My cousins who moved out from Guam must have missed this. Last May 25-28, 2011, Guam celebrated over 500 years of delicious traditional Chamorro dishes through their annual food festival Maila Ta Fan Boka. Named after the Chamorro phrase “come and let’s eat”, Maila Ta Fan Boka coincided with Tourism Month in Guam, which is held during the month of May. Activities during the festival included a culinary competition, farm tours, and other exciting events unique to Guam’s history and culture.
It started in the village of Talofofo, south of Guam. The mango plantation is just one of the many businesses owned by the Camacho family in the country. It has about 1,000 Carabao mango trees, a variety originating from the Philippines. The mangoes in this plantation are of excellent quality, with its striking yellow color and fiberless flesh.
Mangoes are not the only fruits that can be enjoyed in the island of Guam. After learning about the mango plantation in Talofofo, tourists experienced a wide variety of tropical fruits. Hamamoto Tropical Fruit World is a 50-acre fruit paradise in the heart of Yona village. It is the only farm open to the public. It features over 70 varieties of tropical fruits, including ice cream bean, eggfruit, star apple, breadfruit, atis, avocado, papaya, guava, soursop and other produce from Pacific and Asian countries. Opened in 1996, Hamamoto Tropical Fruit World has been a familiar destination to tourists. All of their plants and fruits are grown organically. For visitors interested in taking home a piece of the farm with them, products like fruit jam are available at their gift shop.
Aside from its agriculture and fruit industry, Guam also boasts of its fresh and organically-grown vegetables. The next stop on the festival’s itinerary was the Hydroponic Lettuce Farm. Lettuces are grown dirt-free and pesticide-free. Only water is used to keep their produce fresh and flavorful. Even the structure of their building contains special filters to block out certain ultraviolet rays to maintain the quality of the products. Among the types of lettuce that can be enjoyed from this stop are red butter, green butter, red oak leaf, Greek oak leaf, and frisee.
This only proves what makes Filipinos and people in Guam have in common- passion for food. Visit Guam and discover life's pleasures. For more information, visit www.visitguam.org for more details.