PUGO, La Union – Representatives from the town’s fourteen barangays showcased various cuisines using the traditional bamboo during the 5th Tinungbo Cookfest held at the municipal plaza here Saturday.
The Tinungbo Cookfest is one of the major highlights of the annual Tinungbo Festival, the town’s major crowd-drawing event, where the 14 barangays were pitted against each other in the presentation and cooking of the Best Tinungbo Rice, Best Tinungbo ‘Kinammelan,’ Best in Gulay Tinungbo and Best Specialty Dish.
The participants were given by the organizers some 2 hours to cook their respective dishes after which the Board of Judges who are culinary experts were given a chance to judge the said dishes right in front of the public before these were served to the residents and visitors who eagerly witnessed the cookfest.
The presented dishes were judged based on their flavor, presentation, ingredients and how the participants executed the cooking of the same.
This year’s face-to-face staging of the Tinungbo Cookfest was the first since the implementation of community quarantine restrictions to prevent the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further, organizers claimed that the Tinungbo Cookfest also serves as an avenue to showcase the town’s rich culture which must be preserved and protected as well as passed on to the upcoming generations.
The overall champion of this year’s Tinungbo cookfest was Barangay Cuenca while the fastest in lighting the ‘kulili,’ went to barangay Ambangonan.
The Best in Presentation of the dishes using indigenous materials went to barangay Saytan while the Best in Tinungbo Rice was won by barangay Tabora East.
The Best in Own Specialty was won by barangay Maoasoas Norte while the Best in Tinungbo Gulay was won by barangay San Luis.
Barangay Tavora Proper bagged the Best in ‘Kinammelan,’ or fresh water fishes that were cooked using the bamboo.
Mayor Kurt Walter M. Martin congratulated the winners for their exemplary performance in the annual cookfest that serves as one of the major attractions of the month-long festivities that has drawn the interest of residents and tourists alike.
Moreover, he also commended the town’s 14 barangays for their active participation in the various events lined up for the in-person 5th edition of the Tinungbo festival.
The municipal chief executive expressed hope that the annual staging of the Tinungbo Festival will help in aggressively promoting the fifth-class town as one of the preferred tourist destinations in the lowlands because of its proximity to Baguio city and other key tourist destinations in the different parts of the Ilocos region as tourism is one of the projected generator of additional resources for the local government that will be used to enhance the delivery of basic services and implement more development projects in the future.