25th Adobo Festival in Silay on Nov. 5-6

Balay Negrense and the Negros Cultural Foundation will celebrate the 25th Adobo Festival at Casa A. Gamboa, Rizal Street in Silay City, Negros Occidental, Saturday and Sunday, November 5-6.

The first Adobo Festival on Nov. 5, 1998, was conceptualized when the Negros Cultural Foundation Inc. (NCF) under the leadership of Lyn Gamboa and Executive Director Lynell Gaston thought of an event which can be held annually to raise money for the Balay Negrense Museum.

Since then, the NCF has been holding Adobo Cooking Competitions annually but had to stop during the COVID-19 pandemic, Reena Gamboa said.

The Balay Negrense Lifestyle Museum is one of the first museums established in Negros Occidental. “Its goal is to remind Silaynons, Negrenses and tourists alike of our Silay heritage and how they used to live during the Spanish times,” she said.

With a grant from the Philippines Tourism Authority, the Balay was restored to its former glory. The house was in such decrepit condition that it took quite some time to repair, Gamboa said.

The Balay Negrense is the first lifestyle museum using the Gaston family (original owners of the house) as examples of a typical Negrense family. Balay Negrense Museum has also become a hub where art in all forms can be featured, especially those executed by Silay talents.

Why Adobo? As Lynell Gaston said in the book, Adobo Chronicles, “There is no other food that defines a Filipino kitchen more than Adobo. It is a blend of flavors and aromas that can conjure memories of our very own home kitchens”, Gamboa added.

This event is timed during the provincial holiday of 5 de Noviembre that commemorates the first bloodless revolution when the Negrenses revolted and won against the Spaniards. It is but fitting that it be held at Casa A. Gamboa being descendants of Olimpia Severino, the woman who led the sewing of the Philippine flag for that specific revolution, Gamboa said.

“We are inviting everyone, especially Silaynons, to join the Adobo Competition and the first Silay Food Writing Competition in Memory of Doreen Gamboa Fernandez. Message Casa A. Gamboa in FB or casaa.gamboa in Instagram for inquiries or submission of entries”, she added.
The following are the Adobo Festival events:

November 5

9 a.m. – cooking demonstrations of Adobo versions by Jai Cambelisa of Timplada, Chef Gab Melocoton of Slow Food Community and Chef Datu Pendatun – food writer and culinary consultant.

10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. – gouache painting lessons by artist Tey Sevilleno of Artfull Philippines in collaboration with Group Likha. Lessons come with a snack at P975.
4:30 p.m. – broadcast journalist Howie Severino will give a lecture on Baybayin, the Philippine script used by ancestors

6 p.m. – announcement of the Silay Food Writing Competition winners in Memory of Doreen Gamboa Fernandez
November 5-6

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – the Silay artists will giving art lessons on pen and ink , basic drawing and clay art for a fee of P100.

November 6

9 a.m. the Adobo Competition Cook off, with the winner to be announced at 2 p.m.

“Guests can also enjoy different food booths with a variety of dishes. A plus is the presence of the Slow Food Community of Negros that just joined a food festival in Turin, Italy called Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. They will serve versions of adobo and other dishes that are good, clean and fair,” Gamboa said.

Another plus is the presence of Liquid Master, Kalel Demetrio, whose craft of creating exciting drinks by foraging what grows in the area, she said.

The entrance to the festival runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from November 5 to 6 is free, Gamboa said.

Gamboa thanked the Negros Occidental provincial government under Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, the Office of the 3rd District of Negros Occidental under Rep. Francisco Benitez, and the Department of Tourism Region VI under Cristine Mansinares for their support for the project and for recognizing the efforts of the Negros Cultural Foundation in helping preserve the history of Negros Occidental.*

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