Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Ilonggo food - Balay Negrense - Negros Occidental - Bacolod blogger - title

For two days, the Balay Negrense in Silay City, Negros Occidental is teeming with good food.

Kaon ta Silay Food Festival | Appreciating Local Cuisine

It’s the time of the year once again when Negros Occidental is abuzz for the Cinco de Noviembre celebration. But this weekend, kitchens in Silay City are also abuzz for the Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival.

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It’s the time of the year once again when Negros Occidental is abuzz for the Cinco de Noviembre celebration. But this weekend, kitchens in Silay City are also abuzz for the Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Ina Gaston
Our kids with Ms. Christina Gaston of Balay Negrense Development Corporation. She’s also president of the Association of Negros Producers. Shane is holding a serving of Tita Isa’s dulce gatas. That’s P65.

Cinco De Noviembre Celebrations

November 5 is a very important day in the history of Negros Occidental.

The Negros Revolution, popularly known as the Cinco de Noviembre or Negros Day, was a political movement in 1898. The event paved the way for a new government to be created in Negros Island in the Philippines, albeit informally. Moreover, this day is celebrated to commemorate the Negrenses’ revolt against the Spanish colonizers.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez
Our daughter Shane with Silay City Mayor Mark Golez.

While November 5 is a province-wide holiday, the tradition of remembering it is most colorful in Silay City. The whole day is spent commemorating the wonderful victory that Negrenses achieved through sheer creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness.

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Skewered chicken and pork ready to be grilled.

A Trip to Silay

Meanwhile, the kitchens of the ancestral houses and their modern counterparts are bustling with activity. The different Silaynon heritage recipes get transformed into the delicacies that we love. And the aromas are just dizzying and too compelling not to eat.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - inasal - chicken inasal
The kids with their Ama and Angkong (grandparents) outside Balay Negrense for the Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival.

Today, November 2, our family headed out to Silay City to join in the fun and of course, feast on local delicacies offered at the Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Fresh Start healthy drinks and desserts - Silay rondalla
The Silay rondalla ensemble was our entertainment while we were having lunch.

Actually, I felt kind of tired today after all the recent events leading to the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City. But since all helpers are on leave and I am too bushed to cook, the next best option is to head north to the Paris of Negros. And we did not regret taking this little road trip.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Fresh Start healthy drinks and desserts - Sinda Belleza fresh lumpia
Sinda Belleza fresh lumpia being prepared.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival

The Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival is a special event held at the Balay Negrense grounds in Silay City. The expansive garden is peppered with tents for the food booths. There are dining areas in open spaces and also under covered areas.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - inasal - Emma Lacson fresh lumpia
Emma Lacson fresh lumpia.

“Kaon Ta” is organized by Balay Negrense Development Corporation under Mr. Joey Gaston. This is also in cooperation with the Silay City Mayor’s Office and Silay Tourism Center.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - inasal - empanada
The unique empanada of Silay — a must-try.

The “kinaon” features the heritage dishes from Emma Lacson, El Ideal Bakery, Tita Isa’s, Sinda Belleza, and Mariel’s Bakery. Silay restaurant Sir and Ma’am, SONFAPA, Luguay Gamboa Family, Julian’s Ice Cream, Monsignor Gaston’s signature dishes, German Unson can also be tried here.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - inasal - chicken inasal - Chicken House
Chicken inasal by Chicken House.

A lot of the dishes have Spanish influence, thanks to the long history of Spanish rule in the country. Below are some turo-turo dishes especially when you are already hungry. Found some callos and beef stew there. Yum!

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - inasal - turo-turo - Spanish cuisine
There are many more of these turo-turo dishes at the Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival.

Late Lunch in Silay

It was around 12:30pm when we drove out of Bacolod City. Since it was a late lunch for us, we were naturally starving. We feasted on grilled tuna panga by Owa’s Pangahan, chicken inasal and grilled pork belly from Crem Shawarma, and some nacho fries for the kids.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Balaring seafood
Seaside Floating Restaurant of Balaring is available here. Fresh seafood cooked the way you want.

For dessert, we had the famous dulce gatas by Tita Isa and the ube smoothie halo-halo by Fresh Start.

Local favorites like Sinda Belleza fresh lumpia as well as treats from El Ideal Bakery are all there.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Fresh Start healthy drinks and desserts
Blue ternate juice and ube smoothie halo-halo by Fresh Start.

The locally produced premium Don Papa Rum has a booth there, too. They are selling the rum in bottles as well as per glass. They have some interesting cocktails using local ingredients. Happy hour happens early around here.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Don Papa Rum - Papa Isio
The Tindahan ni Papa Isio sells Don Papa Rum and rum-based cocktails.

Of course, we bought some snacks for take out, like some empanada and fresh lumpia by Emma Lacson. We also got some mango tapioca from the Rooster Cafe booth. Our tummies are sooo full!

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Rooster Cafe mango sago
Rooster Cafe sells yummy mango sago dessert (mango and tapioca in cream).

So I bought a new pack of the Ginger-Turmeric tea developed by the Estrella family of Silay. I super love this as a hot drink. On regular days, it’s available at major Merzci Pasalubong branches.

The Siomai of Silay

If there’s one thing that’s missing and I was craving for, it’s the authentic and very famous siomai of Silay. It’s not the Chinese version but a whole lot of different kind.

We used to order it almost everyday in the office more than 20 years ago. Eventually, I kept buying it from a Silay vendor who goes to Bacolod and visits offices or stores on foot.

The siomai is made mostly of ubod (coconut core) and some pork. But it’s so tasty and has a distinct texture. For the last two years that we have visited Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival, I haven’t noticed it. Too bad.

Fun Time

The Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival is not just about food. There are games with prizes and cultural presentations, too.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Fresh Start healthy drinks and desserts - Cidni Mapa - Don Papa Rum
DOT-accredited tour guide Cidni Map wins a bottle of Don Papa Rum during one of the games.

A worthy thing to note is that, there are people assigned to keep the place clean. As soon as people are done, somebody cleans up the tables after. They also pick up trash that fall on the ground. Kudos to the organizers! 🙂 Additionally, they are very friendly and helpful.

About Balay Negrense

The Balay Negrense is the Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House. It is now a museum in Silay, and is just a few meters away from the marker. It stands proudly along Cinco de Noviembre Street. Moreover, it’s the first museum established in Negros Occidental.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Fresh Start healthy drinks and desserts - Cidni Mapa - Don Papa Rum - Julian Ice Cream
Shane indulged in the buco-cheese flavor of Julian Ice Cream. It’s P50 a cup.

Balay Negrense is open from Tuesday to Sunday, except major holidays. Entrance fees are very reasonable and includes a guided tour by young ladies wearing native Filipino costumes. They can also speak English for the benefit of foreign guests.

Kaon Ta Silay Food Festival - Silay City - Negros Occidental - Balay Negrense - Silay Museum - Silay Heritage Tour - Balay Negrense Development Corporation - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod food blogger - Bacolod City - Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - Silay City Tourism - Fresh Start healthy drinks and desserts - Cidni Mapa - Don Papa Rum - Julian Ice Cream
Our family at the Kaon Ta backdrop. Everyone is free to color the white artwork. Crayons are provided.

End note: A new amusement park in Silay City is Magikland Silay Theme Park is already open. It’s located in Brgy. Guinhalaran and I highly suggest that you schedule a visit there, especially if you have kids.

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