Over twenty thousand people gathered to celebrate this year’s Bangus Festival in Dagupan, one of the most colourful fiesta celebrations in the country which not only puts in the limelight the province’s native delicacy (milkfish) but also its people’s unique culture.
At the culmination of the festivities, 900 grilling stations were put up along De Venecia Highway in Lucao where thousands of fresh bangus were cooked simultaneously for the participants to partake of thereafter. On hand to lead the ceremonial lighting of the grills were Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez (4th from right) together with Congresswoman Gina De Venecia (3rd from right) and Exequiel Robles (left), president of Sta. Lucia Land Inc.
GLAD, the Filipino homemakers’ partner in food protection and kitchen management, joined in on the fun by providing grill participants with the required kitchen tools like aprons and paper fans. GLAD’s innovative Non-stick Aluminum Foils were also used to cover the grills and fish to be grilled, thus helping to make cooking easier while also ensuring faster clean ups afterwards.
According to Paulo Lao, Sales and Marketing Director for GLAD Philippines which is also among the event’s sponsors, “This is already the third straight year that our company has participated in the Bangus Festival through CSI Lucao. We are happy to support this activity as it allows us to help the local government of Dagupan ensure a successful staging of their event. It’s also a good avenue to help educate the public on how to achieve the best cooking experience using some of our kitchen tools like GLAD Non-stick Aluminum Foil,” she says.
With its special non-stick coating, GLAD Non-stick Aluminum Foil ensures that the skin stays on the fish and not on the foil. It also prevents food from sticking on the grill so food is cooked in a more presentable manner without. The foil also ensures that there’d be no added fat or oil.
Some of this year’s cooking participants like April Joy Salcedo, who hails from San Carlos City in Pangasinan, shared how the use of GLAD Non-Stick Aluminum Foil has made things a lot easier. “Dati, ilang oras din namin nililinis yung grill kasi may kalawang, ngayon, binabalutan na lng namin ng foil so mas madali, sigurado pang safe [If before it would take hours to clean the grill because of rust, now we only need to line it with foil and we’re sure it’d be safer to use].”
Gemma Ticman, an employee of CSI Lucao, shared the same observation as April Joy, saying, “Naging napakadali po ng pag-iihaw, mas nagiging maayos din ang pagkakaluto ng isda kapag ginagamitan ng foil.”
This year, guests and visitors to the festival were treated to a week-long fun and entertainment as young dancers garbed in colourful “bangus” costumes lined the city streets. After the grilling activity, performances from bands like Sponge Cola and Parokya ni Edgar kept the crowd on their feet the whole night while celebrity guests like Arci Munoz, Bea Binene, Carla Abellana, Joyce Ching, Andrea Torres, Rafael Rosell and Bamboo provided added further excitement and entertainment.
In her message, Mayor Belen Fernandez expressed appreciation to all the participants for their support, saying, “The Bangus Festival is a good venue for people to better appreciate our main product, which is the Dagupan bangus. Please continue to support our bangus industry as this will help our small fisher folks.”
As one of the country’s most colourful celebrations of local industry and culture, the Dagupan Bangus Festival has consistently drawn people from all over the country as they join to savour the native delicacy of the province and enjoy the many activities lined up during the festivities. In 2003, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized the “Bangus Festival in Dagupan (Kalutan ed Dagupan)” as the longest barbecue of the world.