ILOILO CITY – This city’s bid to become one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City for Gastronomy got a boost with the launch of the Timplada: The Art of Ilonggo Cuisine on Friday.
The Timplada, which was introduced by the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), is a three-part event composed of an on-site and virtual art exhibition, a series of educational live streams, and an Iloilo City food map.
In his message during the virtual press conference on Friday, Mayor Jerry Treñas said this city’s unique cuisines is one of the many things that Ilonggos can be proud of other than its Dinagyang Festival, a century old churches, and majestic heritage mansions.
“Iloilo has also a vibrant gastronomy community with numerous traditional restaurants and chefs. Despite the modernity infusion of influences, local know-how and old-style culinary practices and methods of cooking have survived industrial and technological advancement,” he said.
He mentioned the flourishing family recipes and home-grown restaurants that have been passed on for generations, as well as food markets and industries.
“The city digs deeper to discover more of its gastronomic treasures to transform the melting pot of great food crafted by skilled human resources into a self-sustaining and globally competitive food industry,” he added.
Timplada curator Janine Cabato said the art exhibit that opened at the ILOMOCA, located at the Casa de Emperador of the Iloilo Business Park (IBP) in Mandurriao district here, showcases artworks of 10 artists inspired by 10 classic Ilonggo dishes.
These included the masterpieces of Alex Ordoyo, Jecko Magallon, and Kristoffer Brasileño whose art tackles the city’s famous food — batchoy, pancit molo, and chicken inasal, respectively.
Creative power couple Noel Epalan Jr. and Marge Chavez featured in their craft the ingredients of the famous KBL (kadyos, baboy, langka) and laswa (mixed vegetable soup), respectively.
Margaux Blas featured ingredients of tambo, a seasonal dish made of bamboo shoots, Marrz Capanang depicted “binatwanan”, a soup flavored with a green sour fruit native to the region called batwan.
Traditional Ilonggo kakanin (rice cakes) were highlighted in the artworks of Eric Barbosa Jr and Jeanroll Ejar, who featured baye-baye and ibus, respectively.
A hand-embroidered work by Inday Dolls Rosa Zerrudo in collaboration with or persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in Iloilo City highlighting Hiligaynon terms for taste and names of local fish was also part of the exhibit.
“Ilonggos are innate food lovers with a strong sense of practicality and resourcefulness. Even with the abundance of produce in the region, the origin of their well-known regional dishes are traced to the food sources in their backyards,” she said.
Meantime, another feature of Timplada is “Merienda Talks”, an educational live stream series with topics that revolve around the beauty of Ilonggo arts and Ilonggo culinary arts. It is aired every Saturday at 3 p.m. on the ILOMOCA’s official Facebook page until December.
An official Iloilo City Food Map highlighting the city’s landmarks and restaurants will also be launched as part of the initiative. (PNA)