Mayor hopes for bigger rum festival

THE winners of the Culinaria competition from Anne Bistro, along with Mayor Evelio Leonardia (3rd from right), former Councilor Em Ang (4th from left), City Tourism officer-in-charge Sandra Sysip (right), and the judges during the 1st Tanduay Rum Festival 2019 held at Bacolod City Government Center on Saturday. (Glazyl Masculino photo)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardia is looking forward to have a bigger Tanduay Rum festival here in the coming years.

This, after the 1st Tanduay Rum Festival in the Philippines which kicked off at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) last Saturday, was warmly welcomed by the people of Bacolod.

Leonardia said, “Bacolod is the right place to have the rum festival,” as it highlights sugar, which Negros Occidental is known to be a sugar-producing province in the country.

Rum, a distilled clear alcoholic beverage, is a by-product of molasses production.

“It is just right to hold a festival something as big as this here because we all know that the sugar industry here is a big factor on the success of the Negrenses,” he said.

Leonardia is hoping to make a much bigger festival in the future, saying “Bacolod is a natural habitat of festivals in the Philippines, with the success of Bacolaodiat and the world-famous MassKara festivals.”

Leonardia graced the 2019 Culinaria and Mixology final competition held at BCGC over the weekend, wherein various dishes mixed with rum as its primary ingredient were showcased.

Three groups competed for the appetizer and main dish, and dessert categories in Culinaria while five participants who were previously screened joined the mixology category.

For the appetizer and main dish category, Anne Bistro was hailed as champion, with their Kinilaw na Tuna and Red Curry Prawn Risotto made by Dan Lendle Altarejos and Christian Rey dela Cruz.

Kusinata’s Jolito Pandac, and Benedict del Rosario; and Raymond Jan Ledesma and Matthew Arthem Gelvoleo of La Consolacion College (LCC)-Bacolod were adjudged as second and third place, respectively.

For the dessert category, Anne Bistro’s Honey Rosemary Cake made by John Fred Olvido and Niel John Cortez also bested the two other contestants.

Kusinata’s Reviel B. Villapana and Gerard “Jay” D. Grey, Jr.; and LCC’s Jesus Samuel Solinap and John Alre Dales ranked second and third place, respectively.

Judges for the culinaria were Negrense chefs Nico Millanes, Benedict John Uy, and Don Colmenares, and Victoria Beckley, events director of the World Gourmet Summit, which is one of the biggest culinary competition worldwide.

For the mixology with flairtending category, Laurence Emmanuel Conlu of Al Fresco Café from LCC won the first place with his Tanduay Cooler cocktail.

Second and third place went to Harry Servancia of Wild & Fresh Mobile Bar Bacolod; and Kate Jaraiza Tecson of Barholics Mobile Bar Bacolod, respectively.

Judges for the mixology category were International Mixologist and Mixology Expert Ricky Paiva, Negrense Chef Sammy Nuarbe, and Tandiay Distillers Inc, junior brand manager Gem Boy.

Meanwhile, Paiva said he enjoyed the drinks prepared by the participants in the mixology category.

“It was really good and I believe that they really did a great job. I’m excited about what they can even do in the future,” he said, adding that the talent and the skills of the locals here can compete internationally.

All the winners received cash prizes, a plaque, and gift packs.

For the barrel art painting competition, Julius Anasca’s “Obreros haligi sang Negros” won first place, while Rommel Cadigal’s “Tubo kag Buhi”, and Wen Treyes Quilisadio’s “Cheers to Life” won second and third place, respectively.

People can also visit the food bazaar at the BCGC until the 24th, which is the highlight of the said festivity.