Prepare Your Taste Buds for the 6th Philippine Chili Festival
It was just five years ago when the first Philippine Chili Festival happened in a parking lot at a gastropub in Quezon City, with only 20 entries for their hot sauce competition and 130 participants at the event.
Fast forward to now, the Philippine Chili Festival is bigger than ever! It’s happening on August 25, 2019 at the Whitespace Manila, organized by the Philippine Chili Federation.
During the press conference, Ponchit Ponce Enrile, head of the federation and host of the festival, discussed the history and goals of the Chili Festival as well as what to expect at this year’s event.
(L-R) Johnny Lugod of Labuyo 100, Ponchit Ponce Enrile-Philippine Chili Federation founder, Eric del Rosario- Philippine Hot Sauce Club co-founder, Larry Lim and Jun Gamboa of Chili Growers Philippines
Joining him are representatives of the groups that are part of the Philippine Chili Federation: Eric del Rosario of Philippine Hot Sauce Club, Jun Gamboa and Larry Lim of Chili Growers Philippines, and Johnny Lugod of Labuyo 100. Other groups include Kasili, Sili Wars, Dabawenyo Capsicum, and Mindanao Chili Growers.
For a registration fee of Php 200, attendees will experience exciting activities for the whole day. Also expect a multitude of freebies from participating brands!
Some of the highlights of the Philippine Chili Festival include the Hot Sauce Competition, Labuyo 100 Rites, as well as lectures and demonstrations on chili planting and hot sauce making.
The Hot Sauce Competition is hosted by the Philippine Hot Sauce Club. Hot sauce makers all around the Philippines can exhibit their best hot sauce, and have it judged by 40 of the country’s top hot sauce connoisseurs. This year, more than 300 entries are expected for the 19 categories of the competition.
These hot sauces will then be put in what they call Table of Fire, which is a hot sauce buffet that attendees can freely taste.
For the lecture, the country’s quintessential potted plant grower Vic Chin will talk about the secrets in growing beautiful potted chili plants. Meanwhile, Miggy Esguera of Miggy’s Peppers will lecture on hot sauce-making, focusing on the fermentation method considered as the holy grail of hot sauce making.
Further, new members of the Labuyo 100 will be initiated at the Chili Festival. Labuyo 100 is an exclusive club that promotes the consumption of chili—labuyo in particular. Labuyo is known as the spiciest type of chili in the country.
Attendees have to eat 100 pieces of labuyo to become a member of the group, while present members have to do it again to renew their membership.
There will also be a series of eating contests, an all-day bazaar, and band performances for everyone to enjoy. Johnny Scoville, a rockstar of the chili community, will grace the festival.
What the Chili Festival is all about
The growing number of attendees and participants in the Philippine Chili Festival came as a surprise to the members of the Chili Federation. Said group shared that they were not aware that there is a rising community of chiliheads, as what they call themselves, in the country.
According to the organizers, the aim of the festival is to simply create awareness that there is indeed a chili community in the Philippines composed of hot sauce makers and sellers, growers, farmers, and enthusiasts.
Enrile also added that the Philippine Chili Federation has helped develop and elevate the Philippine hot sauce market, introduced new and more efficient species of chilis to plant to farmers, and added another layer of flavor to Filipino food.
5th Philippine Chili Festival
The Philippine Chili Festival is the biggest of its kind in the Philippines and is the only chili festival in Southeast Asia.
What: 6th Philippine Chili Festival
Where: Whitespace Manila, 2314 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati
When: August 25, 2019, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Registration fee: Php 200 walk-in registration