(My mom and her friend Jenny)
Silay City on the Negros Island in the Philippines is famous for its history and heritage homes, the most famous of which is Balay Negrense owned by the Gaston Family.
But aside from its rich history and famous children, Silay is also famous for its local delicacies the recipes of which have been handed down from generations of Silaynon families. I can always attest to that as my favorite snack stop in Silay is El Ideal - located on the ground floor of that unassuming house by the national highway near the City's public plaza.
My oldest memories of Silay delicacies were courtesy of Tia Bodok, an old lady vendor who traveled to Victorias from Silay balancing her wide flat basket full of panara, dulce gatas, salab, and other snacks made in Silay.
Well, thanks to El Ideal, I can always satisfy my craving with a trip to Silay whenever I am on the island.
And last June 10, 2017, we were able to enjoy, not just El Ideal's menu, but the rest of Silaynon's recipes! Held at Balay Negrense grounds, the Kaon Ta! food festival celebrated the gastronomic history and delights of Silay, and we were glad we made the trip!
'Kaon ta', short for 'makaon kita', means let's eat.
(Monsignor Gigi Gaston's adobong milyonaryo)
(The freshest lumpia made on the spot!)
(Panara is also a childhood favorite)
We made it to Balay Negrense that day, just in time for merienda. And at the first stall, Monsignor Gaston's adobong milyonaryo greeted everyone, inviting them to try his own style adobo. We weren't able to say 'hi' to Monsignor Gigi as we just missed him; he left when we arrived. Fortunately, he was able to make it to my birthday lunch at home a month after that).
(My mom and Jenny enjoying their
sightseeing before sitting down to eat)
You can just imagine my drooling as I jumped from one stall to another with all those displays of yummy delicacies from 'heritage' recipes. See? Silay City has not only successfully preserved its old homes and converted them into showcases of its heritage, but the Silaynon families also preserved their family recipes and shared them with tourists and visitors from everywhere!
Of course, we spent a few hours enjoying the food that afternoon, and we left just before it grew really dark. We were so full we didn't feel like having dinner that night when we got home. Burp!
(A live band serenading the guests)
So, if you missed Kaon Ta! last June, you have another chance to enjoy Silay City's famous recipes this weekend (November 4-5) at Balay Negrense grounds!