The first Iloilo food fair amid the pandemic brings a sense of normalcy to the Ilonggos

5 2 1024x768 - Street food fest brings energy back to Iloilo
DINING WITH AN ORGANIZER Chef Tibong at one of the booths that served grilled dishes

Scattered rains from two typhoons did not stop Ilonggos from flocking to what was the first street food festival under the new normal as Iloilo continues to cope with the impact of Covid-19. 

“Cooks and Bakers: A Street Food Hawkers and Night Market Festival” was indeed a turning point in allaying fears of Ilonggos in going out to enjoy the simple pleasures of life such as indulging in culinary treats in the company of friends and family.

Hosted by SM City Iloilo and backed by the Iloilo City government under the leadership Mayor Jerry Treñas and the Western Visayas regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT),

“Cooks and Bakers” brought back a zest of energy to residents who had been mostly staying at home for several months while boosting small businesses.

The affable Rafael Jardeleza Jr., fondly called Chef Tibong, was able to gather more than a dozen food establishments—from iconic restaurants to street hawkers—to give Ilonggos a taste of what they’d been missing during lockdown.

Friends who flocked to the Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-8 food festival were nostalgic after having a bite of the famous chicken inasal of Fort San Pedro Drive-In, the seaside restaurant that faces the island province of Guimaras.  If that was not enough, the succulent diwal (angel clam wings) from Roxas City was also grilled to perfection.

The affable Rafael Jardeleza Jr., fondly called Chef Tibong, was able to gather more than a dozen food establishments—from iconic restaurants to street hawkers—to give Ilonggos a taste of what they’d been missing during lockdown.

The was also pizza and pasta by Afrique’s, the lutong bahay of St. Martha’s, the fishball of Mama Dra, the pastries of Dulgies, and the cookies of Baking Bad.

2 3 1024x768 - Street food fest brings energy back to Iloilo
CHEERS TO ILOILO A live performance is always present at Chef Tibong’s food events

Balconahe, Beige Eatery, Ilonggo Pitmaster, Kalan.PH, Leaf by Eon, Oh Then Tea Payag Seafood, Rebel Burger, and 86D also offered Ilonggos their own delectable creations while

Leon Pasalubong and Mercado del Rio had an array of both fresh food produce and delicacies.

In this edition of Chef Tibong’s Street Food Hawkers and Night Market Festival, everyone had to adhere to health safety standards and protocols, including getting their temperatures checked or registering for contact tracing while the seating arrangements had to follow the rules of physical distancing.   

It wasn’t a problem with SM City Iloilo’s security guards and even cops of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) making sure that everyone complied.

 “Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, this can be done safely,” Chef Tibong told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “We’re slowly learning how to enjoy as long as we follow protocols.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *