Balikbayans” rave over Talong Festival

January 21, 2010 at 9:31 am Leave a comment

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- The Talong Festival here which is on its fifth year of celebration has caught once again the attention and fancies of balikbayans (expatriates).

Abe Lopez,54, of San Blas village and a nurse in New York City , USA said that he looked forward to attend the town’s fiesta annually because of the “Talong Festival”.

“The fiesta celebration of our town is incomparable to that celebrations before 2006. The Talong Festival has made our town popular all over the world which even my foreign friends would like to see. In fact, we Villasinians in New York are always supportive to the endeavors initiated by Mayor (Nonato) Abrenica,” Lopez said.

Edwin Ancheta, 47, a balikbayan from Madrid , Spain was equally impressed with the Talong Festival.

“I have been in Spain for two years and this is my first time to witness the festival in my beloved town. It’s spectacular particularly the “pinakbet sa kawa” and the street dancing. I was able to attend also our alumni homecoming at the DRECMNHS,” he said.

Lopez and Ancheta are among the 3,000 spectators of the Talong Festival which was aired live over ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda” at 5:30 in the morning which culminated with a concert of Dindong Dantes and Rachel Ann Go at 7:00 in the evening at the new municipal auditorium.

The Talong Festival was started in 2006 fiesta celebration in order to promote the prime product of Villasis which is “talong” (eggplant) under the “one town, one product” (OTOP) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Aside from the eggplant, other vegetable crops such as okra, ampalaya, green chili, squash and other vegetables are being promoted wherein Villasis is known for as the “Vegetable Bowl of Pangasinan”.

Mayor Nonato S. Abrenica said that the festival has not only promoted the vegetable products of the town but have drawn tourists as well, both domestic and foreign.

“I made it a point that this year’s celebration will be at par if not more spectacular than the other years’ celebration. The street dancing competition among high schools and elementary schools have been retained including the “pinakbet sa kawa” and the talong cookfest. After four years of the talong cookfest, we were able to gather more than 100 talong recipes which we published as a coffee table book and has also been launched,” Abrenica said.

The “Pinakbet sa Kawa” was participated in by the 21 barangays of the town and were given free for lunch to the spectators.

The talong cookfest which was ably handled by the town’s First Lady. Libradita Go-Abrenica has gone a long way. Several recipes out of “talong” have been cooked. Recipes that are not traditionally cooked took the limelight such as talong suman, talong hotcake, talong butsi, talong panada, talong calamares and talong mashi.

Entry filed under: News.

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