Pacete: Disquisition: Silay food on parade

As I See It

AS WE come to close our 5th International Rondalla Festival tonight, 7 p.m. at Natalio G Velez Sports and Cultural Center... another festival opens in Silay, “Adobo Festival.”

My “hijada” and supervising officer of Balay Negrense Museum, Edsie Valladares, requested me to give a disquisition on Silay comestibles at Don Aguinaldo S. Gamboa heritage garden at 2 p.m. We all know that Doreen Gamboa Fernandez, a food guru from Silay, has called her town “Banwa sang Dulce.” Tourists coming to Silay have considered the city as the “hometown of gustatory delights.”

The plan for the El Cinco de Noviembre 1898 Revolution was hatched in the middle of a “salo-salo” flooded with good food and wine. The “buen familia hijos” of Silay who were members of “Club de Buen Comer” enjoyed soiree while discussing in whisper the brewing revolution. Food played an important role in winning the revolution.

At the turn of the century (1900), Silay was the “Paris of Negros.” While other pueblos were still developing, Silay was already enjoying European goods passing Silay seaport, the longest in Asia. Some goods were olive oil, noodles from Spain, jamon Serrano, tea from China, chickpeas, canned goods, and wine from different countries. The “ilustrados” and the “buena familias” of Iloilo brought their family recipes in Silay. I will discuss those in my sharing.

Silay is noted for its “manuglibod” (snacks sellers) who would be Tia Azon or Tia Juanita. Assorted delicacies include lumpia ubod, piaya, inday-inday, empanada, panara, salab, dulce gatas, panyo-panyo, tortitas and more. Assorted cookies and biscuits are known as “sopas.” They could be bought at El Ideal bakery.

Let a Silaynon invite you in his house and eat his food: ginisang ginamos with pork and shrimp; colitis (amaranth) with langka, mongo and dried gumaa with gata. The favorite simple food are bagongon with gabi leaves and gata, takway with ginamos, apan-apan; adobong langka or balatong, hot laswa, bangus with lawiswis or balunggay.

Hacienda “panghinam-is” takes center stage: saging linupak, bukayo, alupi, sundol, kalamay-hati, tinanok saylan, dulce mongo, puto lanson, butsi and several others.

Silay food evolved as part of our culture of excellence and dignity. It has been transmitted through enculturation, acculturation, and assimilation. It is the “ambassador” of Silay tourism. In my sharing, I will feature table foods... the favorites, pork-beef with sabaw, seafood delight, isda sinabawan, breakfast ecstasy, other amazing recipes, and astounding sawsawan.

Happy Adobo Festival!


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