The Bagoong Festival was first celebrated in 2010, marking a memorable year for the residents of Pangasinan. The festival was created to honor the local bagoong producers and their perseverance and creativity in producing the best bagoong in the Philippines. The festival also showcases the versatility of bagoong as a condiment; used as a dipping sauce for countless foods and as a seasoning for popular Filipino dishes.
One of the main highlights of the Bagoong Festival is the tour of bagoong factories in Lingayen. This tour allows visitors to witness the process of making bagoong, which involves mixing different varieties of fish with salt and allowing it to ferment for about 3-6 months.
Another exciting event is the Taway-Taway Cooking Exhibition, where participants showcase the versatility of bagoong. The cooking competition veers away from the usual seasoning for vegetable dishes of “pinakbet” and “dinengdeng” to demonstrate the many ways bagoong can be used in cooking.
The festival also features a street dancing competition, adding to the festive atmosphere. The Bagoong Festival is not just a celebration of a local product, but also a testament to the rich culture and resilient spirit of the people of Pangasinan.
The Bagoong Festival is a must-visit for food enthusiasts, culture lovers, and travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. It offers a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the local culture, meet the friendly and hospitable people of Pangasinan, and of course, taste the world-class bagoong that the town of Lingayen is known for.