women engaged in the tourism industry. For their part, I call on residents to do everything within their means to help the administration of Mayor Alipio succeed.
Here is the real deal for all of them: In 2016, local tourism reached 65 million and the Department of Tourism (DOT) even projected 73 million local tourists for 2017. Again, think about it! They have to create a conducive and healthy environment for it. Hence, upgrading the entire structures of the tourism industry in Alfonso Lista is of paramount importance.
To be sure, there is also the need to tap the Tourism Promotions Board for the purpose of tapping Alfonso Lista as an alternative tourist hub in the northern portion of the country. After all, the town is surrounded by other destinations in Aguinaldo and Mayoyao towns. So this is just a matter of coming up with tour packages to promote aggressively Alfonso Lista and its environs.
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Word is out that the Philippine Councilors League (PCL)-Ifugao Chapter is seriously seeking to host the PCL-Regional Assembly for the CAR. A highly-placed officer of the PCL-Ifugao Chapter is reportedly enticing his colleagues here and others in the CAR to hold the prestigious PCL-CAR Assembly in the scenic town of Banaue in Ifugao.
To say that the young and articulate Ifugao councilor’s plan is an exercise in productive diplomacy will be an understatement. No previous councilor from the province achieved such an astounding feat from scratch.
He can do his colleagues in the province one better if he comes out with more definitive pronouncements about the plan. When these pronouncements do work, other councilors in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province as well as Baguio City and Tabuk City are likely to support his plan.
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Did you know? Many Ifugao folks want to “serve” the provincial government, but only as “friends” of the Governor at Facebook.
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Thinkable, at most times. Being too focused on work whether in the metropolis or in the countryside, results in what I call “loss of vital physical attributes.” Thus, when you’re working, have liquids available for sipping. Think about it!
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Of course, you’re off course! If you want to be the Chief of the Philippine National Police, do I have to vote for the President?
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For our food delights corner: So nice to have fish with tofu rice at the table for lunch. Fried bangus (milkfish) is an excellent choice for the main food item. Great additions are wing chickens glazed in honey, sliced beef with sate sauce and sweet corn with minced chicken soup. For appetizers and dessert: chocolate cake, bananas and chilled mango juice. I’ll call it a truly yummy meal. Ready-set-chow! It is time to bite into this exciting meal. Just don’t forget to pray and express your gratitude for all these blessings.
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Blooper in Ifugao: Mayor: “I climbed up here, Vice Mayor, but I’m afraid of the heights!” Vice Mayor: “Well, that wasn’t a very smart thing you resorted to in the last elections. What is your plan?” Mayor: “I’ll just hold office in the first floor of the municipal hall.”
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Finally, here are some thoughts for our dear readers: “Words have a tendency to paint themselves in black and white,” Kathleen Basi
“It always seemingly has been in the past but it’s getting harder and harder. Just like in the 50s, the Asian Games was a slam dunk for us and it got harder and harder and harder. So now it’s getting harder. Basketball’s growing more around the world, even to Southeast Asian teams.” Gilas Pilipinas head coach in the Southeast Asian Games Tim Cone
“If you remain I my world, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
“My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection. It is when I am weak that I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:9
“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility he learns to fight. If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel ashamed.” Dorothy Law Nolte**

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