The 6th Edition of the Philippine Chili Festival
We started holding the Chili Festival February 2014 at Justin Yenko’s Barley’s Gastro Pub in near Bohol Ave. About 130 participated. The first Hot Sauce Competition was held with only about 25 entries vying for awards in 4 categories. Only 5 vendors were involved. An open forum was held on anything chili.
The second was held at the Green Daisy Café in Maginhawa St., U.P. Diliman QC. The space comprised of a small garden café and a garage for 4 cars. About 350 participated. The hot sauce competition saw more than 50 participants in the same 4 categories. The first Labuyo 100 initiation rites was held consisting of about 20 participants. Most were successful. There were 12 vendors
The 3rd Philippine Chili Festival was held at the same place. 600 participated and the hot sauce competition saw 100 participants vying for awards in 12 categories. The Labuyo 100 held its initiation rites.
The 4th Chili Festival was held at the Balete Clubhouse. This is the first Chili festival hosted by the newly formed Philippine Chili Federation. We had an unprecedented 40 vendors, 200 entries in the hot sauce competition vying for awards in the expanded 14 categories. About a thousand guests arrived. The first potted chili plant contest was held and hosted by Sili Wars, a member group of the Philippine Chili Federation. There was an open forum on how to make hot sauces.
The 5th Chili Festival moved to Makati at Whitespace Manila, one of the premier events places in the Philippines. The large space afforded us to have 65 vendors. The Labuyo 100 had over 100 participants. And the hot sauce competition had more than 250 entries. Attendance rose to 1250. We had a food section this time serving spicy food. There again was a lecture. Oishi and
Mama Sita’s distributed products. Door prizes were raffles and each participant was given free
seeds. Johnny Scoville flew in from the USA to grace the occasion.
This coming 6th Philippine Chili Festival will see an expanded hot sauce competition with 19 different categories and more than 300 entries. The Labuyo 100 initiation rite is expecting 150 or more participants. We will have 80 vendors. Delimondo is a sponsor and will focus on their Chili Garlic Sauce that has been a flagship product for more than 6 years apart from their canned goods. We will have the first formal lecture series. Vic Chin the quintessential potted plant grower will lecture on growing potted chili plants that he has been growing and selling this past few years. Miggy Esguerra will lecture on hot sauce making and fermented hot sauce making in particular. Fermented hots sauces is the Holy Grail hot sauces. Johnny Scoville will be back to grace the occasion and give advice to the member clubs and associations.
The Philippine Chili federation was formed to unite the 5 Chili related clubs during the time.
The founding 5 clubs are:
PHILIPPINE HOT SAUCE CLUB – group of hot sauce makers that united to expand their knowledge as well as compare notes in the making of hot sauces and allied products (chili laced baked goods, spice rubs, jams, juices and more. Chili sauce enthusiasts as well as retailers and online marketers have also joined the club. They host the Table of Fire as well as the hot sauce competition during Chili Festivals.
CHILI GROWERS PHILIPPINES – a group of growers from all over the Philippines formed the group to increase their knowledge in growing this challenging crop. They host the pod tasting competition and chili pod eating challenges during the Chili Festival. They have six thousand members and meet every month to share seeds and have pod tasting sessions.
KA SILI – a chili growers group based in the Northern Philippines. They have a close alliance with the Chili Growers Philippines group.
SILI WARS – A group that focuses on growing plants in backyards. They hold chili growing challenges like growing chili in small containers such as egg shells and milk cans. They host the Chili plant competition during chili festivals
LABUYO 100 – The Labuyo 100 started during the 2nd Chili Festival. Initiates are given 100 labuyo peppers and should be consumed with food in 10 to 15 minutes and not taking any liquids for another 10 minutes. They promote the eating of chili as food and as a food supplement that heals various diseases. They hold Labuyo 100 sessions all over the country but the main initiation rites happen every Chili Festival. Last Chili Festival over 100 participated.
Notes: The labuyo chili pepper is not a native of the Philippines. There are no native chilis in Asia. All chilis are native to South America and were introduced to the rest of the world after the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The labuyo was probably introduced by the Indians when trading with the Philippines and was introduced to the Indians
by the Portuguese. The labuyo name came from the word “laboy or palaboy” meaning species that have escaped their confinement in the case of the labuyo that escaped from the garden probably spread by birds. Only birds are immune to the heat of peppers.
The popularity of hot sauce stem from our sawsawan culture or the penchant of Filipinos to have their own customized dipping sauces.
The common chili now being sold in the markets sometimes erroneously called labuyo is actually a hybrids produce from seeds coming from Taiwan and Thailand.
The hottest pepper today is the Carolina Reaper that packs 1,200,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). The Labuyo has a heat level of 30 to 50 thousand SHU. The bell pepper has 0 SHU. The Jalapeno packs 10,000 SHU.
Johnny Scoville of CHASE THE HEAT fame and the most recognizable name in the Chili world will be back to grace the 6th Philippine Chili Festival. Apart from the festival, Johnny will make the rounds of some members of the federation to share experiences and brief them in the hot sauce market in the USA.