Negros Occidental

Talaba Festival: Negros Occidental town gets ready for half-kilometer oyster feast

Reymund Titong

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Talaba Festival: Negros Occidental town gets ready for half-kilometer oyster feast

‘UNLI-OYSTERS.’ A crowd gathers in the town of Ilog in Negros Occidental to feast on oysters during the annual Talaba Festival in 2019.

courtesy of Cecil Garido

Three tons of oysters on a half-kilometer-long bamboo table will be offered to visitors for free in the town of Ilog this Saturday, March 23

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – A town in Negros Occidental is preparing to host a feast of oysters this Saturday, March 23, as part of a campaign to boost its local tourism.

Tons of oysters will be prepared and offered to visitors for free starting at 11 am in time for Ilog town’s Talaba Festival, Gideon Padilla, the town’s executive assistant to the mayor, told Rappler on Monday, March 18.

Padilla said the southern town in Negros Occidental would serve not less than 3,000 kilograms of talaba (oysters) to mark the 18th edition of the Talaba Festival, beginning at 11 am this Saturday.

“The oysters are for our visitors to savor and relish, free of charge, as part of our annual celebration,” he said.

The festival has been a major tourism come-on in Ilog, a town known for its oysters, and has been attracting local and foreign tourists each year.

Established in 1734, Ilog served as the first capital of Negros and Siquijor islands before the regional center was moved to Himamaylan and eventually to Bacolod in 1849.

Apple Joy Hechanova, a college student, said she was looking forward to this year’s oyster feast.

Hechanova also said the annual event has been helping the town’s oyster growers in recovering from the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette (Rai) in December 2021. The super typhoon, which hit Mindanao and Visayas,adversely affected the town’s oyster farms.

Padilla said the festival, by tradition, is not just an ordinary gathering with various performances, but rather a communal lunch where people come together annually to feast on oysters placed on a long bamboo table.

“While all the oysters we’ve prepared are complimentary, we’ll follow a first-come, first-served protocol. In essence, festival-goers need to arrive earlier than scheduled to secure a prime spot where they can freely indulge in the oyster feast,” he said.

The town’s major oyster-producing villages include Barangays 1, 2, and Andulauan, which boast a significant oyster farming sector covering approximately 20 hectares.

This year, due to limited oyster supply, the bamboo tables will span nearly half a kilometer, shorter than in previous years. Consequently, with the expected influx of visitors, Padilla noted that dining time might be limited to around 30 minutes only.

The oysters feast will take place on Mabini Street, a long thoroughfare in Barangay Poblacion, adjacent to the municipal hall.

Padilla said local officials see the annual event as a tourism attraction and a campaign to encourage coastal villages in Ilog to boost their oyster production. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!