Goin’ bananas

More than 20,000 sticks of cardava bananas were grilled over 658 grills or (gang-gangan) which stretched for a kilometer of the circumferential road in Kapalong, Davao del Norte as they celebrated the first Musa Banana Festival lastAugust 1.
It was the first time that I ever laid eyes on so much grilled bananas. At the ceremonial go-signal from mayor Dominador Cruda, participants from the town’s 14 barangays lit up their fires, undeterred by the drizzle as they bent to showdown the main product of the place.It was a free-for-all grilled banana feast as the parpticipants handed grilled bananas to all passers-by.
Bananas were everywhere: on motorcycles, trisikads, stores and houses, at the gymnasium, on the streets, trampled under people’s feet and literally everywhere! People from all walks of life went to join the feast.My companions tried to outdo each other on how many sticks of ginanggang they had eaten but I kept silent because I was unable to eat any. I was too emersed shooting photos of banana eaters with the heavy camera I was carrying that I forgot to eat.
Highlighting the celebration was the unveiling of the biggest-ever three-meter long Cavendish banana cake covered with green and yellow icing. Stuffed with 4,000 banana cupcakes, the gigantic cake was set on steel stilts on top of the three-by-five meters base cake made of 377 loaves of banana cake.The whole cake consumed 1,000 eggs, one sack refined sugar, flour and 30 boxes of bananas supplied by Dole Stanfilco.
Kapalong municipal information officer Edna Parcon said it took them two weeks to set up the frame of the cake, three local bakeries to bake the banana loaves, another baked the cupcakes and another bakery owner volunteered to coat the cake with icing which took them nine hours to finish.Keeping hands off from the cake, especially kids’ hands, was the hardest part while the program was going on.

Expectedly, when pandomenium broke loose and a confusing tangle of banana loaves, cupcakes, white, yellow and green icing, kids and adults swooped all over the cake to have a taste.A sticky war of icing followed (yucks!), hitting anybody even those far away from the cake. At the end of the celebration, everybody went home banana-satisfied and happy.

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