6 FOOD FESTIVALS OF BATANGAS
Batangas is a haven of comfort food. Its fertile land, proximity to the sea, and other natural resources highly influence the province’s cuisine and way of life. The freshwater and vast farmlands provide the best seafood and meat products. Hence, Batanguenos are known for Bulalo (soup of cow’s leg), Lomi, Sinaing na Tulingan and other dishes that have broth or soup.
Besides the liquid dishes, the province is also known for its passion for various ways of cooking. This can be seen in their festivals which often include a cook-off or a showcase of ingredients for cooking.
To get to know more about the culture of Batanguenos, you need to partake in their sumptuous festivities. Here are six festivals that will make you think of moving to a house and lot for sale in Batangas.
1. Piyesta ng Tinapay
The local Government of Cuenca organized “Tinapayan” to show the creativity and talent of their panadero or bakers. The festival began in 2009 to honor the patron saint, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
The festival aims to make the town’s artisan baked products known all over the country. Cuenca’s primary industry is bread-making. Most bakers from Metro Manila come from the town thus earning the title “Home of the Bakers.”
Part of the bakers’ challenge during the festival is to make the biggest and longest bread. On the day of the parade, different types of bread are displayed on a float. The loaves and pastries are then used to decorate the float according to a theme. Visitors and townspeople can take a piece and munch on it along the way.
2. Tinapa Festival
The town of Lemery celebrates Tinapa Festival on the 14th of May. Making Tinapa or smoked fish has been a source of income for the townspeople. In commemoration of the prosperity brought by this craft, they created a festival to celebrate it with activities such as group dancing competitions and a street pageant.
The participants join the parade wearing the items and paraphernalia that represent making tinapa. They wear grand and colorful costumes while walking the streets of Lemery.
3. Sinukmani Festival
The town of Rosario, the Rice Granary of Batangas, celebrates the making of sweet sticky rice every 9th of June. Sinukmani is made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar. It is usually topped with latik—coconut milk cooked over medium heat—or fresh coconut strips.
Different places in the country have their version of Sinukmani. These variations also come with various toppings to enhance the flavor like crushed peanuts to add texture to the rice.
Two activities make up the festival, the street dance competition and the making of Sinukmani. Street dancers wear costumes made of rice sacks, woven baskets (bilao), mats (banig) and other colorful supplies used in cooking Sinukmani. Students from the barangays in Rosario and other dance groups compete at the town plaza.
The on-the-spot making of the best and longest Sinukmani is surely a feast for the eyes. The barangay who cooks the longest line of Sinukmani wins a prize.
4. Parada ng Lechon
The Lechon Parade happens on the 24th of June, the same date as the feast day of San Juan. Throughout the day, several roasted pigs are dressed according to the year’s theme and are passed by the barangays of Balayan. Bystanders can take a piece of the crispy skin and savory meat while the parade is ongoing.
The parade is unlike any other celebrations in the province. It is a wet occasion as it signifies the baptism of Jesus. Hence, there is clear plastic wrapped around the pig to protect it from the splashes of water. The whole town drinks and feasts on the skewered pork once it’s finished walking around town.
Besides the showcase of the amusing lechon in the streets, there are various activities leading to the main event. Social organizations in Balayan organize ballroom dances, a battle of local bands, bicycle races, beauty pageants, and sing and dance competitions. There are also beer drinking festivities and magic and acrobatic shows.
5. Lomi Festival
Batangas is known for its delicious Lomi and having a festival to pay homage to this dish is no surprise. Lomi is a soup dish composed of thick egg noodles, chicken, liver, and vegetables. The original Lomi from To Kim Eng included kikiam and meatballs as toppings.
The famous noodle dish takes the spotlight every 23rd of September. The City of Lipa organizes three competitions. There’s the search for a Lomi King and Queen and the Lomi Cook-Off. The search for the Lomi King and Queen includes a race to finish a bowl of the soup.
The Lomi Cook-Off is a competition for Lomi houses in the area. Each contestant cooks the dish with a time limit. Each judge will be given a bowl to taste. The winner is chosen based on the taste and presentation of the finished product.
The first Friday of October is a special day for the people of San Jose. The first-class municipality celebrates the Annual World Egg Day Celebration to commemorate the thriving poultry industry in the province.
During the celebration, there are nipa huts in the streets and farmlands that showcase varieties of produce. There are also colorful and decorated eggs to attract tourists and represent the artistry related to poultry.
There are meat, poultry and seafood dishes that are sure to satisfy the taste buds. Besides the savory dishes, there are snacks and delicacies you can take home to friends and family members.
Most of all, you can enjoy the activities and have a spectacular view of the bright and vibrant costumes while eating free food. Each celebration includes large-scale cooking by the townspeople to the visitors and guests. The fiestas are sure to make your tummies full, and your heart’s content as Batanguenos offer the best when it comes to celebrating food.