Panaad Festival 2017 is officially here! It is one of our Favourite times of the year where the cities and municipalities of the Negros Island Region come together in Panaad Park to exhibit their various goods and FOOD. This year we’re focusing on one very popular attraction at the Panaad Festival – the food stalls!
Every year, impromptu “restaurants” are established along the major road inside Panaad Park. There’s lots of food to look at – it’s basically a crash course to Inasal, Negros’ very own version of barbecue or “meat on sticks” as my foreigner friend puts it.
The best time to go to the Panaad Festival is at night. It is cooler and the stalls are open with new stocks of fresh food.
Part of the fun in walking along the main road is seeing these food stalls try to attract customers using all sorts of methods. Some use the time-tested method of having pretty girls call out to customers to come and dine. Other stalls have unlimited rice. It’s all in good fun.
When it comes to looking for a place to eat don’t stop at the first stall you see. Take your time to look around and walk through the festival grounds to look for a place that’s clean and offers a decent selection of food.
There are dozens of stalls that offer fresh seafood. Always make sure that the fish you buy doesn’t smell bad, has clear eyes and a good bright color. If you’re buying fish fillets make sure that the meat looks vibrant and is firm to the touch.
There’s a lot of stalls so it can be confusing to decide where to eat. We recommend that if you do want to have dinner at Panaad, try Donna’s Grill. Donna’s has a nice selection of meat and fish as well as being one of the cleanest. Donna’s has a little bit of everything and is located approximately in the middle area of the rows of food stalls
Try out grilled tocino or cubes of congealed blood known as Betamax. These grilled blood cubes are a common street food item and are often served with vinegar. There is also isaw (chicken intestines) and baticulon (chicken gizzard).
Squid is plentiful this year at Panaad. These ready to grill Jumbo squid at Donna’s are stuffed with a mixture of onions, tomatoes and assorted vegetables.
If you want something a bit more hearty, there’s also prepared stuffed Bangus as well as crabs.
There’s a lot of chicken too! If you have visitors to Bacolod, now is a great time to introduce them to Inasal, Bacolod street food style.
We also suggest checking out the booths that sell plants. There are garden booths year-round at Panaad but the really rare plants are usually found at exhibitor booths. These plants and herbs are quite rare. A few years ago we bought a miracle berry plant from Panaad. This year we were lucky enough to find habanero peppers! We plan to return soon to buy a curry tree in which you can use the leaves in curry dishes.
If you’re bringing a car along, it would be better to have a driver drop you off and pick you up because parking spots are quite hard to find in this area. For those a bit more adventurous and with a lot of time on their hands we suggest riding a Mansilingan-Central Market Jeep. This jeep will take you past the Panaad Park grounds but there is still a bit of a walk in order to get to the main entrance.
Going home, there is also a long walk to the main road unless you can hire a tricycle or a taxi. Good luck in getting decent prices though, be prepared to haggle.
Enjoy your visit to Panaad! Average price for a good meal ranges from 100-150 pesos. Bring plenty of water to rehydrate and don’t forget to have a good time!
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