- CHERYL G. CRUZ
The three-day Bacolod Chicken Inasal “gastronomic” festival kicks off today, May 26, to celebrate the city’s greatest culinary symbol – the chicken inasal – and to promote Manokan Country as an icon of Bacolod.
“Bacolod is known for tasty chicken inasal, and one concept being promoted in this festival is really promoting Manokan Country as an icon of Bacolod,” Councilor Celia Flor said in a recent press conference, adding that based on her experience, and every time she has visitors, they would always request her to bring them to Manokan.
Manokan Country is an icon that Bacolod has been known for, Flor stressed. “That’s why even in committee meetings, I always highlight that we have to have events at Manokan Country because we are promoting it as an icon of Bacolod, not just the chicken inasal.”
One highlight activity to be held at Manokan Country and at SM City Bacolod is the Barangay Inasal Cook-Off, starting at 4 p.m. on May 27.
Aside from the culinary showdown, SM City Bacolod, the festival co-presentor, will also host the Inasal Awards, 5 p.m. on Saturday at the mall’s atrium.
The awarding ceremony will pay “homage to the pioneers and trailblazers of the Chicken Inasal scene in Bacolod, as we recognize their contributions and innovations that have made a lasting impact on the local culinary industry,” the city said.
Food aficionados are also in for a three-day treat as Bacolod’s Best Food Festival and Dessert Festival will take center stage at SM Bacolod’s North Transport Hub every 4 p.m., from May 26 to 28.
Manokan tenants were also tapped by the city government to grill 1,600 chicken inasal meals that will be distributed to festival beneficiaries, like residents of St. Vincent’s Home, Bacolod girls and boys’ homes, the Social Development Center, senior citizens, and police and other personnel who will secure the festival sites and borders.
This is an economic enterprise for Manokan tenants and concessionaires, Flor said, adding that Mayor Alfredo Benitez agreed to add P500,000 to the original P1 million earmarked for the festival.
She is optimistic that the city’s allocation and support from sponsors will be enough to ensure the success of the festival that also aims to boost the local tourism and economy.
The opening ceremony this afternoon will be held at North Capitol Road, to be followed by beer tasting and pairing of chefs’ chicken inasal versions.
Other events are nightly entertainment at the three festival venues, live cooking demonstration, longest chicken inasal grilling at The Upper East, and a sugba fest, among others.
“A lot is in store for everyone in this three-day gastronomic celebration,” Benitez said. “It’s going to be an inasal-packed extravaganza!”/CGC