MY FRIEND, the late Doreen Gamboa-Fernandez (columnist on food, college professor, theater historian), embarked Silay as “Banwa sang Dulce” (Hometown of Delicacies). Visitors never leave Silay without a pack loaded with assorted gustatory delights, guapple pie, empanada, lumpia ubod, pili square, home-made piaya, dulce gatas, among others.
The province of Negros Occidental (land of sweet surprises) is noted for its culinary arts but Silay makes the difference. There are two “Kaon Ta!” Festival in Silay." The heritage food has its own exposition in November during the Cinco de Noviembre 1898 Commemoration.
“Kaon Ta! Street Food Festival” is coming out in June during the Silay Charter Day Celebration.
“Kaon Ta! Street Food Festival” will be held at Balay Negrense Museum domain on June 9 to 10. There will be kiosks at Calle Cinco de Noviembre (fronting Balay Negrense) to accommodate visitors who want to eat in a hurry. Those who want to take time talking and eating with new and old acquaintances may occupy the tables and chairs at the food court near the gazebo.
Eating in style like the colegialas who did not attend their first period class, a group may find comfort with food sold by pop-up trucks at the western side of the food court. The traffic flow may allow visitors of all ages and walks of life to have better interaction while enjoying the food of their choice.
The young generation may find themselves stocked up in a rendezvous where there is flavored frappe, iced choco or coffee, lemonade, and brewed coffee that would be compatible with nachos, mojos, cheesy fries and potato wedges. (Eating and interacting starts at 10 in the morning and may end at 10 in the evening. Music, dance, and wine may find their way before the guests say goodnight to each other).
Those who want to have a taste of Italy jell with the avid fans of pizza pepperoni, pizza margarita, pasta chicken pesto, pasta Bolognese, pasta percatore and chicken ala king popour! All these gratifying tastes could be matched with iced coffee, iced milk tea, native coffee, or your favorite brand of soda.
Culture-conscious eaters will always hunt for fresh lumpia, panara, baye-baye, kalamayhati, lanson, turon, bitso-bitso, tikoy, pitsipitsi, sundol, ukoy, salab, butsi, bukayo, and butong-butong. Those coming in for lunch can start looking for native lechong “baboy”, dinuguan, sisig, backribs, tuna panga, and belly, morcon, callos, bakareta, crab meat, lechonkawali, chicken inasal, talaba, and buttered squid.
“Buena familias’ postre” could be pionono, butter cake, angel cake, panyopanyo, senorita, pili square, empanada, lumpia, cookies, merengue, macarons, dulce de leche, buko pie, pinasugbo, leche flan, and special ice cream with carabao’s milk.
Kabataang Silay Rondalla, our official representative in the International Rondalla Festival to be hosted by Silay City on November 3 to 10 this year, will present a mid-day music from the baton of Maestro Jigger Anjao. The children folk dancers will be there also to show their pelvic gyrations and energetic hops to delight the guests.
Other features include food cooking demonstration, kitchen quiz (with special food package for lucky winners), live interview with cooks and chefs, and the introduction of new products. We are also expecting ASAP Hotties to meet their fans and have photo ops.
Ian Valladarez, the one and only wire artist, will open his art gallery with the outputs of his 118 students who attended Silay Summer Workshop 2018 at Balay Negrense. The venue will be at the “garaje” of Victor Gaston’s Mansion.
Mayor Mark Golez said that he has also invited Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., Vice Governor Bong Lacson, Third District Representative Albee Benitez and other congressmen, all the board members, mayors, vice mayors and councilors of Negros Occidental. This gathering of political kingpins may highlight what’s up in Negros politics. We also expect media men to flock to see what’s going to happen and this could be politically historic.
“Kaon Ta! Street Food Festival” is assisted by Asenso Foundation, Inc: Dolores Lopez, president; Joey Gaston, vice president; Liza Calangan, treasurer; Elaine Montelibano, secretary; and the members of the board - Ma. Teresa Golez, Rosario Cuaycong, Nelly Ledesma, Pia Dolores Dabao, and Ma. Cecilia Jimenez. The event coordinator and manager is Massha Gamboa.
Doreen Gamboa-Fernandez said: “Street food is fun, pop, affordable, convenient, irreverent, Pinoy – proof of the flexibility of the Filipino, who went through colonization and oppression, crisis and revolution – while remaining whole and himself, even when poor.”