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HOMETOWN SNAPSHOT
Pangasinan town places bet on broiled corn

By Gabriel Cardinoza
Northern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 22:04:00 01/31/2008

Filed Under: Regional authorities

STO. TOMAS, PANGASINAN ? If Dagupan City grilled milkfish in 2003 and Villasis town barbecued eggplants in 2005, this small eastern Pangasinan town will broil corn ears on Feb. 10 in its bid to break the Guinness World Records? longest barbecue.

Vice Mayor Timoteo Villar III, chair of the first Corn Festival here, said his town would build a 5-kilometer barbecue along the highway to break the world record held by Hermosillo, Mexico, when it built a 1,290.4-meter barbecue on Nov. 20, 2006.

The Mexican effort toppled Dagupan?s 1,007.56-meter record set during the Bangus Festival on May 3, 2003.

?With the outpouring of support from our town mates and residents of neighboring towns, we are very confident that we will achieve our goal and that is to make Sto. Tomas get a world record,? said Mayor Vivien Villar.

The longest barbecue event will be among the highlights of the town?s centennial celebration, which began on Feb. 1. Sto. Tomas was founded on Feb. 10, 1908.

Municipal agriculturist Crisanto Balila said 2,024 grills would line the highway from the eastern boundary in Barangay Carmen in Rosales town to its western boundary in Alcala town.

?We will grill 121,440 corn ears per setting. And since we will have three settings, a total of 364,320 corn ears will be grilled,? Balila said.

The grills will span the villages of Salvacion, San Agustin, Poblacion East, Poblacion West, San Marcos, La Luna, Sto. Domingo, San Jose, Sto. Nio and San Antonio.

Vice Mayor Villar said at least 10,000 grillers, volunteers and marshals would be tapped for the event.

?We will be using 800 sacks of charcoal, 1,050 liters of kerosene and 2,024 bilao (winnowing basket),? he said. ?The grilled corn ears will be placed on the bilao and they will be offered to spectators for free.?

Sto. Tomas (pop: 12,304), Pangasinan?s smallest town with an area of 1,572.42 hectares, is an agricultural town. At least 600 ha are planted to corn.

Balila said this town is proud of its ?zero pesticide? hybrid glutinous corn, which will take center stage in the festival.



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