Ubi Festival in Bohol
Many times I have been to Bohol, but each time I visit there are still so many new things to discover. On our recent visit, we were invited by the Bohol Provincial Tourism Council Inc. in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Philippines AirAsia to experience Ubi Festival.
Ubi or Ube means savior for Boholanos. In English, it is commonly known as purple yam or Dioscorea alata. Aside from being an abundant root crop in Bohol, it also is a livelihood for the residents. Since this product can last for six months, it is the staple food of the locals. To honor the importance and significance of the root crop, they conceptualized a festival that features cultural activities, Cooking Contest, Ubi Exhibits and livelihood seminars on how to cultivate and produce various food products made from Ubi.
Celebrated last January 27 to January 29, this year’s version was the 16th installment of the annual Ubi Festival in Tagbilaran, Bohol.
This majestic festivity not only aims to showcase the different varieties of this root crop but to also celebrate the abundance and the historical and cultural significance of Ubi or Ube in the island province of Bohol.
With the theme, “Industriya sa Ubing Bol-anon Ipadayon, Taliwala sa Hulga sa Nagkausab nga Panahon,” one of the most exciting part of the 3-day festival was the Ubi Cook Off which showcased the best food and dessert creations using Ubi as one of the main ingredients. The said culinary competition was participated by various top resorts and restaurants which held at the Bohol Cultural Center. The event was sponsored by the Bohol Association of Hotel and Restaurant (BAHRR).
Upon arriving in Bohol, we proceeded to Bohol Beach Club – our home in Panglao Island during our festival coverage (review soon). Our schedule gave us ample time to relax and experience the beautiful island life in Panglao and in between our Ubi Festival coverage, we visited various restaurants that gave us a taste of Boholano cuisine (separate blogpost to follow).
On our second day, we visited the venue of the Ubi Cook Off, we were able to witness how the participants prepared the ingredients, cook their respective Ubi cuisine, and finally do the food plating. Every dish looks really appetizing and beautifully plated.
This shows that there are so many recipes that can be made with Ubi after all. After the tasting and assessment of the judges, The Bellevue Resort was announced as this year’s Grand Champion while South Palms Resort and Cusina ni Tisay got the 1st and Second Runner Up award respectively.
Aside from the Ubi Cook Off, we also visited Plaza Rizal to see the different varieties of Ubi root crop including the various products that can be made from it. The queen of Ubi variants is the kinampay, which is used best for jams, putos, and whatnots.
Some of the Ubi varieties that were displayed during the exhibit are Apali, Camote, Kabus-ok, Cagay-anon, Iniling, Balanghoy, Liko, Binanag, Tam-isan, Kapong-oy, Binugas, Baligonhon and Kinampay. Ubi is considered to be one of the top five banner crops in the country.
Today, Ubi is being used to create jams, purees, chips, and ice cream, and other tasty delicacies. Ubi has also been used generously as an ingredient and flavoring in cakes, tarts, macaroons, doughnuts, and flans to name a few.
Flights to Bohol
Philippines AirAsia offers 3 daily flights from Manila (NAIA Terminal 4) to Tagbilaran Bohol. For flight inquiry and reservation, visit www.AirAsia.com.
Many Thanks to AirAsia, USAID and Bohol Provincial Tourism Council Inc. for this awesome trip.