NAMIT! Festival returns for its 4th year

By Mariela Angella Oladive

Embark on a gastronomic journey through Iloilo’s finest flavors as the highly anticipated NAMIT! Festival kicks off today, April 22, marking its fourth year of celebrating the region’s vibrant culinary scene.

The event is in line with Presidential Proclamation No. 469 from 2018, which designates April as Filipino Food Month, a time to appreciate and preserve the nation’s rich culinary heritage.

Running until April 24, the three-day food extravaganza is set to delight food enthusiasts and cultural aficionados alike, staying true to its name, “Namit”, which derived from the Hiligaynon term “manamit” or “kanamit,” meaning “delicious”.

The event takes place at SM City Iloilo North Point wing fronting Pan de Manila.

Launched by the Iloilo Provincial Government through the Provincial Culture, Arts, History, and Tourism Office in collaboration with the Department of Tourism Region VI and SM City Iloilo, the annual event is an invitation for food lovers to explore the unique aromas and flavors of the province’s diverse regional traditions.

The initiative aligns with a broader trend in food tourism, attracting travelers who seek not only historical and natural attractions but also the distinct gastronomic experiences that the province has to offer.

This year’s festival features traditional dishes and native culinary practices from various towns across Iloilo, offering attendees an opportunity to savor its authentic flavors.

The festivities’ lineup begins with culinary delights from Balasan, starting at 1:30 p.m. on its first day, featuring Ginat-an nga Palaypay, Tambalang nga Dahon sang Abalong, and Adobo nga Puyoy.

On Day 2, April 23, the festival will present Linabugan nga Bisaya nga Manok at 11:30 a.m., with Pako-Pako Salad and Sinapid nga Mais from Calinog following at 1:30 p.m.

The final day will highlight Tinagbakan nga Bisaya nga Manok from Lambunao, and a cooking contest featuring Apan-Apan and Turon at 1:30 p.m.

In addition to these dishes, festival-goers can also enjoy daily food demonstrations, cooking contests, and interactive sessions.

Beyond its culinary offerings, NAMIT! Festival also serves as a platform for preserving and promoting Iloilo’s cultural heritage. It seeks to foster a deeper appreciation for the region’s rich cultural tapestry and the values that define Ilonggo identity.