Negros Occidental Gov. Isidro Zayco yesterday lauded the city officials of Bacolod City for coming up with the Chicken Inasal Festival that will provide the chicken inasal vendors business opportunity and lure more people and visitors to the Manokan Country.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the President asked for chicken inasal during her visit to Bacolod Thursday so Zayco bought her some.
Zayco, who was guest of honor and speaker, said the President commented that the chicken inasal of Bacolod is delicious. He said many of their visitors from different places look for inasal when they come to Bacolod.
Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez said “This is very sentimental because 30 years ago Bacolod was in the midst of a local crisis since the prices of sugar was down.
He said Leonardia and former Bacoood Rep. John Orola responded and the MassKara was born to revive the economy by attracting investors and tourists.
Golez said that this year, or 30 years after, “We are in the midst of a global economic crisis.”
So, for every crisis, the city would always have an opportunity, he said, and this year, the opportunity is to vie for the Guinness Book for the longest barbeque grill.
Golez said this will invite tourists and make Bacolod the capital of inasal. “So I think that is an opportunity provided by the local government to Bacolod,” he said.
Leonardia said Bacolod is the only city in the Philippines which has a festival every quarter and this will be good for tourism. “I believe this will go on a regular basis and will become a permanent day in our calendar,” he said.
Inasal Festival chairman, and Councilor Alex Paglumotan said they adopted the theme “Chicken Inasal to the World” because they would like to attract international attention by showing that Bacolod has the best and the finest chicken recipe.
He said this is because in Bacolod, there are a variety of ways of preparing chicken.
Paglumotan said they want to globalize the Bacolod chicken and send a message to the world that Bacolod is ready to accommodate foreign visitors who would like to have a taste of its chicken.
He said they want to go international by attempting to have the longest barbeque grill.
Paglumotan said Bacolod will try to break the record of San Juan, Pangasinan which is 3.8 kilometers by putting up a 4.5 to 5-kilometer barbeque grill at the reclamation area.
He said they are also launching a contest for the chicken barbeque flavor that will suit the taste of the Japanese or Koreans.
Former Councilor Rolando Estrella recalled that when he was a councilor, he was asked by former Mayor Jose Montalvo to find a solution since the streets had to be freed of vendors, particularly Cuadra Street, which was full of barbeque stands.
So the Manokan Country was established with the help of Coca Cola and San Miguel Corp., he said. He hopes business in the Manokan Country, which has been affected by the opening of fast food chains, will be revived, he added.
Meanwhile, Leonardia was given an achievement award yesterday at the opening of the Chicken Inasal Festival, while Orola, Montalvo, Estrella, former Vice Mayor Wilmar Drilon and Architect Prospero Leonardia received public service awards.
Plaques of recognition were given to businessman Procopio Tanalgo Jr., owner of chains of Bacolod Chicken Inasal in Manila, and Francisco “Kikoy” Bolonia Sr., while plaques of commendation were given to Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. and San Miguel Corp.
Given posthumous awards were former Mayor Raymundo Dizon, and Norberto Tarrosa and Vicente Jaranilla, who are one of the originators of Manokan Country.
Present at the launching were Candoni Mayor Celot Borromeo, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, Councilors Greg Gasataya, Catalino Alisbo, Wilson Gamboa Jr., Diodado Valenzuela, Soraya Golez and Councilor Homer Bais, festival vice chairman.*CGS