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    COHARA showcases Culinary Excellence and Community Spirit with Hala Kumbira Inter-Barangay Humba Cooking Competition

    By Tito Mike

    Chicken Humba takes center stage this August as the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA) hosts its first ever Hala Kumbira Inter-barangay Competition at the 5th floor SM CDO Downtown Premier Event Hall on August 18, 2023 starting 1:00 pm.


    Vintage photo of Z.C. Eatery’iconic ‘huboy-huboy’ humba from the not too distant past. (RMB)

    Competitors will be challenged to develop a recipe to promote Chicken Humba as a signature dish of Cagayan de Oro City. Previously, this pre-event had sought to develop local dishes which are instantly identifiable with Cagayan de Oro as Sinuglaw and Binaki ug Kape.

    Humba has traditionally been a local culinary favorite of Kagay-anons. Originally a braised pork dish from the Visayas, it usually consists of pork belly slow-cooked until very tender in soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and fermented black beans (tausi) sweetened with muscovado sugar.

    Humbaan ni Aling Violy at Cogon Market is the go-to humba place for many Kagay-anons.

    However, Kagay-anons have their own local favorites such as the humba of the late ‘Aling Violy’ Wabe in her Humbaan ni Aling Violy at the Cogon Market which is tender pork stewed in pineapple and her secret ingredients, and the “hubuy-huboy” (quivering) humba of the late Zita “Z.C.” Cosare-Vequilla at the iconic Z.C. Eatery along Pabayo Street.

    Credit should also be given to former Barangay Iponan Anthony Brellita for organizing their Iponan Humba Festival open cooking competition now on its 15th Year promoting humba as one of the barangay’s delicacies.

    Hala Kumbira

    For the Hala Kumbira Inter-Barangay Humba Cooking competition however, competitors would use chicken rather than pork, to make it a truly Kagay-anon origin dish, while also considering non-pork eaters.

    KUMBIRA is the Philippines’ longest running live competition for students and professionals, and largest culinary show outside of Metro Manila which has been staged by COHARA for the past 27 years.

    For 2023, KUMBIRA will be presented in two stages – Hala Kumbira will be held on August 18 as the traditional prelude to KUMBIRA, while the 27th KUMBIRA Masters Live Competition and Culinary Show will be held on October 11-13.

    “The participation of the various barangays aims to promote the diverse culinary heritage of the city, encourage community engagement, foster healthy competition, and create better appreciation for our local cuisine,” said Jeffrey Limbonhai, COHARA President.

    “The event will also provide a platform for talented home cooks to showcase their skills, creativity, and passion for cooking, while bringing in residents from different barangays together to celebrate the gastronomic wonders of our region.”

    Nollie Arguelles, COHARA’s Executive Officer, confirmed the participation of the following 14 barangays in this year’s first ever Inter-Barangay Display Cooking Competition: Barangay 12, Bonbon, Bulua, Carmen, Cugman, Camaman-an, Consolacion, Gusa, Iponan, Kauswagan, Lapasan, Macabalan, Nazareth and Patag.

    The first briefing of participants was held at The VIP Hotel last June 24, 2023

    Culinary experts and gourmands in the panel of judges will evaluate each dish based on its originality, taste, presentation and composition, with the top 3 barangays (1st, 2nd & 3rd) being dubbed “Champion Barangay,” with exciting prizes.

    Besides the inter-barangay competition, Hala Kumbira will also have a food fair featuring a diverse range of signature dishes from COHARA member hotels and restaurants, a cooking demonstration by KUMBIRA 2022 Chef Master Champion Khevin Cabactulan, Cake Decorating and a Flairtending Exhibition.

    For more information and updates about the Inter-Barangay Cooking Competition, please visit the COHARA and KUMBIRA Facebook page or contact Ms. Nollie Arguelles at 09176700517.


    Your Father knows the things you have needs of (Matt. 6:8) Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. (1 Timothy 6:8)



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