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HomeFront PageBarangay Bonbon emerges champion of Kumbira Culinary Contest 2023

Barangay Bonbon emerges champion of Kumbira Culinary Contest 2023

By Ercel Maandig

Cagayan de Oro – The village of Bonbon here emerged as the grand champion of Kumbira Culinary Contest spearheaded by the Cagayan de Oro Hotels and Restaurant Association(COHARA).

In his statement, village chief Allan P. Mabalacad said that this is another milestone for Barangay Bonbon after it was declared as one of the Top 3 People’s Choice Award and the GRAND CHAMPION, during the HALA KUMBIRA FESTIVAL 2023 1st Inter Barangay Culinary Competition, presented by COHARA, and held at SM Downtown Event Hall here. 

“Our signature dish entry which has Chicken Humba ingredients that can be found in our Barangay, the so-called   Botong Nipa (Nipa Palm Fruit), serves as an extender yet still balances & maintains the (Humba) flavor. Its chewiness/gummy appearance resembles pork fat.  Nipa Palm Suka (Vinegar) as alternate of  coconut and cane vinegar,  sprinkled with Tamban (Sardine) Flakes that gives another layer of texture and unique flavor  together with all the basic ingredients that makes our CHICKEN HUMBA recipe unique and stand out among other competitors” Mabalacad said.

The said recipe is garnished with Torch pineapple and sliced scallions on top. Underneath the chicken humba is another surprise element which is the  Nipa palm fruit puree. The said puree is a  combination of pineapple juice,  nipa palm vinegar & fruit blended all together until the desired texture is met. Once paired with chicken humba it brings out  to another level of  gastronomic with a pleasing experience in your palate.  CHICKEN HUMBA  will be out and available soon in the city’s top hotels and restaurants, he said. The winning entry was cooked by James Robert and Nicole Glomar.

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“On behalf of the Department of Tourism (DoT), I would like to thank COHARA  for really sticking it out despite the difficulties especially during the pandemic. I know the pandemic has been really hard on the tourism industry especially the hotels and restaurants but thankfully we all really pulled through,” said DoT Northern Mindanao Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan.

A prelude to the 2023 Kumbira Festival scheduled on October 11 to 13 this year at the Limketkai Mall Atrium, Friday’s Hala Kumbira Food Festival was graced also by students of the city’s culinary schools and stakeholders in the city’s hotel and restaurant sector. 

Unchuan added that the Kumbira, now in its 27th year, is a testament to the dedication of the Kagay-anon hotel and restaurant industries to serve the public. 

“Our stakeholders were resilient and really hung on until tourism recovered and now we’re seeing ‘revenge travel’ ,making up after the end of health restrictions is back and we’re happy that the hotels and restaurants are full. And now we have this grand celebration of Kumbira that we’re looking forward to,’ Unchuan said, adding that the city DOT-10 will always be supportive of the Kumbira Festival for helping shape Cagayan de Oro City’s tourism industry”, Unchuan said.

Aside from the culinary competition featuring 10 villages of this city composed of  Barangay 12, Bonbon, Lapasan, Patag, Camaman-an, Kauswagan, Bulua, Consolacion, Cugman and Nazareth who were challenged to cook their version of chicken humba (stewed chicken), Hala Kumbira also launched the 1st Mindanao Coffee Festival, one of several events to be included in the Kumbira Festival in October. 

COHARA President Jeffrey Limbonhai said Hala Kumbira serves as a venue for barangays to showcase their culinary skills to the public. 

“We also believe that so many people in our barangays are very good at cooking only that they don’t have the equipment and the venue to show what they can really do. We want them to promote themselves and help promote Cagayan de Oro’s cuisine,’ Limbonhai said. 

For her part, COHARA Vice President Eileen San Juan said the second Kumbira is dedicated to the students who make up the bulk of their audience. ‘People know that Kumbira is held during the city fiesta…With the Hala Kumbira, we hope to forge new partnerships with the barangays…and the second is dedicated to our students due to the change in school calendar,’ San Juan said. 

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