VIGAN CITY – The Longganisa Fest is the Biguenos’ way to celebrate the anniversary of their city on January 22.
Why Longganisa Festival? “The longganisa industry has given the residents their livelihood for decades now, and the native sausage still sizzles hot to the modern-day generation of residents and visitors, so the industry keeps on growing and growing,” said Joanne Gutierres, the city press relations officer.
The longganisa cookfest
The longganisa cookfest at the foot of the Saint Paul Cathedral bell tower near Plaza Burgos gathered young chefs from junior and senior high schools, and colleges in the city, and the professionals from hotels, restaurants, and the freelancers of Metro Vigan, said Gutierrez.
The students prepared main dishes and soup with longganisa as the major ingredient, while the professional chefs prepared bite-size appetizers. With three participants per team, the cook fest was joined by Ilocos Sur National High School (ISNHS), Vigan National High School West (VNHSW), Vigan National High School East (VNHSE), Data Center College of Vigan (DCCV), Divine Word College (DWCV) of Vigan, University of Northern Philippines (UNP) College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Datsima’s Food Corner, Grandpa’s Inn, Hotel Luna, Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives (NSCC) Hotel Vigan and Hidden Garden.
The winners for the junior and senior high school category are DCCV, first; DWCV, second; and Ilocos Sur National High School, third. For the college category, DCCV got another first; DWCV, second; and UNP College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, third. For the category of hotels, restaurants and freelancers, Hotel Luna got first place; Hidden Garden, second place; and Kusina Felicitas of Grandpa’s Inn, third.
For the student division the dishes were judged according to the use of main ingredient – 40%, originality – 20%, taste – 20%, cleanliness – 10%, and plating – 10%. For the hotel, restaurant and freelance division, the dishes were judged by the judges (50%) and the audience tasters (50%). The criteria include use of longganisa as main ingredient – 20%, originality – 20%, taste – 10%, judges’ assessment – 50%, and audience assessment – 50%.
However, the participants had to abide by certain rules aside from the criteria for judging: ingredients and dishes should not be pre-cooked, sliced or marinated; preparations of the dishes until garnishing and plating are checked; all ingredients are checked before the contest; time allotted is one to one and a half hour including preparation, cooking and plating.
The prizes for the students are P10,000 for first prize; P7,000 for second prize; P5,000 for third prize; and P3000 for consolation prize. For the restaurants, hotels and freelance, the prizes are P15,000 for first prize; P10,000 for second prize; P7,000 for third prize; and P5,000 for consolation prize. First place winners also received trophy, one double gas burner with cylinder Fiesta gas with refill and attachments.
Street dancing and showdown
The Longganisa street dancing has different rules for participants this year. Backdrops and sets are no longer allowed unlike in previous years, so with acrobatic display, risky and indecent steps or moves, irrelevant stunts, and the use of pyrotechnics and harmful props. Longganisa must be shown through drawings and paintings only. And participants must wear rubber sandals.
Gutierres stressed that participants must dance to the tune of the festival song, “San Pablo, Kamang ti Ili,” during the street dancing and showdown competitions. They must have their own live music with percussion instruments, no electric guitars or gadgets, and perform for seven minutes with two-minute preparation.
This year the schools of the city that joined are Jose Singson Elementary School, Nagsangalan Elementary School, Vigan Central School, Gov. Evaristo Titong Singson School, Cabaroan-Cabalanggan Elementary School, Ayusan-Paoa Elementary School, Vigan National High School West, Ilocos Sur National high School, University of Northern Philippines, and the lone school from Ilocos Norte is San Nicolas National High School.
The winners for open category are San Nicolas National High School, champion; University of Northern Philippines, first; Ilocos Sur National High School, second. For the elementary category Nagsangalan Elementary School is the champion; Ayusan-Paoa Elementary School, first; and Gov Evaristo Singson Elementary School, second.
The judging was based on performance – 15%, choreography – 15%, synchronization – 10%, costume and visual impact – 10%, and showdown – 50%.
The prizes include P150,000 – first place; P100,000 – second place; P70,000 – third place; and P30,000 – consolation prize. The special awards for both categories include P10,000 each for best in musicality, and best in costume, and P5,000 each for best female performer and best male performer. (IMELDA CASTRO-RIVERO/PIA Ilocos Sur)