ASIDE from attractions and tourism-related activities, Negros Occidental is also home to rich culinary offerings.
Negrenses showcased the province’s mouth-watering dishes and delicacies during the annual Food Parade at the Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City Monday, September 25.
The activity was part of the eight-day 17th Provincial Tourism Week celebration themed “Tourism for Sustainable Development,” running until Friday, September 29.
Each city and municipality bannered their respective delicacies, mostly their one town, one product, made with twists using locally sourced ingredients paired with Negrense creativity and innovativeness.
Showcases were a wide variety of seafood dishes like the “uga” and “lukos” of Cadiz City, blue crabs of E.B. Magalona, “alimango” and “pasayan” of Ilog, and “Barongoy in Oil Spanish Style” and fish embutido of Sipalay City as well as truly Negros native delicacies like the “puto” of Manapla, “alupe” of Murcia, “bitso-bitso” of Talisay City, “suman” and “but-ong” of Valladolid, and lumpia, panara and “bukayo” of Bago City.
Other food attractions during the parade were the marang ice cream of Sagay City, ham of Victorias City, buko pie of San Enrique, macapuno of Binalbagan, banana balls and empanada of La Castellana, “turon de pineapple” and organic coffee of Candoni, coco jam and “pasayan nga puti” of Cauayan, tuna tocino of Hinoba-an, “pinasugbo” and lechon manok of Kabankalan City, piaya of Silay City, and the famous chicken inasal of Bacolod City, among others.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said the province has huge potential in terms of food tourism as it is even compared to Pampanga in Luzon.
u201cWe really have rich culinary culture. Some people visit Negros Occidental just to taste our delicacies especially our chicken inasal,” Mansinares said, adding that food is a sector which helps the province in acquiring more tourism traffic.
Among the efforts of the Provincial Government to further boost culinary tourism is the creation of a food guide to be released this year. It will contain top and must-try dishes of Negros Occidental.
It is also making the Negros Food Video which will be aired during the Arima, or opening night of the 32nd Negros Trade Fair at Glorietta in Makati City today.
u201cThis celebration also aims at further creating awareness on the need to continue preserving and sustaining the rich food tourism of the province,” Mansinares said.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said tourism has been one of the major thriving industries in the country.
In a message delivered by Mansinares, the governor said it does not only give focus to many exciting and alluring natural wonders, but most importantly tourism provides a wide range of economic opportunities to many people in the province.
u201cLet this Tourism Week be another opportunity for us to show the rest of the country and the world that we have the best and exciting tourist attractions worthy of visit,” he added.
Speaking at the activity, Department of Tourism-Western Visayas Regional Administrative Officer Artemio Ticar, designated tourism area development head for Negros Occidental, challenged tourism officers and stakeholders to deliver excellent services and facilities to the guests.
u201cSustaining our efforts is vital in maintaining our position as the second most visited province by domestic tourists and convert day tourists into overnight staying guests which will surely propel employment and investments in Negros Occidental,” Ticar added.
Also part of the event was the cultural performances of the MassKara Festival dancers and Negros Occidental Singing Ambassadors.
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson inducted the officers of the Association of Tourism Officers of Negros Occidental led by their president Ma. Elma Gerasmo of Bacolod City.
u201cFood is one of our attractions, there are many other potential delicacies that can be developed by other cities and municipalities adding to the already known chicken inasal of Bacolod City,” Lacson said.