The Provincial Government of Bohol will launch on Tuesday a 40-day Christmas night market that will feature the province’s rich cultural and culinary heritage at the Carlos P. Garcia Park in Tagbilaran City.
Dubbed “KASADYA! Pasko sa Bohol,” the curated marketplace will showcase local handicrafts, processed food, local cuisine and fresh farm produce at 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily from November 5 to December 15.
“Kasadya” is a Cebuano word for cheer, joy, enjoyment and zest.
According to the KASADYA organizing committee, visitors can expect to embark on a gastronomic trek with some of the stalls offering local cuisine and fusion dishes such as balbacua (ox tail stew) with ubi (purple yam), roti, nilabog nga bakasi (tiger reef eel in coconut milk) marinated organic chicken or chicken adobo, organic chicken in spicy coconut milk, ginataang shrimp with santol (shrimp with cotton fruit in coconut milk), seaweed salad, and ginisang ubod sa kawayan (sautéed bamboo shoots), among others.
“Local Boholano cuisine and variants reflect the simple, fresh, and natural flavors of the island’s seafood, upland treats, organic produce and other food sources. Other types of cuisine will also be featured, a semblance of Food Fusion,” organizers said in a statement.
The marketplace will also feature “kabilin” or food products based on heirloom recipes which were passed on from one generation to the next.
“Know their history and try out local recipes,” said organizers.
Beverages made from local farm products will be sold at the market such as juices, shakes, carabao’s milk and “tuba” and “bahalina,” two variants of coconut wine.
Other dairy products such as ice cream and cheese including mozzarella and freshly harvested crops and vegetables such as ubi, taro, cassava, camote, banana, pechay and cabbage, among others will also be featured.
Meanwhile, the “Habol” or weaving segment of the market will showcase the traditional art of weaving, local woven products using diverse local materials and designs woven by communities using traditional handlooms and the dexterity of bare hands.
“Just like food, local industries and trade showcase the indigenous and heritage crafts of Boholanos using local resources, like the wood carvers of Albur, the blacksmiths of Loay, or the guitar makers of Tagbilaran,” said organizers.
According to organizers, other activities will also be launched during the over month-long celebration including the Belen and Dayegon contests.
The Dayegon contest will be held at the Bohol Cultural Center at 6 p.m. on December 13, 2019 while the elimination round for the Belen contest will be on December 1 to 15, 2019.
Final judging for the Belen contest will be on December 14 to 15, 2019 at the CPG Park.
Both the “Belen” and “Dayegon” are two of the most enduring Christmas traditions that have been the hallmark of local heritage.
The Belen is a display of the manger scene depicting the birth of Jesus while the Dayegon is the traditional devotional performance expressed as votive carol to the newborn Christ.
Dayegon is a local word that means “to praise” or “to worship.” (Atoy Cosap)