FOR many years now, Iponan village has been serving Cagayan de Oro City's most unforgettable versions of the Visayan delicacy, Humba.
Today, as it celebrates its 9th Humba Festival, the whole barangay is excited to once again experience a whole new set of Humba versions that will be presented at the Iponan open grounds and covered court.
The Humba festival is one of the three main festivities of Iponan village held every mid-year. It started way back in 2009 when then Iponan village captain Antonio Brellita decided to champion Humba as one of the village's local specialties.
The Humba Festival was conceptualized to focus attention to the local delicacies of Iponan village. Since it started, not only did the common Kagay-anon food enthusiast but also some of the city's local cuisine authorities have been giving Iponan's local Humba cooks big approving nods.
Every year, a cooking contest is held at the Barangay's open grounds where people from various parts of the city come to witness the cook-off between Iponan's amateur Humba cooks. The famous Humba dish, which is traditionally a sugar-braised pork meat, undergoes many transformations under the hands of the village's aspiring Humba masters.
As its tradition, anyone from the whole village is invited to join the Humba cooking contest. Participants vary from housewives who have been cooking the dish for years, to eatery owners who have been making a living out of cooking Humba to their patrons, to school students who want to try their hands on cooking the revered dish. Iponan's contest has been a yearly battle ground which declares the most skillful Humba cook as the champion.
Throughout the years of its annual celebration, Iponan village's Humba Festival has not only brought a good name to the cooking prowess of its locals but has also improved the living of so many of its residents.
As the tradition continues this year, the local village government unit hopes that it will continue to bring not only fame and good food to its residents but also more opportunities for the whole village to grow.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 15, 2017.