June 30, 2010

Sweet and Seedless Sagada Oranges (Really?)

If you are one who buys his or her food and things from the Baguio Public Market, there is no way you have missed seeing those tasty-looking and larger than usual oranges for sale with a cardboard sign that says “SWEET SEEDLESS SAGADA ORANGES”.

Are they sweet? Check. Are they seedless? Check. Are they oranges? Check. Are they from Sagada? I don't think so.

I'm from Besao, a town on the other side of the mountain where Sagada is located. I spent my childhood there. Though I currently reside here in Baguio, every once in a while I squeeze myself aboard a Lizardo bus to visit Besao. To get to Besao, the bus passes through several Sagada communities. These communities have little backyard farms planted with citrus among other fruit trees. And the truth is that the oranges I see in Sagada aren't the ones I see in Baguio City labeled as Sagada oranges. Unless of course there is a hidden farm in Sagada where these special oranges come from.

It is simply inappropriate for these vendors to be labeling their goods to be from Sagada when in fact they're not. First, it is “in your face” lying. Secondly, what if a tourist visits Sagada and goes looking for these Sagada oranges she saw and tasted in Baguio but what she gets are nothing similar to the Baguio ones? What will that tourist feel? Certainly, it's not at all positive.

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