IT WAS a zarzuela-like revolution. Negros was recovering from a cholera epidemic. There was government indifference to the health needs of the Negrosanons. The Spanish government was neglectful, corrupt and abusive.

The “hacendados” of Silay belonging to the “buena familias” were also the “ilustrados” and “culturistas.” These members of the “principalia” were the “manggaran,” “may ikasarang” and they have the “jornaleros” with canine devotion working in their large haciendas.

These sugar barons sent their children to Manila and even to Europe to become good pianists, to enroll in voice culture classes and few of the boys honed themselves to be activists as influenced by Graciano Lopez Jaena.

The Spaniards in Silay were amused to see Silaynons engaging in “ininom” and “sumsuman” of lechon. These gastronomes were members of “club de buen comer.” These Silay prominent family members were actually meeting as members of Negros “Think-Tank” for the revolution.

General Aniceto Lacson had chosen Silaynons like Timoteo Unson, Nicolas Golez, Generoso Gamboa, Leandro Locsin, and Vicente Benedicto Gamboa as the “brains” behind the revolution. Their families made Silay the cultural and intellectual hub of Negros.

On November 5, 1898, the Silaynons stormed the headquarters of the Spaniards under the command of Lieutenant Maximiano Correa. The Spaniards were advised by businessman Juan Viaplana to surrender because the garrison was already surrounded by hundreds of hacienda workers armed mostly with farm tools.

The Spaniards surrendered without bloodshed but in the terms of surrender it was written that the civil guards surrendered only after a bloody hand-to-hand combat. The event was a zarzuela both enjoyed by the Spaniards and the Silaynons.

The Philippine flag embroidered by Olympia Severino with the assistance of Eutropia Yorac and Perpetua Severino was raised at the plaza. This was followed by a victory parade assisted by a marching brass band.

Varied culinary delights were served to the marchers as a sign of thanksgiving. That could be the reason why every November 5, 1898 celebration in Silay, there is “Adobo Festival” or “Kaon Ta Festival” to highlight the role of food in the revolution.