Sta. Rita, Pampanga residents experience fun while eating the biggest suman. Photo by Ric Gonzales
Mayor Yolly Pineda (center) shares a portion of Sta. Rita’s biggest Suman with Fr. Eugene Reyes (left). Photo by Ric Gonzales
STA. Rita, Pampanga – “It’s all about promoting har d work and patience.”
Thus said Mayor Yolanda Pineda as she led the recent Suman Festival here.
Pineda and municipal officials showcased the “biggest suman” measuring 8.25 feet long and 14 inches in diameter in front of the Sta. Rita Church after the traditional early morning Mass last week.
Pineda said the festival is on its third year and a continuation of the “Duman Festival” held last December 3.
“The making of suman reminds us of the importance of being patient and at same time thanking God for the yearly bountiful harvest,” said Pineda.
Suman is rolled rice usually wrapped in banana leaves. Duman is also included as an ingredient in many recipes of suman, including the huge one eaten by Mayor Pineda with residents and Monsignor Eugene Reyes, parish priest of Sta. Rita.
Pineda, daughter-in-law of Gov. Lilia Pineda, said her people in 10 villages “are farmers and the two festivals are significant for them.” She said farm production is abundant in nine barangays.
The two-term mayor said “there are many ways of making suman.” She added that the secret of cooking it properly is to be patient. Mayor Pineda grew up in this town seeing her grandparents cooked suman and duman.
She said they had spotted more foreign tourists in the festival compared last year.
“It only means we are enjoying more following on its third year,” said Pineda.