Saturday, September 30, 2023

First Negros Season of Culture 2020


First Negros Season of Culture 2020

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First Negros Season of Culture 2020: “Taking Root, Taking the World”

The Grandest Celebration of Negrense Food and Art Kicks Off in November 2020.

The Negros Season of Culture: “Taking Root, Taking the World” project of the Angelica Berrie Foundation opens on the Nov 4, the eve of Cinco de Noviembre, runs until Dec 19, the weekend before Christmas, to begin an annual 46-day tradition of bringing together the best of Negrense culture and creativity for the local and international market.

Cinco de Noviembre, the only provincial holiday in the calendar of Negros Occidental, celebrates the creative spirit of the Negrenses after the local revolutionary forces “subdued Spanish conquistadors in 1898 using rifles fashioned from palm fronds and cannons made of rolled bamboo mats.”

“In times of peace and plenty, however, that creative spirit remains vibrant, especially in exemplary arts,”. This is why Negros has been internationally for the Masskara Festival, the Ruins of Talisay, the Bacolod Capitol and Public Plaza, the Campuestohan, and the piaya, a delicacy which is but the tip of the fabulous treats of Negrense cooking.


Delight in the Best of Negrense Cuisine

Negrense cuisine is among the best in Philippine food. Tatler Asia’s T.Dining Awards  recently recognized two Negrense-run restaurants Chef Tony Boy Escalante’s Antonio’s and Chef Tom Bascon’s M Dining on its list of PH Top 20 Restaurants and Negrense Chef JP Anglo of Sarsa as its Champion of Philippine Cuisine for 2020.

It is thus perfect to have two of Silay City’s trademark food festivals to headline the initial offing of the Negros Season of Culture. With food as the best venue to celebrate as a global community and bridge differences in this Pre-Christmas cultural festivity, KAON TA! and the Adobo Festival are expected to draw top crowd to “The Little Paris of Negros.”

KAON TA!  Silay Food Festival 2020 (Nov 5–8) at the Balay Negrense Museum, on the one hand, celebrates the rich culinary heritage of Negros through a cornucopia of traditional family recipes—such as lumpiang ubod, batchoy, panara, dulce gatas, pili squares, and, of course, the piaya—alongside the best of local farm products, artisanal creations, and gastronomic innovations from the city’s young food entrepreneurs.

The festival is more than just a gastronomic feast because while El Ideal (Negros’s oldest bakery), Emma Lacson, Luguay, German Unson, Nieves Gaston, Ann Co, Sinda Belleza, and Balaring seafoods offer delightful feasts, there will be simultaneous art exhibits, musical concerts, folk dances, and fun games like Amazing Race, Piaya Eating, and Trivia Contest.

KAON TA! also boasts of a guided Walking Tour of Silay City’s historical and cultural sites, including an annotated visit to 28 ancestral houses representative of various architectural periods, courtesy of Balay Negrense and Mayor Mark Andrew Arthur J Golez with the ASENSO Foundation. KAON TA! is a four-day event that is open to the general public.

Adobo Festival (Nov 9–14) at Casa A Gamboa, on the other hand, pays tribute to Doreen Gamboa–Fernandez, the doyenne of Philippine food art and criticism. Her recipes will inspire the menus offered for a series of five exclusive dinners. For each night, the casa serve only two sittings, with at least eight persons per sitting, so advanced reservation is de riguer.

These ultra-chic dinners from the cookbook of what the New York Times describes as “Filipino food’s greatest champion” is a bucket list for the most discriminating dining experience. The festivities, however, opens to the public during the culminating Adobo Festival Cook-off, where there would be art bazaars and stage shows for children.

New additions to these traditional lineup of Adobo Festival 2020 activities are exciting cooking demonstrations on Doreen Fernandez recipes, a much awaited peek into the secrets of the master of Philippine cooking, an art workshop focusing on patterns, a popup bazaar of housewares by Whimsy, and a fabulous wine and cheese event to end the day.

Marvel at Negrense Art, Film, and Theater

Although Negrense cuisine top bills the 2020 Negros Season of Culture’s maiden lineup, “it hopes to include as many cultural traditions as possible, extending to visual arts, theater, and film”, promoting Negrense cultural icons such as the Silay Walking Tours,, Casa Gamboa Dinners, Negros Forest, BAO & The Negros Museum, Art District and Orange Gallery.

Thus, festivities include the 30th year and 16th edition of the one-of-a-kind VIVA ExCon (Nov 12, 2020–Jan 2021), one of Southeast Asia’s longest-running biennales, that is unique for making the rounds of the major cities in the Visayas. The biennale, founded by artists Charlie Co and Manny Montelibano, returns to its birthplace, Bacolod City, in 2020.

The Orange Project hosts the opening ceremonies on Nov 12 while Nature’s Village Resort serves as the venue for the conference until the 19th. World-renowned curator Patrick Flores curates the multi-venue exhibit “Kalibutan: The World in Mind”.

Apart from the Alfonso Ossorio tribute at the Negros Museum and the Nune Alvarado and Brenda Fajardo shows at the Lopue’s Hall, eight collateral exhibitions will also open up in various venues, including DIHON Collective’s “Negros-Not-Negros”, BINHI’s “Pagsalo”, and Welcome Home Foundation’s “Deft Tours/Deaf Encounters.

Negros season of Culture 2020 also feature Sine Negrense: Negros Island Film Festival (Nov 5–28) at the Cinematheque at the Negros Museum and The Blackbox: 2020 Season (Oct–Dec 2020), which showcases the Panubli Heritage Season by Kuris Theater Festival participants and the Performance Laboratory Project by the museum resident company/

Bigger Than the Sum of Its Parts

The Negros Season of Culture likewise aims to “create new public art each year to open the eyes of children to creative work as the source of building beautiful and purposeful things. Planting this seed of creativity in their hearts ultimately drives the local population to nurture a compassionate and progressive society,” .

Although the National Commission for Culture and the Arts is helping fund part of the VIVA ExCon Biennale and the Negros Museum, individual events in the Negros Season of Culture are barely, if at all, mentioned in the Department of Tourism’s calendar.

“It is for partly this reason that the festival is embracing as many celebrations of art and culture as it could to produce a product that is larger than its individual parts, thereby, helping us create a groundswell of support from schools and local businesses.”

The Negros Season of Culture, after all, expands the image of Negros beyond the sugar industry by adding another dimension to the culture of festivals by establishing Negros as a Philippine art hub that people regularly visit to eat, frolic, and experience culture at its finest.”


For the full lineup of events, program, and activities as well as registration requirements, accommodation, and more information, please visit an at Instagram and Negros Season of Culture on Facebook.





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