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Cultural property

The chicken inasal, voted 5th best chicken dish in the world based on TasteAtlas’ Top 50 cuisines for October, is now getting closer to the possibility of being officially declared a cultural property of Bacolod by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

This, after the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed on third and final reading Wednesday, the ordinance authored by Councilor Em Ang, declaring the chicken dish a cultural property of the city. 

The ordinance is one of the requirements that the local government of Bacolod City needs to submit to the Philippine Registry of Cultural Properties (PRECUP) in its bid to make chicken inasal a cultural heritage.

Unlike the usual barbecue, chicken meat is marinated in soy sauce, coconut vinegar, lemongrass, achuete, herbs and spices before it is skewered and chargrilled.

Ang’s move is very relevant following the recently-published list of top 50 cuisines for October that revealed that “inasal na manok” was given by the international travel website’s audience a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.

Bacolod’s chicken inasal.*

“In our case, we have to submit an endorsement by way of an SP resolution, as one of the requirements. For our chicken inasal, we also have to submit a list of the ingredients, the process and what makes it unique. We also have to submit a narrative where we need to discuss and justify why we are claiming the inasal as a cultural heritage of Bacolod.  The applicant really needs to show proof like many decades of accounts or historical records of that certain item, tangible or intangible, that indeed it is a cultural property that needs to be registered to an LGU or a specific group,” added Ang.

But the female councilor’s bid is also being questioned by people coming from other parts of the Visayan region where different versions of the unique and popular chicken inasal or chicken barbecue are being served too. But she remains unbothered even by those insisting that the dish did not originate in Bacolod.

“I had an interview with a radio station in Iloilo and it was also streamed on social media. So there were comments claiming that one of the famous brands of inasal here actually originated in Iloilo and they were asking how can Bacolod’s claim be validated? Also, someone from Dumaguete in Negros Oriental commented that they also have chicken inato that is why Bacolod cannot claim that the chicken inasal is its cultural property. In my mind, they can also have their chicken dish registered with PRECUP because it is up to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to validate and certify the claim,” she stressed.

This is one bold move and a very timely one. And if this bid gets a favorable decision from the NCCA, then the City of Smiles again will make another distinction for being the home of one of the world’s best chicken dishes!

And mind you, the Manokan Country is always in every MassKara Festival guest’s itinerary because one’s MassKara experience is never complete without devouring this sumptuous delicacy that is best eaten with bare hands.

If the dish gets certified by the NCCA, the declaration of it being a cultural property will help establish and boost the city’s cultural identity and promote the LGU as a tourist destination. According to Ang, the certification can also be used by local establishments serving chicken inasal to boost their promotion and sales. The best of luck to the team preparing all the requirements for submission to the NCCA!

Meanwhile, did you know that there are four more landmarks in the city that have pending applications for registration with the PRECUP? Based on records, these applications have been filed a few years ago and are going through the process of verification and authentication.

These are the Bacolod Plaza Bandstand, the bells of San Sebastian Cathedral, Nuestra Senora De La Consolacion/La Consolacion College and the Luzuriaga Cemetery.

It just goes to show that Bacolod is very rich when it comes to cultural heritage that must be proudly owned and proclaimed to the world by Bacolodnons.*

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